There are some processes that we must follow legally and they are forced into an organisation through the compliance route. How often, though, does this implementation of process, in the name of compliance, cause resentment because the process has not been properly thought through? For example, I have been reviewing the “Know Your Customer (KYC)”, “Anti Money Laundering (AML) and EU’s “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)” regulations. I have noticed that most financial institutions state that their processes are compliant with these regulations. However, their processes appear to be mostly paper based, highly manual and require large multi-page paper forms to be completed. Add to this extraordinary level of bureaucracy the overhead of trawling back through the forms every time a sanctions list update is received to ensure existing clients haven’t suddenly become “undesirable” and you can see why it is now so difficult to do business with a financial institution anywhere in the developed world.
The implementation of business process is often perceived as a negative because it is seen as a control mechanism that does nothing but add overhead. However, implementing the right process can create a quicker, more streamlined and compliant business. Using the right tools can provide the additional benefit of visibility in to the status of all in-flight processes thus building a platform for continuous improvement.
Communicating the benefits of the new process can lead to a better tolerance for process efficiencies. However, if the process is not well designed, is onerous or adds a burden of bureaucracy then it won’t matter how much benefit the organisation gains from the process, it will not be fully adopted by its users.
In my experience, involving the business in an operational walk-thru so that they understand the shortcomings of the “as-is” process and own the “to-be” process will lead to better process design and hence a stronger uptake by the process users.