A report in the Wall Street Journal opens with the claim that “Leading firms share a common characteristic: they continually find clever ways to improve the process of process improvement”. The article goes on to explain how these companies are using a “process center of excellence” to keep their internal processes in check. But what is it and why should you create one?
What is a process center of excellence?
To reach the ultimate goal of process excellence, you need to commit to ongoing process improvement across the entire organization. To bring about the culture change required, you will need one common area from which to manage your approach. This is what we will call the process center of excellence.
This has become even more important during the age of remote and hybrid working. With your workforce strung between the office and remote locations, your processes are no doubt also being stretched and tested to their limits. As you drive digital transformation to facilitate these new ways of working, process management and automation should play a vital role.
A process center of excellence can bring everyone together and will provide the leadership, framework, and culture change needed to take your business forward.
The role of process mapping
Creating a process center of excellence gives you a breadcrumb trail for continuous process improvement. One of the first goals should be to introduce and establish the art of process mapping to improve visibility over the current state of processes. This way, the team can strategize, lead the change, and make more informed decisions about how processes can be improved.
Process mapping provides a complete picture of all your internal processes. From there you can begin to build a culture of continuous improvement while providing a transparent view of how each team in your organization functions. With the ability to assess what works and what doesn’t, it allows leaders to learn from the limitations of older processes and streamline future ones.
The idea of the center of excellence is to help encourage all departments to get involved in process improvement. But you can only achieve that if processes are mapped and easily understood by everyone.
How to create a process center of excellence
Here are some important steps to get your center up and running and to begin to improve the process of process improvement.
- Find a leader
Assign a ‘process leader’, someone who is happy to keep your journey into process excellence on track. This often works best when you assign someone who is already relatively senior in your company. The higher up they are, the fewer roadblocks they’ll encounter in your journey to process excellence.
- Start process mapping
Mapping out processes doesn’t just give you a better idea of how things work, it also allows you to identify weaknesses and puts the framework in place for process automation where needed.
- Set up a process management framework
When you’re creating a process center of excellence, you’ve got a decision to make: will there be one central process manager who maps out every department’s processes? Or will you designate process mapping to team leads who might have more insight into their team’s approaches?
- Communicate changes
The reason you are building a center of excellence for processes in the first place is because you want to manage change more effectively. The aim is to help the company adapt to process changes, so these changes need to be communicated clearly. Employees should know exactly how to communicate important information about their processes, as well as where to look for new updates.
- Focus on the individual
Your organization is the result of many people working in unison, towards a common goal. Each of your employees’ work processes has an impact on the success of your company, so their process mapping is hugely important. Introduce process mapping practices to new starters and continue a culture of process management through regular reviews.
How Nintex can help you create a process center of excellence
At Nintex we believe a process center of excellence should follow a three-step approach: manage, automate, and optimize. Nintex is the most complete platform for process automation available, providing the tools to carry out all three of these stages. This begins with Nintex Promapp—an easy-to-use visual process mapping software to encourage company-wide collaboration and accountability.
Nintex supports the process management and automation efforts of some of the world’s biggest companies in the FTSE 500. Now we’ve developed a guide that gives you the tools you need to start building your own process center of excellence, which you can download today.
To learn more about how Nintex can help your organization build a process center of excellence, get in contact with the Nintex team today.