Design consistent, streamlined business processes to leverage new technologies, new systems.Key benefits:
The importance of redesigning business processes and managing change to support new technologies is frequently underestimated, as are the associated costs. Failure to rethink business processes as part of system replacement is one of the leading reasons why organizations do not achieve user acceptance or return on technology investments. Organizations must structure new processes to support good controls and predictability and take advantage of technological improvements, while ensuring the processes are flexible enough to respond to changing requirements.
Under this initiative, business process redesign will go hand-in-hand with all major system replacement projects. Changes to business processes may be possible even before the new systems are in place. The focus will be on designing consistent, streamlined business processes that fully leverage new system technologies and capabilities. This approach also will drive development of a culture of ongoing business process improvement and collaboration to develop best practices. In addition, business process redesign will focus on reexamining processes to ensure that they support strategic goals efficiently and effectively. At the UW, business processes supporting finance, procurement, and HR/payroll functions in particular have developed over many years and include work-arounds to compensate for the limited functionality of the legacy systems. These processes must be redesigned in order to leverage new technologies.
Some examples of future redesign efforts might include:
- New financial data entry processes: Currently, many departments require administrative staff to enter summary data into the central financial systems and then re-enter additional data into shadow systems to accurately capture project details, accruals, and other information to support internal reporting needs. New financial systems will enable users to enter detailed financial data and get the full range of financial reporting they need. Users will be able to redesign current processes to enter data only once, which will reduce redundant and conflicting data and ensure that one source of information can be used for multiple levels of reporting.
- New automated workflow processes: Contemporary systems now support automated workflow, electronic documents, and online approvals. These capabilities will reduce paperwork and improve efficiency and tracking. User processes can be redesigned to take maximum advantage of defined roles, responsibilities, escalation, and document storage and retrieval rules in order to streamline workflow, reduce paperwork, support full tracking of approvals, and make source documents available to all who need them.
- Streamlined business rules: With new systems, business rules can be captured online. These rule-based systems help ensure compliance and remove the guesswork for new users. The current systems significantly limit the ability to enter and edit online rules. As a result, manual processes and controls have been developed. With the new rules-based systems, many of the manual processes can be eliminated or streamlined, allowing managers to focus on exception reporting.