Saturday, September 22, 2007

Five areas you need in your process architecture

Whether you are trying to understand processes enterprise wide, or just for a small department, in my opinion, there are always five process areas that you should consider.

Here in diagram:

1. Operational Processes

Processes in this area are considered core to the organization''s goals. They make up the business model of the company and focus on making customers happy, by procuring, producing, selling, marketing and servicing products/services. The value chain of your company.

2. Supporting Processes

Although not core, these processes facilitate all the other process areas and are often of crucial importance. Think Admin, HR, IT support, Finance, Legal, QC/QA.

3. Supplier and Customer processes

From an outside-in perspective, it is very important to understand (and help improve!) the processes of your main outside stakeholders: your suppliers and customers. By understanding their processes, you are able to help improve them, which in the end, will lead to competitive advantage. Model these processes from a supply chain perspective - optimize the chain in total.

4. Management processes

These processes steer the other processes (and cover the plan, check and act of the Demming cycle). They form the process control layer in your business.

5. Change processes
Yes, change is a process to. In modern days, change will occur more and more often. A repeatable framework for change, aka a process, will help you to become more agile: when a change is needed, all people will know their role and responsibility, to enable the business to respond fast. The change process includes detecting the need for change, understanding it, designing it, and implementing it, including all impact on the people and technology in all layers.


Lawrence Pit said...

Hi Roeland, I would suggest the customer processes are the core to the goals of your organization. The diagram suggests the management process mainly steers the change and operational processes; there is no connection to the customer processes. While this actually depicts reality for most organizations very well, I would not suggest this as a process architecture. Instead I would propose that the champion of the customer processes should be the one steering the management processes. Or in other words: the top decision makers in your organization should be the ones that are managing customer relationships.

Roeland Loggen said...

Hm. In my definition, customer processes and supplier processes are processes done OUTSIDE the scope of your business. This are activities done by customers and suppliers themselves, under their governance. In the operational processes there are specific processes that are there to serve customers and relate with suppliers. Those processes are in your control, aka are under management. As a company we can not govern custumer internal processes...

lawrence said...

Your management is then mostly concerned with operational processes, far removed from real customers. You can have perfectly tuned operational processes, but with no customers it means nothing. So in my mind the operational processes cannot be core.

I'm not viewing the customer process as something that is done outside the scope of your business. I think if you do, that is the path to failure. When e.g. a potential customer walks into your shoe store, the customer process has already began. On your premise. This is most definitely a process you have control over. You can ignore the customer and continue sipping your coffee, or you can approach the potential customer and enter a conversation. Either way, the customer process is progressing.... Quick now, because the customer is already stepping back towards to the door..! Do you let him/her go and end the process, or do you manage to keep the customer in, and possibly close a sale and end the process that way? You are as much a participant in the customer process as is the customer itself. It is perfectly possible to detail the customer process as best you can: from the moment the customer walks into your store to the moment the customer walks out of your store.

On the supplier side, don't you view e.g. partner relationship management as part of that process? I do. You work together to optimize that process. It's something that you definitely can control the way you'd like to.

peter said...

The pictorial representation which you have given about Supply Chain Management Services and the categorizes are nice. Every organization should increase there process standard constantly. there is a scope of a loss,if an organization is sticking to a single process.