The business process assessment is a tool used to reveal business process improvement opportunities. Many times companies have business process challenges that go undetected like termites invading the frame of a home. The termites proliferate and cause more and more damage as time goes on and you may not be aware until it is too late! It isn't until you get inside the walls to find that real irreparable damage has occurred. Just like it is important to have your home checked every so often for termite invasion it is important to have your business checked as well.
We recommend the following steps to perform a business process assessment:
- Create a business process project management committee by selecting one member from each department of your company so every part of your company is represented.
- Nominate a business process project management committee leader to manage the progress.
- Develop a comprehensive business process analysis document to measure and assess the existing business processes. This can be achieved by asking a series of questions applicable to the individual departments and assigning a weight to each question answered. The business process assessment can reveal "bottlenecks" within a particular department that are hindering the growth and efficiency of the business.
- Define your milestone and project projections. Prepare a project time line.
- Compare your current IT, accounting functionality against your needs and business process assessments. Create a matrix comparing each business process need against the capable functionality of your internal personnel and accounting, human resource, customer-relationship-management systems.
- Prepare a simple checklist to visualize whether your business process challenges are human related or software related.
- If the business process challenges are human related than it may just be a matter of training. If the challenges are software related and can not be addressed with your current systems in place you may realize return-on-investment by replacing your dysfunctional software systems.
- Prepare a simple checklist request for proposal and submit it to the paired down list of vendors. It is important to keep this simple, some vendors will not fill out lengthy requests for proposals especially if there is an independent software consultant involved.
- Request product demonstrations. Invite the RFP respondents who checked off the requirements meeting your needs to demonstrate their accounting system, human resource system, customer relationship management system etc.