The APQC Blog

Digitalization and Other Reasons 2018 Isn’t Just Another Year in Process Management

We’re roughly a quarter of the way through 2018 and from what I can tell so far, this year isn’t too different from last year. Everyone is still ad

dicted to their smart phones, the weather is still crazy, and the Houston Rockets are still the best team in professional basketball. Yep…hardly anything’s changed. But don’t tell that to someone who works in process management!

Things may not look much different in the process management world than they did a year ago, but looks can be deceiving. If you spend more than a couple moments talking to someone in that space, you’re likely to find that mindsets have shifted over the past 12 months (Figure 1).

                                  Process Management Priorities, Year over Year

                                                                       Figure 1

Indeed, organizations have turned their attention from broad challenges like improving process management maturity to more targeted challenges like building organizational culture.

Why the relatively sudden change?

I like to think that organizations have heard what APQC has been preaching all year and are focusing on the trickier, more nuanced challenges that will pay off big time in the long run. However, the truth is much simpler: times have changed. More precisely, the world of process management has changed in two specific ways:

1. Process managers and their teams homed in on the root cause of chronic process management challenges.  In 2018, organizations have realized that their perennial process management challenges keep cropping up because deeper-seated, cultural issues are at play. Without a culture that embraces change and continuous improvement, process management efforts face an uphill road to success. Organizations are intent on leveling out that road.

But that’s just part of the story.

2. Digitalization has evolved from a buzzword into the “new normal.” Process managers are increasingly finding themselves engaged in organizations’ digitalization journeys and have to catch up or work with IT to spearhead the organization’s digitalization efforts. In both cases, process managers know they must act swiftly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities and address the challenges presented by digitalization.

Start here to learn about how and why recent developments in the process management space have shifted organizations’ priorities across industries.

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