The story of the business processes.
This is the second part of the story of business processes. The first part is here.
- So, I attended a conference, where they presented special software for controlling execution of business processes.
- Yeah, yeah, I heard about that.
- You install cameras and monitor what people are doing.
- Very handy!
- What? No!
- What are you talking about?
- Are you going to watch every person?
- How do you know they are doing something, not just sitting there?
- How do you know that they are doing it right?
- Well, I’ll invite those who are not working to my office, ask them, apply penalties, yell at them
- Then you are going to have to deal with each person on each matter.
- Think big.
- There is an easier way!
- I don’t know… Can you give me an example?
- For instance, I don’t like that we either lose invoices or pay them twice.
- Suppliers often call me and ask, when I am going to pay up, and I never even knew there were an invoice.
- That is because is has to be approved by other people and sometimes invoices get lost in the process. Sometimes we receive two invoices and pay them both.
- Can you tell me what to do
- Sure. Let’s draw up a process.
- So, what do you start with?
- How do you receive an invoice?
- They send invoices by fax or email to Jennifer.
- You know her?
- She is amazing!
- Yes, she is.
- But let’s stick to the point and draw the process.
- What does Jennifer do after receiving an invoice?
- I don’t know.
- Jennifer, could you come in please.
Jennifer entered the office.
- Could you tell us, why do we have invoice issues?
- How does it work?
- I receive an invoice by fax or email.
- Then I either go to the heads of departments to approve it or send the invoice by email.
- I often have to go to them two or three times because they’re out and I need their signatures on the invoice.
Meanwhile, John was modeling the process in his laptop.
- Then what?
- Well, they either sign it, or call to the suppliers to resolve issues and then bring the invoice to the accountants.
- It seems simple enough. Then why do we have problems?
- Things happen. Say, I put the invoice on the table of a department head, and they forgot about it.
- The supplier calls and demands money, and the department head is on a business trip.
- We pay the invoice and it turns out, that there were some issues with it we didn’t know about.
- In fact, I’ve been meaning to tell you.
- They don’t approve in time and the suppliers demand from me.
- The other day, one of them called, yelled at me and drove me to tears.
- It wasn’t my fault… I did everything right…
- There now, Jennifer.
- Don’t take it personally.
While Peter was comforting Jennifer, John has modeled a simple business process in a business process management system. Here is what he made:
- Here it is, the first process version.
- You can try it out
- How did you do it so quickly?
- It’s simple.
- Jennifer, let me show you how to make the process work without that much of your control.
- OK, what do we start with?
- Start the Pay Invoice process.
- The system sends you a task.
- When you open it, you see a simple form, where you attach the invoice and select the approver.
- I see, I’ll do it now.
- OK, it’s done.
- What’s next?
- Click Send for Approval and the task will be sent to the department heads.
- I don’t see how it’s different from email?
- We’ve done this before.
- It’s very different!
- In the system, you can set that the approval cannot take longer than a day. If the approver does not make it in time, the system sounds the alarm: it can send a notification or reassign the task to another person. You can even reduce the bonus, if a person does not complete tasks in time.
- That’s interesting. What if someone is on a business trip? How does it work then?
- There are mobile apps, which will notify you, if you have tasks.
- You can open the app and complete the task. As simple as that.
- Well, what do you think, Jennifer?
- Sounds interesting.
- I will definitely spend less time on controlling invoices and won’t have to work after hours.
- Thanks, pal, now it’s much clearer!
- By the way, where can I find more information about this software?
- I can give you a link to the free demo version
- You can try it on your PC right now
- Great! Thank you, John.
- We’ll try it out.
- Of course, it’s not hard. Well, I should go. I’ll come by soon.
- Sure, you’re always welcome.
John left Peter and Jennifer with thoughts of a bright future.
A month later, he visited Peter again…
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