People, Processes and Change Management: Keys to Successful Business Transformation 

Written by Team SAP Signavio | 3 min read
Published on: March 23rd 2023 - Last modified: April 6th, 2023
Keys to Successful Business Transformation

The past few years have enlightened business leaders across all industries on the importance of being able to swiftly transform how they operate to navigate unpredictable disruptions and forces of change. Looking ahead, the future appears equally tumultuous on many fronts – economically, geopolitically, environmentally, and even socially. Disruption will further come in many forms, from climate change and the emergence of new technologies like generative AI (such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT) to escalating customer expectations and revolutionary, digital-first competitors. 

Survive and Thrive

To survive and thrive, you’ll need the ability to adapt, transform, and continuously improve your business processes with precision, speed, and excellence. And as explored in the new SAP paper, “Making Continuous Business Process Transformation a Core Business Competency”, the best path forward is through continuous business process transformation, a process-oriented approach to achieving business transformations in a data-driven way. It involves:

  • Clarifying your strategy to achieve desired business outcomes
  • Understanding which process optimizations will have the biggest impact

  • Placing people at the center of transformation
  • Driving change collaboratively to break down barriers across functions and teams
  • and more..!

These steps can be executed as part of a continuous improvement journey that drives better business outcomes – from increasing customer centricity to driving efficiencies and making disrupted supply chains more resilient.

Successful Transformation: People-centric and Technology-Enabled

Most businesses today are looking to technology alone to enable process change – for example, through automation and integrations. But as the steps listed above suggest, the primary work involved in process transformation is done by people.

In fact, people – employees, partners, stakeholders, and customers – are ultimately the drivers of successful business transformations, process innovations and continuous improvements. It’s people who understand your business opportunities, strategies, and goals. They have the deepest knowledge of how work actually gets done today – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And they can provide feedback and reimagine how your organization can get work done better and faster.

We often hear that change is hard – partly because people fear change. But the reality is that humans thrive on change. What they fear is poorly managed change that causes confusion and uncertainty. Badly managed change feels like psychological torture to those caught up in it.

People and Change Management Strategies

That’s why change management is among the most important strategies for ensuring successful and continuous business transformation. It supports a seamless transition from the old to the new and provides a map for employees – and your entire organization – to evolve with changes and minimize the possibility of failure.

Taking change management approaches to transformation does this by energizing and incentivizing employees, improving return on investment and the quality of the employee experience, and delivering a competitive edge that makes everyone feel good about the future of the business. 

By making your transformation people driven, you help set up a collaborative framework that fosters a change mindset. The key is to capture and connect experience data with operations data to uncover the impact of process changes on all end users. Combining outside-in and inside-out perspectives – and translating customer, supplier, and employee experiences to operational realities – provides insights that your business can use to identify and address issues early, optimize outcomes, and banish silos.

Bridging the Experience Gap

This way, you can also overcome the “experience gap” between intended experiences and the reality people face. Experience gaps occur when a brand fails to meet expectations at any point along a process or journey. They could be caused by a big brand disaster, but those are rare occurrences. More frequently, experience gaps are small, repeated service failures that often exist without a brand’s knowledge – or exist for far too long before a brand discovers them.

Collaboration for Transformation Success

For improved change management strategies that close experience gaps across processes and systems and keep people at the center of change, you need collaborative inputs from employees, customers, and partners.

You also need a 360-degree view of your process landscape – a shared source of truth that helps people find and prioritize operational performance gaps to address through process transformation.

Collaborative, people-led, technology-enabled process transformation and change management – it’s the key to unlocking true business agility, operational excellence, and customer and employee experience improvements in the face of disruption and change.

Lean More

To learn more about the role of change management in successful continuous business process transformation, download the new SAP paper: “Making Continuous Business Process Transformation a Core Business Competency”.

Published on: March 23rd 2023 - Last modified: April 6th, 2023