Abandoning traditional methods when managing your organization can be a big challenge. But new and modern tools offer more control, practicality and collaboration.
The idea that organizations should adjust to a management model that considers Processes as one of the fundamental components has become widespread. The growing thought is related, in large part, to the dysfunctions and exhaustion that the traditional functional-bureaucratic model has presented throughout history.
A functional bureaucracy, in the sense of the term defined by the German sociologist Max Webber, is characterized by the systematic and coherent division of labor and by the rational distribution of resources, in order to provide the achievement of the desired ends (goals). Almost always, this formal and rational division of labor is guided by written norms, of a coercive character (those who do not comply will be punished), capable of leading to the achievement of the desired objectives; impersonality (the rule creates a position and assignments, functions are defined, independent of individuals); and by a vertical structure of authority and power.
Over time, the experience with this model in organizational environments has led to numerous typical dysfunctions, such as: managerial and administrative inflexibility, low performance, ineffective communication, excessive paper or electronic standards, conflicts between professional classes, functional silos (each taking care of yours), distance from the client, among others.
Traditional bureaucracies no longer correspond to the needs and challenges of the world of knowledge, information, technology, agility and simplicity. It has already been noticed that new models, simpler, faster and more efficient, focused on the client and interested parties are fundamental for the survival of organizations. It is from this need that the great interest in Process Management or Business Process Management (BPM-Business Process Management) arises.
According to the BPM CBOK Guide (2013), Business Process Management is a management discipline that can be viewed or analyzed from different perspectives. Its main purpose is to promote the integration between organizational objectives and the expectations and needs of customers. This integration is achieved through the identification, description, improvement, standardization and management of business processes.
In other words, the fundamental point of BPM is that the organizational objectives (strategic goals, delivery of products and services, generation of value) can be achieved by focusing the management’s focus on business processes. Thus, as a discipline, business process management does not specify its own tools or methodologies. It proposes principles and practices that must be adjusted according to the nature, type and size of the organization.
In an organization with well-established process management, functional silos tend to disappear and professionals tend to work collaboratively and in multidisciplinary teams, focused not only on the interests of their sector, but on results, value for customers and stakeholders . The organization comes to better understand the interrelationships between the processes and the systemic impact of the results of each stage on the overall performance. Communication improves and conflicts tend to decrease.
But how to start the strategic implementation of BPM in an organization, regardless of the number of employees and activities carried out, obtaining effective results?
First, however, a preliminary understanding is necessary, without which our best intentions and actions in the development of business process management can turn into major disappointments and inefficiencies.
Abandoning the emphasis on traditional management practices and incorporating the “by processes” logic means making CHANGES! First in the way of thinking (mental model) and second, therefore, in the way of doing (work patterns).
Edgar Schean, a well-known specialist in the field of Culture, Leadership and Organizational Change, points out that the biggest challenge in transformational change processes is that people will have to unlearn to the same degree that they will have to learn the new. Herein lies the challenge!
Almost always, when leaders, managers and change leaders decide to carry out the necessary transformations, they do not take into account the fact that they will have, themselves and the teams, to undo the ways of thinking considered outdated, at the same time that they will have to assimilate new ones. ways of thinking and doing. Schen deepens the issue by pointing out that our knowledge and learning is in some way embedded in organizational routines becoming part of our identity (collective or individual). Changing a routine can often mean violating aspects of our identity. Hence the phenomenon of resistance to change. This author argues that transformative changes therefore involve, to some degree or level, a change in culture.
As a management discipline, implementing Business Process Management does not strictly represent the adoption of flows or description of processes. And much more. It means improving the internal capacity to achieve organizational results through business processes. This implies competent people (knowledge, skills and attitudes), organized and efficient production methods and properly established support technologies. It is therefore a systemic and clear, complex change.
Over the current and past century, much has been written and talked about organizational change. The recommendations and recipes are plentiful. Kotter proposes eight steps for effecting the changes, which can be applied in a BPM project:
- Establishing a sense of urgency for change;
- Create an administrative coalition around the proposal;
- Development of a mobilizing vision and strategy;
- Investing in the communication of vision and change, especially by highlighting the benefits;
- Invest in employee empowerment for comprehensive actions;
- Achieve short-term conquer;
- Consolidate gains and produce more changes;
- Establish new methods in the culture.
Aware that changes are necessary and that we are able and right to face it, we should not waste time. BPM can bring improvements to the performance of organizations.