Business Flows Release 4 Available Now

Business Flows Release 4

Since our last release in July 2018, we have reflected on our project experience and customer feedback and spent the last several months improving Business Flows once again. From our experience in Business Transformation and process design initiatives, it is clear is that an End to End (E2E) perspective fosters operational excellence. The principle is to iteratively define a standard set of processes and (re)use these in various combinations to reflect all operational varieties in the business flows.

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For the sake of ‘house-keeping’ this set of (unique) processes requires a structured view on the process inventory. This is typically accomplished in a repository by sorting the processes into process groups according to functional criteria.

We, frankly speaking, didn’t publish the process groups until now, as we didn’t want to distract from the core E2E focus of Business Flows.

Using Business Flows in various customer situations has shown that a reference model for the functional grouping of processes as well as a structured repository (defining the business process master list, BPML) is of great benefit.

We are, therefore, happy to announce that we have updated our published architecture and conventions in order to bring you another perspective to Release 4 of our Best Practice Reference Model: Process Groups.   

Process Groups

The introduced process groups are structured according to the SCOR top-level entry structure. Leaning on this widely used framework simplifies initial orientation for process experts with various backgrounds without limiting us to functional silo thinking.

Our Process Groups cluster individual processes in a functional representation similar to operational departments. For example, within the Customer Relationship Management functional group you will find a collection of processes for strategically shaping the relationships and interactions of an organization with existing and potential customers, including planning and execution of campaigns, gathering and qualification of leads, and the generation and distribution of marketing materials. Our classified functional building blocks offer a streamlined approach to gather the relevant business experts to review, adapt, and agree the reference model according to their business operations. In this sense, the combination of the Process Library and E2E view accelerate adapting operational processes to support company strategy. 

We adopted established SCOR framework terminology across the supply chain: source, make, store, sell, and service and extend it by design, plan, service, integrated management system, enterprise management, and quality & compliance management. 

Figure 1: Process Library

Figure 1: Process Library

In addition to providing a functional view on processes, the process groups also allow us to accommodate for stand alone processes that do not typically map to an E2E process such as generation of reports, modification of sales order or purchase orders, or maintenance of Master Data processes that needs to be included in a comprehensive BPML.

With the introduction of the process groups, we have taken the initiative to replace the generic departments on the level 2 processes with the respective process group allocation indicating functional responsibility.  This decision was made to incorporate feedback on frictions when customers were mapping the reference content to their individual organizations and corresponding role definition and naming.

Figure 2: E2E Scenario - Inbound Logistics

Figure 2: E2E Scenario - Inbound Logistics

As I write this the team has started working working on the next release of Business Flows where we will provide you with new E2E domains including Forecast to Plan (F2Pl) and Hire to Retire (H2R) with their respective process groups covering Human Resources, Sales and Operations Planning and others.

We are curious to receive your feedback and why not discuss the new concept and content live at our customer event in September - so save the date and come to exchange on how business transformation is a capability, not a project!

In case you want to have a closer look at our reference content, feel free to get yourself a free trail.

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