Whatever industry you work in, it is likely that there will be at least some regulation—with some domains being very heavily regulated. A traditional view that some stakeholders may take is that regulation is essentially a constraint—something that must be responded to and complied with, but since it is something that applies to all organizations it isn’t going to drive competitive advantage. It is often seen as something necessary but ‘dull’, which burns resources which could have otherwise been more useful spent on other projects.

Whilst this perspective is completely understandable, arguably being able to adapt to regulatory requirements well can contribute towards competitive advantage. There are often multiple ways of achieving the regulatory edicts, and organizations that can quickly assess the impacts and formulate and evaluate potential solutions will be at an advantage.

Organizations that have well designed and well documented business, processes and system architectures will be able to deal with regulatory change more effectively and efficiently, requiring less time and budget to those that have to start by re-discovering and mapping the ‘as is’.

In this article, Adrian Reed discusses the importance of truly knowing our processes, and how this process knowledge can save us time and effort when crucial changes - such as regulatory change - hit us unexpectedly. He also provides practical tips for gaining buy-in and progressing regulatory change in organizations. 

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