Organisational Process Optimisation: Architecture and Automation

Ross Kemp — 31 March, 2021

Business processes are by and large the means by which an organisation delivers services to its customers and operates its business. Therefore, they’re a fundamental part of how effectively a business functions and can be directly linked to profitability, customer satisfaction and risks.

Due to the evolutionary nature of businesses and the impact this has on product and customer strategies, technology landscapes and operating models, it is easy for an organisation’s processes to become increasingly complex, inefficient and misaligned. This shift tends to be gradual and therefore has a tendency to go unnoticed and simply referred to as ‘business as usual’ – where people accept these ways of working.

The benefits of simplifying and automating business processes are far reaching and typically directly impact the organisation’s business targets. For example, improving customer service and experience, improving staff satisfaction, increased productivity, reduced cost of service and reducing risk.

Rarely is it justifiable or practical, however, to optimise every business process within an organisation. Many processes within a business will have minimal bearing on the company’s bottom line or the customer’s experience. Additionally, it can often be difficult to even review or improve the core business processes due to capital and operational budget constraints. Therefore, a method of categorising the organisation’s processes is needed in order to develop a means to identify opportunities to realise direct, tangible benefits and justify investment.

The Chamonix approach is to ensure this process of identifying, categorising, classifying and prioritising the organisation’s business processes is quick and light touch. Our methodology is also able to be tailored to align to the organisation’s strategic objectives, operating model and constraints.

To achieve this, we leverage a range of business architecture tools and templates to facilitate the identification, classification, quantification and mapping of the organisations’ business processes. These are critical for the subsequent prioritisation analysis to ensure the targeted benefits of any process optimisation and automation activities are viable. As an example, the Chamonix Process Tools present opportunities to decision makers from various perspectives such as where opportunities exist to drive cost savings versus improving customer experience.

As business process information is obtained from across the business, it is important to also identify any potential organisational change impacts of a process optimisation initiative. I.e. ensuring the underlying business drivers are communicated to avoid process automation being interpreted as a method of reducing head count.

The Chamonix Process Model is intended to advise technical solutions that ensure the appropriate automation tooling and solutions are adopted. For example – where workflow automation is better suited versus Robotic Process Automation. Finally, the Model is also intended to be incorporated into a benefits realisation framework or reporting dashboard, allowing the benefits of the process optimisation initiative to be measured. This is an important step in ensuring both the analysis and prioritisation method – as well as the subsequent automation solutions-  are effective.