Process Transformation via Process innovations or efficiency via process discipline
13
Nov
2017

Can Process Discipline & Innovations co-exist

Going by broad definitions, discipline is to obey rules or a set code of behaviour,  while innovation means doing something differently or trying an idea which is not already followed.

In BPM context, a process discipline is an organization’s capability to define, design, follow and optimize a process in a way that it is standardised and TAT / Output is not only pre defined, in most cases predictable. Process innovation will be an organization’s capability to think out of the box, ideating newer ways of managing a process, fully/partially deviating and replacing the current standardised process, to bring in improvement  and more efficiencies.

The big question is what the businesses should follow? Process disciplines or innovations? Or possibly a blend? Can these 2 practices co-exist? Afterall, in general understanding, they are contrary approaches of doing business.

Let us first understand the importance of each of these process approaches. This might help analogize the two and distinctively select one over the other.

 

Advantages of Process Disciplines :

With process disciplines, a business can reap on the following benefits :

  1. Standardization – With process disciplines, we can standardise the tasks and processes. Everyone would know what is needed to be done, with pre-defined steps well documented procedures. A new entrant in the system can easily adapt to the process and can start delivering immediately.
  2. Best Practices – If we have standardised practices, we can easily introduce the best practices too. With process disciplines, process best practices come handy.
  3. Efficiency – If everyone knows their job and are required to do the same task repeatedly, output increases and errors decreases..
  4. FTE Benefits – With improved efficiency, comes FTE reduction automatically.. For same amount of work, less number of full time employees or equivalents will be needed.

 

Advantages of Process Innovations :

As it is said, bulb was not invented by continuous improvements of lamps – improvement of efficiencies through discipline will have its own limitations, and after a stage will reach to a saturation point where either there will be no improvements or improvements will not bring efficiency. With process innovations, a business can have the following edge :

  1. Improvisation – by re-engineering, one can bring in improvements in many ways. It can be in the way processes are carried out, in the output quality, or even may be by simply changing the order of the activities.
  2. Optimization – Innovation can certainly help in further optimization of a process. Continued improvement, based on evaluation and feedback received will help in optimizing and thus bringing in even greater efficiencies .
  3. Better controls and governance– At times a running process might be age old practice, but a little innovation can bring in better governance.
  4. Competitive Edge – If a business is innovative in approach and keeps innovating newer ways to bring improvements, they certainly have a competitive advantage.

 

In view of the benefits of both approaches, co-existence of both seems to be in the best interest of any business.

In today’s dynamic environment, where there is a cut-    throat competition in every business, delivering first time right, and on time is very critical for sustenance of any service provider. This can be achieved only if there is a strong baseline of working team  which follows the set procedures and thus are disciplined in their approach.

Innovation, on the other hand can be executed by the middle or the top management of any organization. Undoubtedly “an idea can strike to anyone – anytime” but if the execution or implementation of the idea is left to the operating teams, the exposure to mismanagement or wrong doings may be much more. On the other hand, if any organizational culture encourages everyone to share an idea – evaluation / implementation can be taken care by the leaders.

At EBEX, we have enabled the Bi-modal approach to ensure smooth functioning of disciplined processes and uninterrupted process innovations at the same time. For further details on bi-modal approach, please feel free to contact us

About Sunil Agarwal

Sunil is a qualified CA with 14 years of varied experience across banking, IT, Manufacturing and Service Industries. He is amongst the first few handpicked professionals from within the group to initiate the idea of EBEX, a shared service delivery platform.

Sunil is associated with the group for 6 years. Prior to EBEX, he was engaged with Dish TV managing their SAP Application. In his earlier stints, Sunil has worked with ICICI bank, Wipro Infotech and Dalmia Cement at different positions and has a flare of Accounts, IT as well as Operations.

At EBEX, Sunil is not only responsible for managing SAP and allied services for mostly all entities under the Essel group, but also works on ideating and creating Business Processes for bringing efficiencies, standardizations and enabling smooth transition to digital formats of processes.

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