BPM Analytics

Cross-functional collaboration for integrated business process management solutions

A leading global business school studied 95 teams in 25 businesses and found that 75% of cross-functional teams fail to collaborate, causing lower productivity. They struggle to meet the planned budget, stay on schedule, meet the product and service specifications, and align with corporate goals.

This can cause a loss of reputation, missed deadlines, and inability to compete with other businesses. Businesses need integrated BPM solutions to foster seamless collaboration. This article explains how integrated business process management works, its benefits, challenges, and leveraging technology to achieve it.

How does integrated BPM work?

Enhancing collaboration, eliminating redundancies, and streamlining operations are crucial for a successful business. This is where cross-functional collaboration becomes important. It signifies a unification of business processes for a seamless workflow across functions.

Linking different business applications to streamline the workflow creates a seamless environment where departments and functions share information. Its objective is to enhance operational efficiency, reduce complexity, and improve real-time visibility across the organisation. Integrated BPM works as a catalyst to boost agility and adapt to a changing business landscape. The types of data integration are –

  1. Horizontal integration
  2. This model integrates systems that cut across functional areas within a business. For example, the integration of marketing and sales departments is horizontal and ensures a smooth flow of information.

  3. Vertical integration
  4. This model integrates systems within the same function. For example, the emailing system with the social media management system is vertical integration within the marketing department.

  5. Star integration
  6. This model integrates multiple systems in a point-to-point star-like fashion. While this integration is easy to do, it can be hard to maintain in the long term. For this reason, it is also called ‘Spaghetti integration’.

  7. Common data format integration
  8. This model converts data from multiple systems into a similar format, making it easier to understand, share, and manage.

No model among these is a one-size-fits-all and may apply depending on the nature of the business.

Benefits of integrated BPM

Once the integration of systems and processes is complete, you can reap its benefits in these three categories –

Operational benefits

Information flowing seamlessly across and within departments can dramatically increase operational efficiency and productivity. Integration removes any bottlenecks and manual interventions and ensures smoother and faster processes. Managers can make quick decisions using real-time data and respond to customers faster, thus increasing overall agility.

Knowledge sharing and stakeholder alignment are two key areas that see a positive shift due to an integrated BPM. This prevents unnecessary duplication of effort by employees, leading to reduced time and expense.

For example, integrated CRM can feed the leads directly into the email marketing system. Based on the status of the lead, the marketing team decides how to nurture it.

Financial benefits

Interconnected systems reduce multiple redundant and manual tasks. They reduce the chances of making errors and improve the business cycle to save valuable time. Higher speed and agility of services increase revenue and lower lead conversion time, thus improving customer satisfaction.

For example, an invoicing system can cross-sell related items with the invoice and feed the customer’s response back into the marketing system.

Strategic benefits

An integrated BPM offers a bird’s eye view of processes and systems for leaders to make informed data-driven decisions. Business leaders can use insights to drive interpersonal collaboration and align every department with organisational objectives.
For example, insights from the CRM and marketing system dashboard provide valuable information on leads that fail to convert. Department leaders can collaborate to find the root cause to improve the lead conversion ratio.

Diverse perspectives from different departments uncover blind spots and inefficiencies, leading to process improvements. Employees and managers get a holistic understanding of improvement opportunities.

Overcoming the challenges of cross-functional collaboration for integrated BPM

Cross-functional collaboration can be difficult in a complex and dynamic environment where the employees and managers are comfortable with existing processes. Being comfortable with the existing processes does not mean they are in the business’s best interest.

Stirring them out of their comfort zone can cause a temporary lack of clarity, conflict, and resistance to change.

To overcome these challenges, the business leaders must take all the stakeholders on-board and align the individual goals with those of the organisation. Surveys, feedback channels, and workshops can help them collect the team’s sentiments and comments on the change. Once the integrated systems are functional, businesses must monitor their performance, efficiency, and quality.

How can Infosys BPM help?

Infosys BPM helps you leverage new-age technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to truly integrate systems and processes within an organisation. Leaders can use valuable insights to make critical decisions and uncover hidden opportunities.

Read more about integrated business process management at Infosys BPM.

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