Every organization with some minimum structure, has a set of processes that they use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, most of these processes are not documented anywhere, and only exist in informal e-mails, spreadsheets, and memos.
What would happen if a business managed to formalize these processes so that they could be analyzed and improved?
There would be a number of benefits:
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* It would get a better overall picture of the organization of the business.
* It would uncover ways to rationalize and improve this organization.
* It would make the know how of the business more independent of its employees. Employees that leave or are transferred could have their tasks documented so that others could benefit from their experience.
* It would make a certification process significantly easier.
* It would reduce costs.
So why don’t businesses already do this?
There are a few reasons, but the most important one is the cost.:
* Software licenses (several thousand dollars at least)
* Training employees to use the tool
* IT infrastructure (servers, network maintenance, backups, etc …)
* IT personnel
* Process modeling consultants (in-house or outsourced)
What if all this were different though?
* If a software license cost approximately $100 a month
* If a system were so intuitive and easy to use that employees could train themselves
* If there were no new IT infrastructure needed
* If there were no IT personnel needed
* If there were an existing database of business processes, categorized by industry (pharmaceuticals, textiles, agriculture, etc …) and department (finance, operations, human resources, etc …) that allowed an organization to find, modify and use existing templates.
I think the culture of many businesses doesn’t encourage people to use these types of tools, but their high cost is a big part of what prevents this culture from developing. I think that if the cost obstacle were removed, these software tools would be quickly incorporated into the business culture, just as we saw happen with CRM systems, accounting software, the internet and other tools.