The Process Audit
Business has embraced process management as a way of life. New and controversial when I first described the concept 17 years ago in the pages of this magazine (see �Reengineering Work: Don�t Automate, Obliterate,� HBR July�August 1990), the process-based approach to transformation is now used routinely by enterprises all over the world. Few executives question the idea that redesigning business processes�work that runs from end to end across an enterprise�can lead to dramatic enhancements in performance, enabling organizations to deliver greater value to customers in ways that also generate higher profits for shareholders. In virtually every industry, companies of all sizes have achieved extraordinary improvements in cost, quality, speed, profitability, and other key areas by focusing on, measuring, and redesigning their customer-facing and internal processes.
Sadly, however, casualties litter the road. Since 2000, I have personally observed hundreds of companies try to rejuvenate themselves by creating or redesigning business processes. In spite of their intentions and investments, many have made slow or little progress. Even businesses that succeeded in transforming themselves have found the endeavor arduous and harrowing. All change projects are tough to pull off, but process-based change is particularly difficult. Contrary to widespread assumptions, [Read more…]