Project management, transformation and operation
Case studies
Trainer profiles

Yes, processes are strategic levers!

by Technologia
Yes, processes are strategic levers!

How important are processes within companies? Most of the time, they are relegated to secondary roles, oscillating between formalities and regulatory requirements. Yet processes play a central role in the success of organizations. It's time to change our perspective and recognize the untapped potential of these often underestimated mechanisms.

Processes, often regarded as mere mechanisms, may well be the fundamental thread and link between all an organization's other assets. By relegating them to the status of mere formalities, we risk missing out on exceptional opportunities. In other words, let's no longer think of them as mandatory tasks, but rather as essential contributors to organizational efficiency and customer experience.

We summarize the main points of an in-depth article published last December in HEC Montréal's Gestion magazine.

A strategic key to competitiveness

Processes, although often strategically grouped together, are frequently underestimated. By recognizing and fully exploiting their potential, companies can not only increase their operational efficiency, but also strengthen their competitive position in the marketplace. At a Project Management Institute (PMI) conference in 2004, Professor Kam Jugdev of Athabasca University in Alberta proposed a cross-cutting definition of the notion of "strategic asset". She states that "a company's strategic assets are heterogeneous sets of resources that are valuable, rare, inimitable and organizationally focused". This definition fits perfectly with the very essence of what an organization's processes are (or should be!).

A vision for managers to master

Understanding the purpose of processes is essential for managers. Process architecture modeling, combined with performance analysis, provides a crucial perspective for achieving strategic objectives. This understanding goes beyond mere visual representation; it's a concrete lever for optimizing operations, identifying opportunities for improvement and innovation, thus reinforcing operational efficiency and agility in the face of market challenges. But what can be done?

We suggest four courses of action to get you off to a good start in your reflection on strategic processes:

1. Model your process architecture

By mapping your processes, you'll be able to help your teams and yourself visualize the flow of your product or service. For example, a company can better understand the steps in its delivery process, and identify blockages or unnecessary detours.

2. Performance analysis

Setting up performance indicators is important to determine which parameters will be analyzed in order to judge a level of performance. To take the example of delivery to point 1, a company could evaluate the delivery time from point A to point B, and try to reduce this time as much as possible.

3. Optimize processes to improve efficiency and customer experience

Customer satisfaction should be the key focus of process planning. That said, it's important to remember that these processes must be constantly optimized in order to maintain customer satisfaction and performance in line with the expectations initially set. The study takes as an example the giant Amazon and its "Prime" service, where deliveries must be made the very next day after an order is placed. A tour de force that requires continuous adjustments.

4. Raising quality and efficiency for sustainable profitability

The quality and efficiency of a product or service are the foundation of a company's profitability and sustainability.

"The success of employees often stems from the quality of the processes in which they evolve" Caroline Ménard, President, Brio Boutique de management

In this context, establishing a culture of continuous improvement where common principles for testing, learning and improving are shared will be highly beneficial for the future.

In conclusion

Are processes just mechanisms? If they are thought through with a real intention to optimize a company's operations and improve the customer experience, they become genuine strategic tools. The customer experience becomes the pillar around which the first principles of continuous improvement are built. And, as this HEC Montréal research shows, it's a safe bet that profitability and sustainable performance will follow.

To find out more :

Process mapping: visualize to optimize

Similar articles

See all our articles