Tako Lekiashvili Takes Us Through Business Process Management
An organization can be viewed as a collection of processes, although GPI business process manager draws interesting parallel between work and everyday life. Tako Lekiashvili tells CBW how managing tasks helps us in every step of the way.
Tell us about your experience. How did you become interested in the career of a business process manager?
I clearly remember from my childhood that there were two shops in our backyard - I never wanted to enter one of them because the seller was so rude and disrespectful, however, due to improper planning of the process, customers often had to stand in line. As for the second store, there was a very warm and customer-oriented girl working in it, who was always smiling and managing the queue in the store properly. I often wondered what was the difference between these two stores and why the buying process was radically different. In the store I enjoyed going to, someone was sitting upstairs observing actions of staff, while there was no supervisor in the other one, thus the process was chaotic. I often wished I was the person who would fix these issues and often thought about how much I would change. Perhaps this is the beginning of my interest in business processes. I have worked in several large companies, I have gained different experiences, I was always interested in the processes and was involved accordingly. Eventually I became a business process manager at GPI.
What is the role of the business process manager in the company?
The business process manager evaluates, creates, measures and monitors the business processes in the organization. His or her main goal is to align the results of the process with the strategic goals of the organization, constantly thinks about how to improve process management, focuses on changes, innovations and, in addition, creates and implements process descriptions, standard work instructions, process block diagrams, performs process evaluations. Involvement of employees in this process is important, for which the business process manager cooperates with all departments in the organization and conducts research on employee workload and throughput.
What essential skills should a person in your position have?
The main skills of a business process manager are sociability, resilience, listening skills, information analysis and sorting/grouping skills, delving into details, good time management and most importantly the ability to ask the question - "If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing . ” (W. Edwards Deming).
How do you determine if an existing process is effective?
The definition of effectiveness depends on what process we are talking about, and the general system is as follows:
When evaluating a process, we need to start by defining the goal, and the next step is to determine exactly what results we actually have based on that particular process. Evaluating the purpose and outcome of the process actually leads to process change, improvement, optimization, and so on. It is possible for the goal and the result to coincide with each other and to get more efficiency by changing the stages of the process itself. Many measures can be used to measure process efficiency, including: Total processing time, Resource utilization per unit of output, Cost of Quality, etc., which of course depends on the process.
As we know you work for GPI, what is your management style and how specific is the insurance field in terms of business processes?
The insurance industry is very sensitive, business processes are constantly in need of change, updating, improvement because the environment is progressing very fast. Therefore, we must try to be one step ahead. I always point out that if management is not interested in running and improving processes, the function of the business process manager is lost in the company. I am very lucky in this regard, both the management and the process owners are fully involved in the smooth functioning and improvement of the processes, which I think is very praiseworthy and exemplary for many companies. I always remember the words of Steve Jobs: "Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." GPI is a company that is constantly focused on innovating, improving services and customer satisfaction, respectively in the direction of business processes. I think this is one of the key formulas for the success of the company.
Let's discuss this field in Georgia, we find such vacancies on the pages of not so many companies. How relevant is this position and at what stage should a company consider hiring a business process manager?
Unfortunately, this field was not relevant in Georgia for a long time. Nowadays, the culture of business processes is being formed, which is very gratifying. If we realize that we live in an amazingly rapidly evolving era, and that the business process is a living organism that should not lag behind this era of development, but strives to keep up, we can see more of its importance. It is for this purpose that business processes need to be constantly reviewed, updated, changed, developed and improved. In my opinion, it is better to involve the business process manager in the processes from the very beginning, because the functioning and success of the business processes are directly proportional to my opinion and are very important for any company.
What advice would you give to people who want to start working in this field?
We start studying business processes in childhood, with games, when sometimes we are doctors, sometimes we are sellers, sometimes we are customers and we invent different scenarios. In my opinion, the meaning of the whole life is actually how much we develop the ability to arrange the processes around us so that we remain as satisfied with the result as possible and achieve the tiny little goals that we plan for the period of time. If we turn this simple story into a business, we will get exactly the same picture. Therefore, it is important for people interested in this field, I think it is necessary to gain experience in all areas, where they will be able to observe the current processes, make the right analysis and plan the internal processes of the organization so that the result of each action always serves the purpose, because "Productivity is meaningless unless you know what your goal is. ” ("The Goal" - Eliyahu M. Goldratt).