BA IN PROCESS2016 07 28
Author: Viktorija Bikulčiūtė
Growth: fast, constant, measurable. These are goals for every business. However, when control is lost, internal chaos may ensue rather than guaranteed success. What should a mature company do to ensure a positive outcome for its clients? It is impossible to find just a single right answer, but one method might be to regulate activities through business processes. BA project director Ruslan Grumbianin expands on this idea.
For a long time we have successfully worked according to business processes, but these have not been strictly described and carried out as part of running a business. When did the time come to work according to business processes without excuses? This decision was made for a couple of reasons, one of which was to aid growth into the future; moreover, teams that work together for a long time are able to work successfully with each other. However, when new people join teams, they still usually lack some skills. This creates a need for fast integration, a process that was previously long and expensive. The best way to convey know-how when a new project team is formed is to work according to business processes. It is important to have a framework for uniting principles and rules, thus helping to minimise expenses.
As with all new initiatives, when we made the decision to start working according to strict business processes, we set ourselves long- and short-term goals. To begin with, we wanted to evaluate and understand how differently we all worked, and use this information to unify the principles of activity and the practices of project management. From a longer-term perspective, business processes help create an internal culture. We wanted to see our processes in a more global context, not only as a guiding light for project management, but also to give us a chance to make changes to the cultural and working environment, and to develop awareness about skills. When you are small, you can allow yourself to take a risk, but doing this may become expensive when you grow up. As the business grows, the company’s internal culture must become ever more mature, with no more room for unbalanced risk. Processes are not self-contained, but are instead created using best practices to help fill any vacuums that appear when an employee lacks certain knowledge and skills.
By splitting our time into two parts – “before” and “after” processes – we could already see a clear division of roles. Until then, the usual situation was for a single specialist to have several different roles. This meant that there was enough room for excuses and late deadlines. We saw clearly where our weak spots were. Of course, we also seek long-term changes, with employees having to get used to working according to the processes established and having a chance to change them. From one perspective, business processes are a mechanism for self-control, but we also leave a lot of freedom to initiate changes if something is not working properly. In this universe, we all depend on each other –¬ meaning that business processes are not just a matter for the company as a unit, but for every employee. Alongside these processes, we want to develop a culture of respect for each other.
Of course, the implementation of business processes brings several internal changes, and it is important to address how these will affect our clients. Our old clients will not feel the changes, because they work with well-balanced teams. The biggest benefits will be felt by new clients, with the team working using best practices and adopting know-how. The risk that something will be missed or go unnoticed is reduced, and clients will benefit from higher-quality work and reduced expenses. The company will reach such a level of maturity that the client will know what to expect, what steps will be made, and their role in the project.
All in all, we can view the implementation of such processes not only as a sign of growth and maturity, but also as a sign of renewal. One thing must be understood and repeated: a renewal has no ending, and the decision to make changes at the company is the start of a long journey that every successful business should go on.
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