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8 min read

Why SARA Methodology must precede software to avoid failures

In the age of technology, it is common for many companies to feel pressured to adopt the latest trends, however, in this article, we will explore why it is crucial that process design and analysis be established prior to the implementation of any technology.

Index

Technology and business efficiency

In a world where technology is increasingly integrated in the daily management of companies, it is imperative that they try to improve their processes by automating with platforms or systems, the advances that we have and are coming, no doubt, will be impressive and increasingly sought after, leaving us a mandatory use if we want to move forward and adapt.

There was a trend, which has become outdated, to automate everything possible indiscriminately. This mistaken point of view simply turned an old process, also ineffective and inefficient, with the only difference of a process that instead of people performing the activities, there were automated activities, it is here where the most important thing to emphasize is that the process design aims to produce quality deliveries, whether automated or not.

We will be based on the design and analysis of business processes as a fundamental discipline in the field of business management that goes far beyond the task of implementing software or systems. We must think in a holistic as well as strategic approach that seeks to optimize and improve the way an organization performs its activities to achieve its objectives. We will explain why process design and analysis are necessary, highlighting its importance in operational efficiency, informed decision making and adapting to a constantly changing business environment where corporate culture will be critical to the success of an implementation.

Facilitate tasks, automate, have high efficiency and productivity, are some of the terms that a software vendor uses when showing technological tools, but if we do not talk about a process design before implementing a software, the implementation of the system will not give us results, the only effect we will have, will not be more than a great disappointment to see that what was promised is not fulfilled.

Main objectives of process design and analysis

  1. Operational efficiency and cost reduction: The Operational Efficiency and Cost Reduction are two essential concepts in the analysis of business processes that have a significant impact on the profitability and competitiveness of an organization.

    Operational efficiency refers to a company's ability to carry out its operations optimally, minimizing the resources used and maximizing production or service delivery. In other words, it is about doing more with less. This involves identifying and eliminating any waste, whether in terms of time, human resources, materials or energy.

    An efficiently operating company can produce high-quality products or services more quickly and cost-effectively, which can lead to a competitive advantage in the market.


    Cost reduction, on the other hand, is directly related to the reduction of overhead in a company. This involves identifying areas where costs can be reduced without sacrificing quality or efficiency. These reductions can be applied to production costs, distribution costs, administrative costs, among others. This is a key strategy for improving profitability, especially in competitive economic environments or in situations of tight profit margins. By reducing costs, a company can improve its financial position, invest in growth and become more resilient to economic fluctuations.

    Overall, Operational Efficiency and Cost Reduction are interrelated aspects of business management, both of which seek to optimize available resources to maximize an organization's profitability and competitiveness.

    A detailed process analysis is essential to identify specific areas where operational efficiency and cost reduction strategies can be applied, which can have a positive impact on the long-term sustainability of the company, this involves identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, redundancies and unnecessary activities in business processes.

    By implementing this technique, a company can not only reduce costs, it will also result in accelerated product or service delivery and improved quality.

  2. Market competitiveness: In a highly competitive business environment, organizations must constantly look for ways to differentiate and stand out.
     
    Efficient process design enables companies to be more agile and respond effectively to changing market demands, giving them a competitive advantage. 

    We refer here to a company's ability to stand out and succeed in a highly competitive environment. This success is not limited solely to an entity's ability to sell its products or services, but encompasses a number of factors that influence its position and performance in the marketplace. It is an essential concept for the analysis of business processes, since it determines the long-term success of an organization in its sector.


  3. Informed Decision Making: It provides a deep insight into how an organization actually operates, rather than how it is supposed to operate.Making this point will enable business leaders to make informed decisions based on hard data rather than assumptions or intuition. It also provides a solid foundation for strategic planning.

    This process involves collecting, analyzing as well as using relevant data and knowledge of the process in question, its inputs, outputs, run times and other relevant parameters.Once the data has been collected, it is necessary to analyze it in depth, including techniques such as statistical analysis, mathematical modeling or trend analysis over time, aiming to identify patterns, trends or areas for improvement within the process.Decision making should include the comparison of costs, benefits, risks and potential effects on the process.


    It is important at this point that in addition to quantitative data, expert knowledge plays a crucial role in informed decision making. People with experience in the process can provide valuable information on factors that cannot be easily quantified, such as quality, safety or technical feasibility.

    What ensures success in informed decision making is communicating findings and options effectively to stakeholders. This may include decision makers, process workers and other relevant stakeholders. Consensus and collaboration is key to implementing successful process changes.

  4. Regulatory compliance: In many industries, there are strict regulations that organizations must comply with. Process design and analysis help ensure that business activities are aligned with current regulations, thereby reducing the risk of fines and legal penalties. Regulatory compliance is a critical consideration in process analysis because of its impact on the operation and long-term success of an organization.

    A process that does not comply with current regulations can expose the company to significant financial and legal risks. Therefore, it is essential to continuously identify and assess any gaps between current practices and legal requirements.

    In addition to legal aspects, regulatory compliance can also influence operational efficiency. Processes must be designed to comply with regulations without compromising productivity or product or service quality.Regulatory compliance management involves the implementation of clear policies and procedures, as well as constant monitoring to ensure compliance with regulations. This may include staff training, internal audits and updating processes in response to regulatory changes.

  5. Identification of potential changes: First, it is essential to identify and anticipate changes that could affect the process. This involves monitoring market trends, technological advances, government regulations and other external and internal factors that could generate transformations.

    Once potential changes have been identified, their impact on the process must be assessed. This includes considering how they could affect efficiency, quality, costs and other relevant aspects of the process.

    The following points are key to identifying changes:

    1. Flexibility and agility: Processes should be designed to be as flexible and adaptable as possible. This means avoiding unnecessary rigidities and establishing procedures that can be efficiently adjusted when necessary. Flexible process design and analytical capabilities enable companies to adjust to new circumstances, emerging technologies and market needs without significant disruptions to their operations.

    2. Communication and change management: Effective communication is essential to ensure that everyone involved in the process is aware of the planned changes and understands how these will affect their roles and responsibilities. Change management is key to minimizing resistance and ensuring a successful transition. It is important to provide the necessary training to employees to enable them to adapt to new processes or technologies. This may include training and skills development programs, and fostering an environment where employee feedback is encouraged and their ideas are listened to can be valuable in improving adaptation to change.

    3. Measurement and monitoring: Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be established to continuously assess the effectiveness of the adapted process. This allows identifying areas that require further adjustments and ensures that adaptation is an ongoing process.

    4. Risk analysis: It is also important to assess the potential risks associated with the changes. This involves considering potential obstacles, implementation failures and unintended consequences, and developing contingency plans in case problems arise.

  6. Continuous Improvement: Process design and analysis is not a one-time project, but a continuous cycle of improvement, based on the idea that there is always room for improvement and adaptation to changes in the business environment and customer needs. By adopting this approach, organizations can stay competitive and ensure that their processes are aligned with their strategic objectives. Organizations can apply methods such as continuous improvement (Kaizen) to constantly look for ways to optimize their operations and stay ahead in their industry.
  7. Customer satisfaction: Efficient process design can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction, which is at the center of any company or organization's attention, since a satisfied customer is more likely to maintain a long-term relationship, recommend products or services, and ultimately contribute to the company's success.

    In monitoring customer satisfaction we must take into account the following observations:

      1. Identifying expectations: Understanding customer expectations is the first step. This involves gathering information about what they expect, what aspects they value most, and what outcomes they want to achieve when interacting with the company.

      2. Tracking the customer experience: Monitoring and measuring the customer experience throughout the entire process is critical. This can include surveys, interviews, data analysis and direct feedback to get a complete picture of how customers feel at every stage.  

      3. Identifying pain points: Identifying times when customers may feel dissatisfied or experience difficulties is crucial. This may include delays, service errors or communication problems.

      4. Effective communication: Communication with customers also plays a vital role in satisfaction. Keeping customers informed about the status of their requests or orders, as well as providing channels for them to voice their concerns, can make all the difference.

In summary, if we do not define the objectives of the design and analysis of processes, our project to implement a software will be comparable to the navigation of a last generation boat without a route chart, without having defined ports, it will be nothing more than sailing aimlessly and with the latent danger of getting lost in spite of having the navigation tools that are at the forefront.

 

Importance of the process copy

SARA Methodology®

To define what process improvement is, techniques are used to evaluate the current processes in use, adapting them and explaining with our own methodology that we have named as Objective SARA the process to initiate the design and analysis:

  1. S - Simplify.
  2. A - Analyze.
  3. R - Reduce.
  4. A - Augmented productivity.

Simplify

It consists of carefully examining how tasks and activities are carried out within a workflow or system, look at the simplest of its operations to identify repetitive manual tasks and always aim to simplify operations for employees. Simplification is essential because it promotes clarity, efficiency, effective communication, more informed decision making and a better overall quality of life. 

Analyze 

We do not analyze with perceptions, we identify opportunities with data, this allows us to understand, evaluate and make informed decisions about a situation, problem or data set.Analysis helps to break down complex problems into more manageable components, which facilitates the identification of effective solutions. It also allows us to address the parallel causes of problems rather than simply treating the symptoms, as well as to reveal hidden patterns and trends in data that can be valuable for strategic decision making, identifying business opportunities and detecting anomalies or problems.

Reduce

Reduce should be based on:

  • Obtaining particular, measurable, non-subjective objectives with the result of percentage increase or decrease.
  • Create actions that make sense to each other, this set of activities should lead us to the fulfillment of the objectives set.
  • The credibility and coherence must be of all the personnel involved, since by reducing waste, processes will be modified, and if the personnel does not have the idea impregnated, the reduction will not be successful.
  • The focus should be on resolving obstacles during continuous improvement.
  • The reductions must give results in the short term, so that those involved see differences in the before and after implementation.

 

Design process copy

Augmented productivity 

Augmented productivity must start with a culture towards business productivity.

Identify your collaborators as chess pieces where you must know the operative form of each one of them.

The best ideas for improvement are in the processes, that is to say, in the people who work day by day in the positions, never leave them out in an innovation process.

In summary, process design and analysis are critical to the success and survival of organizations in today's business environment. It goes beyond software implementation, encompassing operational efficiency, competitiveness, decision making, regulatory compliance, change adaptation, continuous improvement and customer satisfaction. By taking a systematic approach to process design and analysis, companies can achieve optimal performance and stay ahead in an increasingly challenging and dynamic business world.

It is undeniable that software plays a crucial role in automating and improving processes in an organization. However, process design must be considered as fundamental and prior to the development or adoption of any software. This is because a sound process design provides a solid foundation for the success of the software and allows to take full advantage of its potential.

Good process design involves thoroughly understanding the organization's needs and objectives, identifying inefficiencies, clearly defining tasks and responsibilities, and establishing efficient workflows. When processes are well designed, software becomes a tool that effectively amplifies and automates these processes.

On the other hand, implementing software without a solid process design foundation can lead to problems such as automating inefficient processes or adopting solutions that do not fit the actual needs of the organization. This can result in wasted time, resources and money.

In summary, process design should be prioritized over software because it lays the foundation for a successful implementation. It is the roadmap that guides software selection and configuration, ensuring that technology solutions align effectively with the organization's goals and needs. Ultimately, good process design is essential to maximizing the value and return on investment of any software used in an enterprise.

 

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