A CFO for Business Process Management?
What is business process management?
Gartner defines business process management (BPM) as:
“…the discipline of managing processes (rather than tasks) as the means for improving business performance outcomes and operational agility. Processes span organizational boundaries, linking together people, information flows, systems and other assets to create and deliver value to customers and constituents.” (*)
BPM is a professional discipline performed by skilled persons, whereas a BPM tool is a type of software, machine or app…..designed to assist the BPM professionals to reach their goals.
How important is it to implement the right BPM tool?
Every business has a different set of activities that will accomplish a specific organizational goal. With modern technology advancement, especially in the cloud, there has never been a better time to consider taking one of the BPM tools that will make workflow more efficient, effective and capable of adapting to an ever-changing business environment.
Selecting and implementing the right BPM tool for your business:
The CFO is responsible for the financial health of the company. This covers everything from keeping track of the workflows and operating expenses to compiling data for taxation and other compliance obligations. The CFO is also responsible for implementing investment strategies to ensure future growth. It is because the CFO is so deeply involved in all fiscal aspects of the business, that they are uniquely placed to design and optimize business processes and of course to evaluate the relevant BPM tools.
Given their unique position in the company, the CFO understands both where the company is today and where it is going. This is crucial to the redesign of the BPM system. The CFO is an essential participant in the process of evaluating BPM products and the likely interaction of these with the recommendations of IT consultants. The initial aim of the CFO is to present a schematic model of what is desired and how this can be matched against existing technologies. Always, the company’s long-term market position is a key concern.
The CFO is also ideally positioned to assess the costs of retooling the BPM system, including the opportunity cost of doing nothing.
The CFO has the extensive experience in metrics and analytics fundamental to measuring business performance. By these analyses, companies can identify a BPM tool that contributes to simplified, standardized and optimized business processes.
Perhaps, most importantly, the CFO is uniquely placed to ensure that the new BPM process is consistent with the vision and philosophy of the company. This is particularly important during the implementation phase where there will inevitably be some resistance to change. If employees can readily appreciate that what is being proposed is an extension of a tried and true approach that will benefit all in the company, things are likely to go much more smoothly to more value-added services.
The CFO will need to engage both employees and managers in the BPM process, ensuring that it ties in with the overall business strategy. The CFO is vital to and integral to the BPM process.
Once a company has redesigned its new business processes, it has to ensure that the people most affected by the change are committed to making the change happen and that everyone in the company accepts the new processes. The CFO with the knowledge of every aspect of the business and good relationships with the people will be a key agent of change.
(*) Gartner. “Business process management (BPM)”