Process Transformation: How Do You Get it Right? Part I

We spent last week talking about how we drive technological advances, because it’s one of the critical three T’s of Supply Management success, with the other two being talent and transition to better processes. The big C’s call this “process transformation” and each of these (including, but not limited to PwC, Accenture, Hackett [Archstone], etc.) claims to have the best advice [for a price] to help you along your best in class journey.

PwC, for example, offers you a comprehensive approach to IT-enabled business transformation that combines:

  • an integrated design model,
  • “Right-sourcing” the delivery model,
  • Transforming the operating mode,
  • Driving [the] organization for change,
  • Managing technology choices, and
  • Defining a value capture plan

in order to help your organization optimize

  • business process fitness,
  • program value realization,
  • enterprise resource planning, and
  • customer relation management.

and do this through a four step framework centered around

  1. strategic alignment of cost structure and investments,
  2. end-to-end process redesign to isolate complexity and defect sources,
  3. a functional business architecture to align capabilities, organization, processes, and technology, and a
  4. continuous improvement culture.

But is this what you need? Is this even close to what you need? Heck, can you even understand what they are saying? In fact, can you easily tell the difference between this and a four step framework that:

  1. pursues performance based infrastructures while endeavoring to globally embrace interdependent data,
  2. operationalizes virtual meta-services while dramatically recontextualising functional paradigms,
  3. embraces paradigm-shift services while pursing business methods of team empowerment, and
  4. implements market-driven methods in order to continue to competently coordinate low-risk high-yield technology platforms.

If you look closely, they both look for alignment (with the cost structure in the first case and the market in the second case); they both focus on improving the functional business architecture (called paradigm in the second case); they both look for continuous improvement (called team empowerment in the second case); and they both look for a drastic end-to-end transformation (called paradigm shifting services in the second case).

So what’s the difference? The first is the process description almost verbatim from PwC‘s website. The second, 4 of 8 randomly generated mission statements from (which seems to have replaced the now-defunct Dilbert Mission Statement Generator. (Gone, but not forgotten!)

So is this what you need? Maybe, but first you need to understand WHAT you need.