Biggest challenge in PEX, new research reveals top concerns for 2020

Research from the PEX Network reveals that linking process improvement with top-level business strategy is the biggest challenge for the year ahead.

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Adam Muspratt

As revealed by an industry-wide survey of OPEX practitioners in the PEX Report 2020, linking process improvement with top level business strategy will be the biggest hurdle moving into 2020. The challenges felt by OPEX practitioners tells us a lot about the mood of the industry and speaks to the fact that OPEX leaders know they must support change. 

Top four challenges on OPEX according to industry practitioners

Ghislain Taschini, Senior Consultant at Renault-Nissan Consulting, says: “Whereas ‘overcoming resistance’ is normal, the accumulated figure for ‘securing executive buy-in’ and ‘maintaining executive buy-in’ responses (15 percent) is a true concern. Could there be a correlation to the drop in the rankings of the ‘sustaining change response’ in the sense that before change can be sustained it first has to be accepted and nurtured at the highest level?”

Read: “Good ideas have no rank”: lessons from the military for excellence leaders

Samantha Bureau-Johnson adds: “If you’re thinking about OPEX or process improvement as a tool kit, and you cannot translate that to speaking at the C-level on strategy, you can’t link it. If you don’t have it linked, you’re not going to be successful.”

Interestingly, the responses that relate to people and culture;  ‘securing executive buy-in’, ‘maintaining executive buy-in’, ‘sustaining change response’ and ‘overcoming resistance’ add up to 31 per cent. It is clear that people and culture must be actioned before any effective change can be made, says Taschini.

And, what solutions are available? When respondents were asked what they are looking to invest in to drive OPEX in the next year, Process excellence consultancy (13%), digital transformation (13%) and business transformation (13%) all came out one top.

Read: The augmented human reality defining the future of process

Picking up on this last point, Samantha Bureau-Johnson advises: “If you don’t know what to change, hire an outside firm to help you on your strategy. Everything starts with what’s your strategy? And where do you want to go? If you have no burning platform and you don’t know how to compete, you need some external thought leadership to help reimagine the business.”

Click here to read the full report 

The PEX Report 2020 is your guide to shaping the culture of your organization in the year ahead. Read the full report for more insights including how transformation is a product of culture, why topline growth is increasingly a measure of success for OPEX projects and why OPEX is seen as mission critical for attracting and retaining customers.  

The flagship report also features commentary from world-class though leaders, such as four-star General Ann Dunwoody and PEX Community Contributor of the Year Award winner and Head of Process Excellence at BNY Mellon, Brenton Harder.