What is Business Process Engineering (BPE)? Engineering is simply defined by Merriam-Webster as the work of designing and creating new products or systems by using scientific methods. Business Process is defined by Davenport & Short as a set of logically related tasks performed to achieve a desired business outcome.
As shared in a previous Paragon Business Solutions Blog article, Digital Disruption: A Time of Business Process Re-engineering, as digital technologies continue to transform the economy, many leaders are struggling to set a digital strategy, shift organizational structures, and remove the barriers that are keeping them from maximizing the potential impact of new digital technologies.
Businesses today are pushing to function in a flexible and structured manner to best enable personnel to be multi-skilled, as well as enable processes to be more strategic and technologies to be fully optimized for management and business growth.
Welcome to the modern era of BPE
Next generation business process engineering relies on people, processes and technologies being capable of driving and responding to rapidly changing organizational requirements rising from digital disruption.
- People should be able to organize themselves, become more collaborative, and flexible enough to work different hours in different locations. People must be informed in clear, relevant, and actionable information that is up-to-date in real time. The People should be able to perform self-management and self-organization. Above all else, the enterprise must promote the fact that happy employees lead to happy customers.
- Processes need to be dynamic and open enough to deal with customers with different channels and serve various needs. Process should be driven by workflows that are able to handle standard and ad-hoc requests, exceptions, and decisions. All should be enabled through digital technologies that are intuitive, portable, and accessible.
- People and Processes must be supported by Technology; in other words, agility needs to be engineered in to support a business process engineering initiative. Modern BPE technologies should enable integration with both legacy and non-legacy applications and, ideally, should be cloud-based, not platform-based.
An enterprise planning to deploy a shift on business process engineering must give careful thought to every component of a People, Processes and Technology framework perspective - and challenges.
For many enterprises today, their legacy BPE induces people to be bound by their static roles and responsibilities, discouraging them from learning new skills or being skilled at multi-functional areas. Additionally, because of its structured processes, the legacy BPE creates an often rigid, inflexible structure that can deviate from new business requirements and can be extremely difficult and costly to change.
If those challenges were not enough to raise caution, with today's rapid increase of digitally centric customers, the digital use of customer acquisition and customer service is critically importan; however, inflexible legacy processes may make upgrading to modern technological innovations difficult, resulting in dreaded and often ineffective 'workaround' methods.
The increasing digital disruption impacting enterprises today - and driving digital transformation initiatives - creates unprecedented pressure on enterprise leadership to cultivate a business environment that is flexible, agile, and dynamic enough to enable people to be more multi-skilled, process to be more strategic, and technology capable of addressing business and customer needs.