A key value in utilizing pre- populated process designs in XRM dictionaries is that companies do not have to literally start with a blank sheet of paper when developing the process designs. They can start with the process framework that represents best practices and then ask, " what will we need to change to adapt this process design to our business and planning needs?" The approach of starting with a business process framework enables the process design to be completed in less time. Instead of the company's planners focusing on the administrative tasks involved in documenting the process design on a blank sheet of paper, they can focus on the critical thinking needed to ensure that the process design reflects what is needed to be successful. This critical thinking includes comparing current company practices to the best practice models and challenging the need for deviation. This approach produces a truly transformational design for the company as measured by its goals for process performance. The process of transformational design In developing the process designs, the company tasks internal teams to produce final process designs. In this case, the company has decided to re- engineer the master supply planning process using business process transformation framework ( BPTF) methodology. The company has arranged for outside expert help to guide their use of the BPTF methodology to develop the business process design. This methodology includes conducting redesign workshops, using a modeling tool called ValueScape. ValueScape consists of a pre- defined extensible resource model ( XRM) which contains industry best practices for integrated planning and control. These best practices are based on Oliver Wight's extensive experience over 40 years in developing process designs and on the best practice standards contained in the Oliver Wight Class A Checklist for Business Excellence, Sixth Edition. The process designs include integrated workflows, roles, responsibilities, and performance measurements in what is called an XRM model dictionary. The information in the dictionary is drawn upon as a baseline for the new design and applied to the specific nuances and needs for this company. Figure 1- Example of the extensible reference model ( XRM) dictionary JANUARY 10 www. bus- ex. com 9 Strategic management: The business process transformation framework
10 www. bus- ex. com JANUARY 10 The use of inside teams, facilitated by process experts utilizing the best practice templates, results in the delivery of accurate and transformational designs that meet the needs of the business. It is essential that the company's planners, rather than outside experts, develop the designs for these reasons: 1. To ensure understanding of the new designs ( because they will end up operating the process and the system). 2. To identify and accommodate truly different needs of the specific businesses ( these differences are usually less significant than originally thought). By addressing the differences within the context of the best practices contained in the XRM model, the solutions can readily be seen. Frequently, the solutions will simplify the process rather than building unneeded complexity into the design. In the authors' experience, the designs cannot be done effectively or efficiently by system integrators. But the design output provides clear direction to system integrators and better ensures that the system is configured to support the process design and business needs. The following illustrates how the framework supports accelerated design development while concurrently providing a formal baseline for on- going design maintenance. On- going maintenance includes managing the design knowledge database. Think of the process designs, as contained in a company's XRM model, as intellectual capital. As processes need to change to accommodate changing business needs, the model is updated. When people change positions or roles, they can refer to the company's XRM model to understand how the process is supposed to work, the process flow, roles and responsibilities, and performance measurements. The design process has as its foundation education of the design team on process best practices. This education is followed by design workshops, based upon the XRM dictionary, which includes an abundance of process reference information and process definition routines. These process building blocks are reusable, enabling design consistency across operating units and regions. The starting point for design consistency and consensus is a common understanding of process language and terms. Definitions for inputs and outputs of a process are included in the dictionary. These definitions facilitate building a common understanding of how the process needs to work. The XRM dictionary also includes the integration links between each step of the process and between processes ( such as demand and supply planning processes). These terms and definitions are also reusable and drive consistent use of information and data throughout the process. This consistency is a key element that prevents the building of processes that result in multiple sets of planning numbers, which are the enemy of true integration. All of these building blocks and definitions are linked to a best practices reference database. The best practices database enables process designers to quickly understand the attributes of best practices in the terms of process, behavior, and results. These best practices are also linked to the metrics necessary to manage the ongoing process in order to deliver specific business results. The desired business results are typically customer service targets and operational performance, such as cost and inventory investment. Starting with a best practice template for a master supply planning process, the design team embeds key process requirements in the new process model. The attributes defined in this new model include: . Process flows . Integrated policies, procedures, and practices . Definition of process roles and responsibilities . Input and output dependencies . Integrated metrics . Linkages to key external documents For international and multi- location companies, this design approach provides efficient scalability of the design to create region- specific processes grounded in best practice principles. It also allows for any differences between regions or strategic business units or even countries to be formally documented and maintained for future use in updating improved best practices or implementing new software capability. The ValueScape framework also provides graphical displays of key process information. This approach provides ease in training current and new users of the process. Studies continually show that even modern ERP systems are too dependent on one or a few individuals to operate because of design complexity, use of offline planning tools ( such as spreadsheets), and turnover of key individuals. Within ValueScape, the graphical tools available include: . Functional process lanes to provide visibility of cross- functional process inter- dependencies. . Process analysis capability, including determination of cycle time, dependencies and minimum inputs needed to produce an output.