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The Business Process Review: everything you need to know

Written by Michelle Kermath

What is a business process review (BPR)?

BPRs are conducted by professionally trained consultants that analyse a company/department/process from both top down and bottom up. Dictated by the need and objectives of the organisation, it will take a closer look across ‘People, Process & Technology’, allowing for a detailed process map and activity descriptions of the current state, which can then be further analysed for issues, risks, and gaps. This outcome report can then be reviewed to develop a future state solution highlighting the costs vs benefits.

How does a BPR make life simpler for our clients?

Business Process Reviews are an important step for any company who are starting to recognise:

  • a process that seems to take forever or always encounters an issue
  • that they need to do recruit more people to undertake the same tasks
  • that they need to work differently due to changes in remote working, flexible working
  • that they need to cut costs

The people doing the work are the experts and their knowledge is critical to making any changes, however, these people are also busy doing their day job and quite often know their own areas only. The benefit of the BPR is that the consultant can collate this information across all people in all departments, and provide one outcome report, providing a 360-degree view of their business; causing a little inconvenience to the peoples daily work as possible.

The end-to-end information gained from a BPR makes life simpler by using the current state information to inform a future state solution and propose the steps and milestones to achieve the future state – setting clear and realistic expectations. This future state solution will have been shaped by the key players in the process who would benefit.

For the organisation, the benefits of a simpler way of working following a BPR can be:

  • Quicker process completion time
  • Achieving regulatory compliance
  • Reduced risk
  • Identifying wasted efforts and the ability to remove it without negative consequences
  • Improving the quality of work output
  • Increased performance and decreased issue handling

For the employee the benefits can be:

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Increased productivity by reducing mundane tasks
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Flexible working
  • Better collaboration and communication

Is it always technology that can simplify a process?

There are usually some quick wins identified simply by the fact that you have the end-to-end process mapped and can easily see where a step may not be necessary. Before adding technology to a process, it should be reviewed and streamlined to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

In the words of Bill Gates “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”.

Therefore, adding technology will create real value and increase performance and efficiency – once the processes have been reviewed, understood and made fit for purpose.

That’s how a BPR helps too!


How can your role help to take away complexity and provide solutions?

This role is here to bring all of these strands together and provide a holistic report of the organisation’s current practices, how they are working at all levels, the bottlenecks and issues, gaps and risks, whilst also highlighting the good practices and ensuring these are kept in any new solution (this is important!). The benefit of having a BPR completed by someone in this role is that they also bring the solutions expertise with them; understanding what technology could be applied and how.  This allows for a more thorough end future state solution proposal.

Often organisations don’t even know they have a challenge or compliance issue, why is this?

Organisations are busy being successful and doing their day job. When growing, expanding and supporting their customers and hitting an issue, organisations are good at finding ways to go around them to ensure that they can carry on providing the service or product to their customer. Over time, this creates so many workaround processes that they become the norm and it is difficult to then unpick them.

It becomes clearer when it hits performance, numbers, complaints, compliance through reporting, but it still may not be obvious where in the process the issue is.

What impact has the pandemic had on clients managing information?

Organisations were in many different places when the pandemic hit. There were some that were still moving physical paper around and came to a halt – they had to continue sending people in to access information, share, scan quickly, and email, creating mini manual mailrooms. There were those that thought they had ‘gone digital’, as they were receiving information by email and saving it to shared folders, who soon realised that actually the systems were not set up for sharing or collaborating on that information and that they had still been doing that from within an office set up.

People have realised that they need to be able to get the right data – not the paper – into the right people at the right time.

Why are businesses are planning to speed up their digital transformation because of the impact of Covid-19

Again, organisations moved quickly to react to the pandemic, finding ways that worked for them to be able to carry on doing business. Nobody knew how long these interim arrangements would be needed for, and initially they were quick workarounds which organisations now want to review and ensure that they are fit for purpose. The pandemic stretched for longer and has now had a more permanent impact on flexible and remote working arrangements too and organisations are looking to operate differently in the longer term, so need solutions to match.

Why do we see more and more organisations shifting towards managing information digitally?

Organisations have gone through a journey – paper, scanning, emails, file exchange. Now the emphasis is on data rather than documents and how they get that information in and shared.

Customers and end users transact via their phones/tablets and there is an expectation from the customer now to be able to do all of their business in this way, as it is easier and more convenient. Organisations that put customer demands at the centre of the operational planning will be looking at how they change the way they work to match that demand.

Check out our Business Process Review services here!

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