Is There a Role for Reorganizations in Business Process Improvement?

Everyone has seen reorganizations happen and you most likely have experienced one yourself. How does it feel? Your answer probably depends on how well you fared.

One aspect of BPM (business process management) is taking a process or enterprise-wide view of the business instead of a functional view. Although you may find it effective to reorganize this way, many companies find it difficult because functions have expertise. For example, human resources has training, compensation, and performance management expertise; information technology has system implementation, debugging, and software development expertise; and finance has accounting, budgeting, and risk management expertise. So, how do you incorporate a function’s expertise into a process view?

Think of the “customer engagement” process from an enterprise perspective. Let’s use the same three examples to think about how this could work:

  • Human resources: are employees measured and rewarded on his or her contribution to customer satisfaction?
  • Information technology: does the technical department build tools to help satisfy customers, like a customer management system so employees know everything they should know about a customer to deliver personalized service?
  • Finance: does the company have a customer friendly accounts receivable process?

Companies can have an enterprise view and still take advantage of functional expertise. It is hard though, do not kid yourself. And, it requires support from the top.

Do you know any companies who have done this successfully?

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About powerofbpi

I'm the author of The Power of Business Process Improvement, published by the American Management Association, and an accompanying workbook. I enjoy writing and BPI work! I'm a New England sports fan and love all the teams.
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