Why it is necessary to map and model business processes as part of the implementation of a new information system

Why it is necessary to map and model business processes as part of the implementation of a new information system

When ordering a new information system, we logically expect from it and require it to help us meet our strategic goals and increase our company’s productivity. Even worse is if when find that, instead of higher productivity, the newly implemented system slows us down and complicates our routine work. If you ask how this is possible, quite often it is a case of a very trivial mistake, but one which has far-reaching consequences. The problem arises at the outset by underestimating it, or due to the complete absence of any analysis of the company’s processes, which would be helpful in designing solutions and subsequent adjustments to business processes in order to achieve maximum efficiency. An important fact that is often overlooked is the actual role of the information system within the company. The main activity of the IS lies in the support of well-established business processes - the idea that by deploying a new IS you will solve existing problems is odd.

If we want to avoid this problem, it is good to take into account the need to analyse business processes from the very beginning. If we want to achieve maximum efficiency, it will be ideal to divide this analysis into three parts: As-IS, To-Be, and after the implementation phase. Although there are differing opinions on when to begin the analysis, we at Cleverbee believe that the sooner it gets going, the better. The output from the first part of the analysis can be an important part and a well of information in part of the design itself. It is too late to start creating the As-Is model before the start of implementation, after the solution has been designed. Let us therefore describe what the individual phases represent.

The first, very important part, is the aforementioned As-is model. In this phase, it is necessary to look at current business processes. The goal of this phase is to perfectly get to know the issues that the company is dealing with, but also how the company works and resolves the problem that it has set out to resolve. Without this knowledge, it is very difficult to design an information system. Very often we come across requirements and ideas about a new information system from management, but these ideas can often be very distant from their subordinates, who will be the ones interacting with the provided solution. It is therefore necessary to understand what is possible and how end users will work with the provided system, and whether the new information system will potentially delay them.

We are now in the phase where we have the As-is analysis ready and we are working on the design of the solution. Now is the perfect time to look at the findings and start mapping them to the proposed implementation. But that’s not all. We already have enough information to begin streamlining procedures, designing new ones, cancelling old ones and modifying the necessary ones. The aim of these modifications is to ensure that the processes are optimized so that they are in accordance with the provided solution and thus achieve the required and expected results. In addition, many simpler problems can be resolved more efficiently and at a lower cost by adjusting business processes than by using an information system. As mentioned above, the system is not a solution to the problem, but rather a tool to support well-designed processes. We will enter all the above-mentioned modifications into the To-be model, which represents the proposed future state.

Although it may seem that everything will be finished when the implementation is provided, it is ideal to carry out the final phase, in which we analyse the real processes within the company after the deployment of the new information system. Often only a part of the adjustments is transferred into practice, and it is therefore appropriate to find out what efficiency has actually been achieved and how to make it even more effective with minor adjustments. This simply comes down to fine-tuning the details and small-scale problems associated with optimization. This is therefore not a remake of a system that does not work due to differences in process and technical design

So, what does this all mean? If you really want to achieve improvement and real results, you need to not be afraid to analyse business processes. This is the only way to provide a system that has a real chance to improve something and thereby support correctly-configured business processes. Don’t be afraid and feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you with an analysis of your business processes in order to achieve your strategic goals.