After many years of doing SAP projects, thinking in processes has become a second nature.
It still happens though that I come in companies where this process mindset is far from natural. These companies may be having another ERP system, but it is also possible that these companies are using SAP as their ERP system. It is very well possible, as I found out recently, that the companies who have already been using SAP for many years still do not have a process organization!
Mind blowing but true. Business processes and everything connected to the ERP system are still seen as something of the IT department. As for me, from my perspective each business process, whether it is automated or not, is completely in the realm of the business. That’s why it is called a “business” process after all.
If business processes are seen as IT stuff, this results in the assumption that IT is responsible for the process, the data and the system. Of course, this gives IT superpowers, but also a huge, unbearable responsibility.
To choose for a business process mindset takes courage and gives a huge idea of freedom, but only if you choose to step into the business process mindset.
But how to change to this mindset? How do you bring the business process mindset to an organization or 'to-the-business' or even to yourself?
To begin with, somebody has to tell you about it. You must have heard about it to become aware of the fact that things like business processes exist. That they have place in an organization and what that place is.
When you are aware of business processes it takes some courage and a little extra effort in the beginning to start moving from that standpoint. You will start understanding that a business process has a beginning and an end. That each step in a business process is an activity you, a machine, a computer or a collegue is doing. Mostly the end of a business process is on the customer side. The goods are delivered or the customer has expressed its content.
The beginning of a business process is on the supplier side. A business process crosses departement boundaries. For sure. The only aim it has is to do something to support the organizations strategy. And mostly that means that it serves eiter a customer or another strategic stakeholder.
You have to accept that you are not in control of the business process. You can only control your own part and make that as fitting as possible. Because you cannot control, you also do not run a risk being made responsible for somehting you cannot control.
You must dare to show vulnerability and you must dare to take a stand. This new way of thinking may even be that you will have to let go of the perception of control. That you have to take risks.
It is, I can tell you, a calculated risk. If you've taken the risk and look back, you will see that is wat not a risk at all. I would have been a risk to stay in the old mindset. Because then you will understand that it has been worth it. I know it. It is worth it to think in terms of improvement, doing better. Everything thought, every feeling, every action in order to become the best is worthwhile.