<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1907245749562386&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Leonardo Blog

Why Measure Process Performance?

All Posts

Why Measure Process Performance?


Ultimately, the aim of any business is to deliver on customers and stakeholders performance expectations, be it profit, market share, customer satisfaction or compliance – anything that will gain competitive advantage and add value to the organisation. Typically, a number of key measures are used to report on and manage the delivery of that performance. Too often, however, those measures only represent part of the picture.

Process-based management is built on the unders

tanding that functional silos, in themselves, cannot deliver value. It is the cross-functional flow of activities – business processes – that result in product or service delivery. Organisations that are aware of this align their processes to their strategic intent, measure the performance of the strategic processes, and are invariably in a better position to manage delivery on customer and stakeholder expectations. With that in mind, it becomes clear that organisational measures alone will not provide sufficient information to allow output-oriented management.

The reality is that only a handful of organisations measure process performance. Most are proficient at using some form of Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard, but often it only includes functional measurements. The process dimension receives limited attention, to the detriment of overall performance management.

Improvement projects tend to include process measurements – fewer problems, savings, cost reductions, increased productivity, increased customer satisfaction, improved cycle times, etc. – but these often have a very narrow focus. End-to-end measurement of processes that deliver value to the organisation’s stakeholders is not common.

If we consider cross-functional processes to be the only way to deliver value to our customers - and we want to be in a position to convince others of that - quantifiable evidence is essential.

  • Measuring process performance allows an understanding of cross-functional performance, and the contribution of each department or unit to the end result.
  • Organisations execute their strategic intent via their business processes. How could you ensure that you are aligned to your strategic objectives if you do not measure business process performance?
  • Process measurement enables prioritisation. Which processes are critical to achieving the objectives? How are they currently performing? What is the target performance, and what is the potential for improving process performance? Only measures can provide tangible criteria to judge which processes to focus on.
  • The simple act of measuring process performance often drives improvement. People become aware of what is expected, and can pinpoint where action is required for non-performing processes.
  • Over time, measurement will highlight performance trends. This enables the business to plan and prepare (e.g. contract additional staff during high volume periods). Without reliable data, managers will find it difficult to justify additional expenditure for these events.
  • The capability range of a process becomes clear through measurement. It is possible to expect the impossible from a process – complete innovation may be required to deliver on expected performance targets.
  • A balanced set of process performance measures will uncover problems – these are opportunities for improvement.
  • End-to-end process performance measurement allows you to manage risk.
  • Measuring process performance changes behaviour; the aim would be to ensure you are positively affecting behaviour. What is measured is important, as well as agreement on the target performance. We’ve all heard the saying ‘you get what you measure’. Salesmen are typically assessed and incentivised on the number of sales a month, not complete, correct paperwork. To drive sales and turnaround time, they may cut corners when completing detail forms. As a result, the delivery people are perceived as inefficient - they are forced to consult the customer several times to get a complete set of information. Throughput time increases and customer satisfaction decreases. This highlights the importance of a truly end-to-end process focus when defining measures.

In essence, we are blindsiding ourselves if we continue to only measure functional performance.

Download Why Measure Process Performance? Paper


Lida Du Plesis
Lida Du Plesis
Lida joined Leonardo Consulting after five years as Process Analyst in the Credit Card industry at major banks in South Africa and Switzerland. Through her background in Information Technology and diverse experience in the industries of Banking, Publishing, Personnel Management and now Mining, Lida has a unique mixture of skills to align strategy, technology and operations. Her experience spans the complete Business Process Management lifecycle; from definition, documentation and maintenance of an ARIS database of core processes to the implementation of process cost management tools which support corporate efficiency and drive continuous improvement. This includes operation wide capacity planning based on well-defined cost, volume, time and utilisation measures to support Activity Based Costing.

Related Posts

UST Acquires Leading Australian Process Transformation Company Leonardo

UST Acquires Leading Australian Process Transformation Company Leonardo - Strategic acquisition further strengthens UST’s position in the dynamic ANZ market Melbourne, Australia, 21 February 2024:UST, a leading digital transformation solutions company, has announced the strategic acquisition of Leonardo, a leading provider of business process improvement, automation, and integration services in the ANZ region. The acquisition by UST will empower Leonardo to expand its market reach and enhance its service offerings for clients, combining Leonardo's in-depth process expertise with UST's technology leadership, digital transformation capabilities, and global credentials, and strengthening UST's position in the Australian market.

How to Present Business Process Models to Stakeholders

Has an audience member ever interrupted in the middle of a presentation about process analysis to ask, “Can you show us the process models in a simple PowerPoint slide?” – or, ”I don’t want to look at the green and purple boxes, just show me the flow!” Perhaps you then felt that you had wasted some of your efforts in modelling the process with too much detail or in the wrong way. Embarrassed and demoralised, you must have wondered how else could these models be presented. Well, you are not alone! This is a common dilemma when there is a need to present process models to a variety of audiences. There is both art and science in presenting the right level of process detail to the right group of stakeholders, especially if they are not familiar with the process modelling language. Effective presentation is even more critical in larger and complex end-to-end process improvement work and in new automated business model implementations. You may need to use multiple model types to describe the same business processes to various audiences. Hence, it is very important to understand who the stakeholders are and what they would like to see before your audience with them. This article proposes an approach to the effective presentation of business process models based on three key elements: understand, organise, and communicate.

What Are The Most Important Questions In Business Process Management?

She who dies with the most answers wins. We seek the truth. We want to know the answers. Paul Harmon started me thinking recently when he invited members of the BPTrends Discussion group on LinkedIn to “describe the purpose of Business Process Management in 160 characters, including spaces and punctuation.” Not easy to do – have a go at it yourself. It felt like I was crafting The Ultimate BPM Answer, which, of course, begged The Ultimate BPM Question. That got me thinking that The Ultimate BPM Problem is that we have plenty of answers and not enough questions. So put all the answers aside for a moment and help me to work out what are the most important questions in Business Process Management?