Quite often, Process Design or Redesign are burdened with a lot of Legacy Thought! Sometimes, it may be better to start a Design or a Redesign of a Business Process with a clean sheet rather than make marginal improvements!
Many processes just evolve from nothing, or have a lot of outdated steps that may have been necessary when they were designed for the first time but may be outdated today!
Plus, technology may have evolved over the last two decades a business process has been under use, and now may be a good time to rethink processes. It may be time to evaluate whether what it being done inside the process is of any use, and of relevance today, or may be better done at an order of magnitude more efficiency and effectiveness than used to be done before!
Sometimes, it may be better to start with a clean sheet and design or redesign a business process from scratch!
Home Mortgage Loans in the U.S, are a great example of how a business itself has evolved over a period of time and how the design and redesign process may need to be thought of on the fly. Mortgage loans used to a local affair with local banks making and owning loans for a long time. Then national banks started buying them from the local banks and servicing them. There are now online ways of applying for loans and increased automation at the backend have also speeded up and simplified many of the subprocesses in mortgage loan processing.
Today, Offshore outsourcing and use of the Service Providers’s systems, people and processes adds one more wrinkle to this whole thing that were not there even five years ago!
So today, if you were to Design or Redesign a 20 year or even a five year old Mortgage Loan Process, it may be better for you to start with a clean sheet approach! Failure to do this will only mean that your processes will be competing with a new company that was put together say five years ago and may be more efficient and effective than you are!
Legacy and Age may not make business processes more efficacious! You should be lucky if they don’t set you back as compared to your competitors!
Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese. – Billie Burke