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In Times of Rapid Change, Business Process Modeling Becomes a Critical Tool

by Martin Owen       • July 8, 2020

With the help of business process modeling (BPM) organizations can visualize processes and all the associated information identifying the areas ripe for innovation, improvement or reorganization.

In the blink of an eye, COVID-19 has disrupted all industries and quickly accelerated their plans for digital transformation. As part of their transformations, businesses are moving quickly from on premise to the cloud and therefore need to create business process models available to everyone within the organization so they understand what data is tied to what applications and what processes are in place.

There’s a clear connection between business process modeling and digital transformation initiatives. With it, an organization can explore models to understand information assets within a business context, from internal operations to full customer experiences.

This practice identifies and drives digital transformation opportunities to increase revenue while limiting risks and avoiding regulatory and compliance gaffes.

Business Process Data Governance

Bringing IT and Business Together to Make More Informed Decisions

Developing a shared repository is key to aligning IT systems to accomplish business strategies, reducing the time it takes to make decisions and accelerating solution delivery.

It also serves to operationalize and govern mission-critical information by making it available to the wider enterprise at the right levels to identify synergies and ensure the appropriate collaboration.

One customer says his company realized early on that there’s a difference between business expertise and process expertise, and when you partner the two you really start to see the opportunities for success.

By bringing your business and IT together via BPM, you create a single point of truth within your organization — delivered to stakeholders within the context of their roles.

You then can understand where your data is, how you can find it, how you can monetize it, how you can report on it, and how you can visualize it. You are able to do it in an easy format that you can catalog, do mappings, lineage and focus on tying business and IT together to make more informed decisions.

BPM for Regulatory Compliance

Business process modeling is also critical for risk management and regulatory compliance. When thousands of employees need to know what compliance processes to follow, such as those associated with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ensuring not only access to proper documentation but current, updated information is critical.

Industry and government regulations affect businesses that work in or do business with any number of industries or in specific geographies. Industry-specific regulations in areas like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and financial services have been in place for some time.

Now, broader mandates like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require businesses across industries to think about their compliance efforts. Business process modeling helps organizations prove what they are doing to meet compliance requirements and understand how changes to their processes impact compliance efforts (and vice versa).

This same customer says, “The biggest bang for the buck is having a single platform, a one-stop shop, for when you’re working with auditors.” You go to one place that is your source of truth: Here are processes; here’s how we have implemented these controls; here are the list of our controls and where they’re implemented in our business.”

He also notes that a single BPM platform “helps cut through a lot of questions and get right to the heart of the matter.” As a result, the company has had positive audit findings and results because they have a structure, a plan, and it’s easy to see the connection between how they’re ensuring their controls are adhered to and where those results are in their business processes.

Change Is Constant

Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said, “The only constant in life is change.” This applies to business, as well. Today things are changing quite quickly. And with our current landscape, executives are not going to wait around for months as impact analyses are being formulated. They want actionable intelligence – fast.

For business process architects, being able to manage change and address key issues is what keeps the job function highly relevant to stakeholders. The key point is that useful change comes from routinely looking at process models and spotting a sub-optimality. Business process modeling supports many beneficial use cases and transformation projects used to empower employees and therefore better serve customers.

Organizational success depends on agility and adaptability in responding to change across the enterprise, both planned and unplanned. To be agile and responsive to changes in markets and consumer demands, you need a visual representation of what your business does and how it does it.

Companies that maintain accurate business process models also are well-positioned to analyze and optimize end-to-end process threads—lead-to-cash, problem-to-resolution or hire-to-retire, for example—that contribute to strategic business objectives, such as improving customer journeys or maximizing employee retention.

They also can slice and dice their models in multiple other ways, such as by functional hierarchies to understand what business groups organize or participate in processes as a step in driving better collaboration or greater efficiencies.

erwin Evolve enables communication and collaboration across the enterprise with reliable tools that make it possible to quickly and accurately gather information, make decisions, and then ensure consistent standards, policies and processes are established and available for consumption internally and externally as required.

Try erwin Evolve for yourself in a no-cost, risk-free trial.

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