Today, businesses are responding to increasing demands to be “green” – to have sound environmental policies and to be transparent about the environmental impact of their products and practices.
Beyond the common-sense measures like replacing old bulbs or weatherproofing, going green involves taking responsibility at every stage of a product lifecycle. This calls for in-depth business analysis and an audit of all business processes.
In The Green Business Guide, Glenn Bachman describes what it takes for businesses to implement eco-friendly policies, programs, and practices, including how to set up an energy management plan and how to reduce, reuse, and recycle throughout the enterprise. Bachman describes how green organizations recognize the risk of climate change and the degrading of the environment, so they are able to respond with sound business practices. Further, green organizations know how much energy and resources they use and take responsibility for their products.
According to Bachman there are many steps involved in planning a green transition, including among others:
- Define what being a green organization means and outline intentions in going green.
- Decide who will participate in the plan and identify relevant stakeholders.
- Set a timeframe for planning and implementing changes.
- Determine how the organization will measure progress and what tools will be needed.
- Discuss how implementing a green program will affect other initiatives.
- Identify potential risks, for instance those involved with using volatile raw materials.
- Analyze the cost versus the benefits of an environmental program.
- Make recommendations about which areas to upgrade and what parts of the transition to pursue in each stage.
All of these steps call into play rigorous business analysis, which can be accomplished using a powerful business analysis tool. By providing the ability to incorporate and automate many of the tasks of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge, Enfocus Requirements Suite™ can be an essential resource for effectively and efficiently going green.
With Enfocus Requirements Suite™, users can do a thorough situation analysis and establish a common vision among all team members and stakeholders about what being green means. This vision will be a foundation for optimizing green business processes, defining solutions needs, and validating requirements. It will also help establish and keep track of green objectives and identify any constraints involving budget, deadlines, and limitations.
As users continue the steps in the green transition, they can use the tool for effective stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Users can build inclusiveness and participation with the people and entities that have a direct stake in the environmental impact of an organization, including business owners, executives, employees, vendors, customers, and government, civic, and environmental organizations. These stakeholders can directly contribute their needs and comments in the software’s unique StakeholderPortal™, and monitor activity and updates as the projects progress.
Setting a timeframe for planning, implementing changes, and determining how to measure progress can be done with business analysis planning. Using Enfocus Requirements Suite™, business analysts can evaluate processes and their associated activities with measurable performance indicators, and also benchmark progress and results against other organizations. With this tool, users can better identify opportunities for efficiencies, as well as obstacles that other organizations have experienced in transitioning to green practices. Moreover, with Enfocus Requirements Suite™ users can perform a thorough impact analysis, and collect and evaluate information to get a comprehensive understanding of which services, stakeholders, business processes, and initiatives will be affected by the transition.
Effective business analysis can also uncover and mitigate risks involved in going green. Will resources be saved in one area, only to be taxed in other areas? Will changing supplies or equipment introduce other issues in personnel or time? Will the benefits of the environmental program outweigh the cost? And does the green solution truly meet the objectives of the green transition for the business, the stakeholders, and the environment? With Enfocus Requirements Suite™, users can do thorough risk assessment, impact analysis, and solution assessment and verification.
Finally, effective business analysis informs organizations on what areas to upgrade and which components of the transition should be done in what order. Organizations can work toward an ideal “to-be” green state – documenting, analyzing, and improving how business is done. As with the other transition steps, this can be done using Enfocus Requirements Suite™, which allows for business process portfolio management, business process analysis, and informative process mapping.
For businesses, going green is not as easy as hiring a new vendor or switching out a light bulb. As Bachman points out, going green entails creating environmentally sound physical plants, formulating an energy management plan, rethinking transportation management plans, and accounting for water, air, and waste management. There are a lot of moving parts, and a lot of factors and risks to keep in mind. Enfocus Requirements Suite™ is the business analysis tool that can make the green transition sound, thorough, and effective.