Process Culture Maturity Part I: Accelerating Process Culture
It seems like the distant past when big companies rely on individual heroes to facilitate process initiatives. They are long-service employees who became the experts of how things and processes work in the company. They are always consulted because of their inherent authority – and business owners and mangers listen to them. Think about them as company elders and gurus whom we seek advice from when things go wrong, and who are consulted whenever changes are planned.
When a company relies and is solely dependent on its individual heroes for change and process enhancement, it is on its 1st level of process culture maturity.
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The second stage of process culture maturity is the Diverse Approach. This is when the company starts to utilize standard methods and best practices to drive process design and innovation. Oftentimes at this stage, different areas in the organization employ varying approaches and therefore, less synergy is achieved. Standard operating procedures (SOP) start to shape in each department and documentation becomes an integral part of process implementation. In many cases, at this point, IT and business approaches tend to clash and technology becomes the focus of project implementation.
Companies move up to the Model Integration stage when they build more synergies throughout the organization. Very successful multinational companies such as P&G, CEMEX, and ING DIRECT take advantage of Model Integration by consolidating functions and developing their shared services. P&G, for example, has established Global Business Services (GBS) -- a shared service organization that provides the company a platform for continuous global growth while maintaining the values of innovation, service, customer responsiveness and business efficiency. Companies at this level adapt a consolidated method to design and implement business models using standard processes and tools. The project team discipline ultimately improves as management breaks silos and approaches process and technology implementation equally. The common tendency is for companies to establish global standards and to consolidate both IT infrastructure and human resources, thereby reducing cost of operations.
The final step to Process Culture Maturity occurs when innovation and change in business practices through process understanding are consistently promoted within the company. When executives passionately embrace process thinking, they are able to promote innovation more confidently in implementing new technologies.
Many organizations have moved a long way from when individual company heroes were the sole initiators of change and process innovation. Yet it’s difficult to predict what comes next -- as technology evolves, industries consolidate, and Web 2.0 quickly becomes the new platform.
About the Author
Glenn Remoreras brings over 12 years of IT business process and management experience as an IT director, business processes manager, project leader, and consultant. He has focused on converging processes, business and IT capabilities and the implementation of post merger integration initiatives. His career experience and perspective bring together the disciplines of Process and IT management, business process integration and organizational transformation into a powerful combination. He has participated in various international projects in Asia Pacific, Europe, Mexico and United States. He is a member of the Shared Services team for CEMEX, a global construction materials company. He maintains a personal website www.mysimpleprocesses.com, where be publishes his thoughts and ideas on various business related topics.