Process modeling as a change measure in SAP projects
A new and promising acquisition by SAP was announced last week. The startup Signavio is now part of SAP. Signavio offers web-based solutions in process modeling and management, process monitoring and shared editing of process diagrams. In other words, Signavio is already “Cloud-ready”. We in the Change Management department at Nagarro ES are very much looking forward to this development, as “Business Process Modeling and Notation” (BPMN) is already effectively assisting us in SAP projects. And not just in terms of technical implementation. The visualization of how the individual processes currently flow often has a significant impact on the common understanding of how each individual process fits into the business process. Ambiguities between departments arising from misunderstandings or a lack of communication can be resolved this way. Such process models can also significantly help with change projects by making the benefit of planned process changes transparent and visually accessible to employees through actual vs. target comparisons.
Our expert Hans-Joachim Kröger, who works in knowledge sharing using BPMN at Nagarro ES, has summed up our experience with process modeling in SAP projects as follows:
“Modeling BPMN diagrams together brings together all of the stakeholders of the business processes and provides motivation, because truly healthy and sustainable optimization of routine activities in a company must come primarily from the people who work with them each day, whether it’s invoice verification, procurement, financial accounting, out in the branch office, in the warehouse, etc.
With BPMN the focus is on the person, who can use the system to make decisions efficiently. With BPMN2.0 we can now go beyond the boundaries of the company as well. Because of the greater UX (User Experience) and Design Thinking orientation of modern, successful organizations, with BPMN2.0 all participating partners are included in business processes. In addition to suppliers, the customers of our customers will ideally also be fully included in designing optimized process designs. With regard to the tool, I learned about Signavio 7 years ago and came to appreciate it as the only one that fully implements the BPMN2.0 standard. Signavio values collaborative process design, as it was a joint development with the Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam”.
With BPMN it is possible to capture complex processes in a clear and coherent visual representation. Because we are regularly confronted with the challenge of creating a shared understanding between IT and the business areas, process modeling is helpful to us as a strong translation tool in the common language between IT and the individual business areas. We would not likely be able to manage such a clear and transparent description of the individual processes in common languages without the modeling structures of Signavio.
In our experience with SAP S/4HANA projects, work areas have to be structured in a more process-oriented way to create added value. Often this requires a whole new way of thinking from staff who have to learn something new. BPMN helps us in deepening a cross-process understanding in the work areas and establishing a basis for the competence that follows. Only by allowing your staff to internalize the basic principle and benefits of a new work process will staff be able to engage with the learning process and training.
What are your experiences with process modeling? And what other possible applications do you envision?