Nintex recently sponsored a virtual event at the OPEX Week Live event January, which was billed as the Top Business Transformation Summit.
A major topic of conversation at this momentous event was understanding how the Operational Excellence Community had fared under the limitations and issues presented by the pandemic. Change was forced on us at an enormous pace, with companies quickly shifting their workforce to operate remotely, but still expected to hit normal KPIs.
With a quick glance at the agenda, it’s clear terms like “the new normal,” “remote working,” and “during COVID times” appeared at an overwhelming rate. This comes to show that organizations have found common ground finding solutions to an overwhelming challenge.
Below are two reoccurring themes that resonated with our experiences at OPEX Week Live.
Digital disruption and operational resilience
Simply put, COVID-19 forced many organizations into the new way of working, and this meant an acceleration in digital transformation efforts. People that hadn’t needed remote access suddenly needed to be equipped to work from their homes. Organizations needed to shift their hardware distribution processes to deliver laptops and desktop to people’s homes.
Organizations were forced to scramble to adapt processes for remote working, invest in the right technology, and find ways to support people that were no longer allowed to meet in person.
The impact changed operational models overnight, without the luxury of taking time to design these processes in a workshop. The aim was to keep the business running when we didn’t know what we were heading into.
Jasmine Ahmed, SVP, Global Finance Transformation, News Corp said that, “We should actually be taking a pause and asking ourselves do we have the right operating model to move forward,” if we have time to do so. But, with so many challenges during a global pandemic, this best practice could be seen as a bit of a luxury.
Digitalization isn’t enough
Part of the solution is removing the barriers or blockages from your processes and ensuring everyone is familiar with the new way of doing things. Digitizing your processes means mobile forms and digital signatures can allow employees to authorize purchases, contracts, and job offers wherever they may be to keep your work moving. But is that enough?
“Digitalization is not only about cool frontends, it is equally as much about processes and people behind it.”
– Kasper Rørsted, Adidias CEO
It’s important to fully embrace the modern way of working. A workplace culture needs to adapt and change to create a culture of process excellence. One can’t just expect a process to work well forever – it needs an owner, an avenue for team collaboration, and feedback in order to be kept relevant.
Implementing OPEX Live takeaways
Here at Nintex we truly believe in implementing a strong Process Culture within our own organization, and we have extensive experience in helping other organizations understand their processes and putting them in place.
Tools like Nintex Promapp® are a great start for documenting your processes, but that’s just scratching the surface. Embedding Process Excellence in every employee’s day-to-day activities is the only way the Process Culture will thrive.
One idea that stuck with me during this year’s OPEX Week was Cristian Matei from Advanced Thinking, suggesting that Operational Excellence should come with a user manual so people can really understand their part. Further still, Christian argued that it’s critical to line up job descriptions with that manual. This sits nicely with how Nintex thinks about Process Excellence.
So how had the OPEX community fared? Some might say it’s been a tough year for everyone, but Operational Excellence underpinned by people, process and technology has really been at the forefront of a lot of organizations, and this has given the community a lot to do. Process Excellence professionals have seen the importance of their role increase, and buy-in increase in order to accelerate digital transformations across their organizations.