Process Design: Are you properly prepared to implement a new tool?


Frequently we see situations where organizations decide to implement a new IT system without a process review. The time required for a process design often is considered unproductive and unnecessary. However, this time is very well spent, as an efficient process review is the best basis for a successful system implementation.

Without a prior process design, improvements are a potential side-effect, not a driving factor. 

The vast majority of companies decide to implement a tool without engaging in a comprehensive process review beforehand. Decisions are based on a set of specific needs or requirements that the current solution does not cover. Improvements are expected to come from the introduction of new features and functionalities rather than from process optimization. These companies base their process change on a change in technology.

Although a system change is indeed one of the most effective ways to drive change on internal processes, most companies tend to just focus on that. By doing so, they do not engage in a formal process review and redesign. What are the risks of using this kind of approach?

We have identified three key risks in project design and process management:

Risk#1 – Inefficient and ineffective processes are rebuilt

Risk#2 – It will be the tool and not your goals that drive the change

Risk#3 – Existing biases are reinforced which makes an organization even more resistant to

If you are interested in process design for corporate planning processes, our Corporate Planning Maturity Framework provides a very sophisticated example on how to analyze administrative processes.

This paper is part of a series of papers that provide easy-to-understand insights into the topic of process design. They aim at organizations and consultants who, mainly in the course of a system implementation or re-design, want to rethink their processes before cementing them into IT structures. Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about upcoming publications in this or in other topics of interest.

For more information on process management please also refer to our paper Eight Iron Rules for Process Design

By Élio Campos and André Almeida