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Real Life Case: Business Process Reengineering Using Sequence Diagram

· 3 min read
Xiaowen Zhang

Product Launch Process Description

The new product launch approval process involves four participants with different business roles: the Product Manager, the Marketing Manager, the Finance Manager, and the Legal Counsel. The goal of this process is to ensure that a new product is thoroughly vetted and approved before it is launched in the market.

Business Process Example Sequence Diagram

The Challenge: Lengthy Approval Processes

The original new product launch approval process at many companies takes a very long time, often stretching for 6-12 weeks or more. This significant delay can be attributed to several key factors:

  • Complex approval processes involving over 5-10 different teams
  • Unclear or inconsistent approval criteria
  • Lack of collaboration and alignment between cross-functional teams

As a result, companies may miss out on 80-90% of the target market opportunities. Their competitors may gain an advantage by launching competing products months earlier.

The Solution: Process Re-engineering

To improve the new product launch approval process, companies need to reengineer their processes to make them more efficient and effective. This requires the support functions teams to re-define the approval criteria and key information required from the product teams.

The first step in this process reengineering is for the product team to decouple the product and identify the critical 20% information required for each approval process.

Then all the approval sub-processes can happen in parallel, which saves sigificant turn around time from end to end.

Key Factors for Successful Process Re-engineering

To ensure the success of the process re-engineering initiative for faster product launches, companies need to focus on the following 4 key factors:

  • Cross-functional Collaboration: Cross-functional collaboration with weekly syncs is essential for streamlining the new product launch approval process. This ensures all perspectives are considered, and approval criteria is aligned.

  • Clear Approval Criteria: Well-defined approval criteria are essential for ensuring all teams understand requirements and the process is efficient.

  • Decoupling the Product: Breaking down the product into modular components can identify key info for each approval and enable parallel reviews.

  • Leveraging Technology: Workflow tools to automate approval tracking can reduce process time by 50% or more.

Parallel Approvals and Reviews

New Process example on Sequence Diagram

Conducting approvals and reviews in parallel rather than in series can eliminate over 2-3 weeks of delays. For example:

  • Marketing, finance, legal teams can review product proposal simultaneously rather than waiting for each team to complete reviews sequentially.

  • Critical development work can begin as soon as relevant modules get approved rather than waiting for full product approval.


Process re-engineering is critical for companies to improve time to market, reduce costs, and gain competitive advantage with new product launches. By focusing on cross-functional collaboration, clear criteria, decoupling, and technology, companies can slash launch timelines by 40-60%.

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