While the first applications of blockchain were limited to cryptos, huge steps have been taken in recent years to increase the applicability of blockchain technology in various sectors. Blockchain makes things possible that were previously not possible with traditional database solutions. Specifically, blockchain can be used to set up new structures and make existing structures, such as processes, much more efficient and customer-oriented.
Process thinking and Process management
Processes are everywhere and come in many different shapes and sizes. Think, for example, of a public tender, buying a house, producing or supplying a product, applying for and being trained in a new job, or going through a medical process. What these processes have in common is that they have an explicit start and end point, and consist of a set of related and logically ordered steps in which activities are performed and decisions are made to achieve a particular goal. In carrying out such activities and making such decisions, information is needed and new information is produced. Today almost every organization uses IT systems that should support this (see also Workflow Software ).
Process management focuses on the ‘end-to-end’ organisation, control and optimization of successive events across different departments and organizations. It focuses on a specific goal, after which it is determined how this can be achieved. It is not the organizational structure or an IT system that is leading, but the goal and the process to achieve this in the best possible way.
Integration between related functions, departments and organizations is essential for achieving organizational goals effectively and efficiently. Process thinking and a supporting IT system that coordinates, directs and provides insight play a very important role in this. However, IT systems often do not correspond to the desired process execution, different functions and organizations work in different systems, and these systems often have great difficulty communicating with each other.
The Role of Blockchain in Process Management
Blockchain is considered by enthusiasts to be the greatest invention since the internet. It is a special kind of database technology that ensures security, traceability, transparency and non-mutability of stored data. This mantra allows parties to collaborate effectively and efficiently, even without entering into complex contracts with each other or requiring the intervention of an independent third party to establish trust.
Blockchain technology stimulates collaboration within and between organizations. By having different parties work in one system, everyone has the same information and the stored information cannot be tampered with unnoticed. As a result, blockchain ensures that processes, within and between organizations, are more streamlined and more effective.
An example of this is, for example, Vinturas , a start-up from Groningen that streamlines and provides insight into the entire production chain of vehicles. Where previously the various cooperating parties in the chain all kept their own systems and Excel sheets, all relevant information is now shared directly with the relevant parties via the blockchain . As a result, processes can be better coordinated, there is hardly any unnecessary and duplication of work and everyone has real-time insight into the shared reality. A similar solution can be seen in the solution of Walmart Canada and its 70 logistics partners, about which HBR has written an article .
Follow one of our training courses to become an expert in Blockchain and Process Management
At FlowChain Academy, we enable our participants to critically analyze blockchain technology to determine whether it can add value to certain processes in their organizations. However, we always start with the goal of the process, and then determine which steps, stakeholders, data, systems and technologies (such as blockchain) are needed to achieve this goal. You can read why we believe in this approach here and here .
Thanks to our collaboration with NorthChain , we also offer Workflow Engineer training, after which participants can realize a private blockchain solution themselves, without having to program. You can read here how that is possible.