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BPM Project Methodology

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The presentation proposes a project methodology for a service-oriented process-improvement project based on best practices found in the literature.

The presentation proposes a project methodology for a service-oriented process-improvement project based on best practices found in the literature.


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  • The BPM initiative should align with an organization’s strategy and add value to it. All too often BPM projects operate solely at the operational or tactical level of the organization, hidden from the strategic decision-making. However, as BPM is not only about implementing a single solution but is essentially a novel approach to developing new solutions at the higher level of abstraction, it comes with such long-term ramifications that it bears high strategic importance. Each BPM endeavor should therefore review and document the organization’s strategy and how the project supports it. If the added value to the strategy cannot be demonstrated, the project should not be conducted in the first place.The strategy may or may not have been explicitly articulated. If no clear strategy formulation exists, more time needs to be reserved in the early phase of the BPM initiative to analyze the internal and external aspects of the organization. Useful models that can be employed include SWOT analysis, competitive forces or core competencies.Likewise, the strategic focal point of the organization is defined in more or less explicit terms: whether the company is primarily a product leader, pursues operational excellence or strives for customer intimacy. In any event, this strategic focus needs to be discovered, as the choice has a significant impact on the business processes: what are the key processes, who are the key stakeholders and what are their expectations, what kind of organization will be needed, what skills and systems will be needed, what are the key process metrics, etc. The strategic focus states the mission, vision, goals and principles of the organization. All subsequent decisions must be consistent with the chosen focus.When the impact on processes has been determined, high-level key performance indicators (KPIs) and critical success factors (CSFs) need to be specified. On the one hand, this ensures that the global process performance is in line with the strategic objectives. On the other hand, it provides the basis for more specific, accurate and correctly aligned objectives at the lower levels of organization.When the business context has been defined, a formal sign-off needs to be obtained from the executive management. Change management needs to be established and observed to account for any later changes to the strategy articulated herein.
  • The Architecture phase is the link between strategy and implementation. It provides the foundation for the initial initiative and all subsequent process management projects.The output from this phase includes: A process architecture document that has been signed offProcess-to-applications mappingTo-be business architecture Process guidelines addressing e.g. modeling method, BPM tool, governance, any reference models... A process map List of end-to-end business processes Organization strategy Facility plans Assessment of human capabilities Knowledge requirementsThe value of process architecture lies in whether it is actually used. A short and simple process architecture is better than an architecture that is prohibitively complex to use.
  • The Establish phase is about scoping, establishing and launching the initiative. Project stakeholders are defined, their commitment is ensured and their expectations are documented and agreed upon. Project team is selected and structured and project management measures are established. The scope of the project is determined in terms of processes and services to be implemented, initial key metrics and the process that will be piloted. The process goals are agreed upon, an initial implementation strategy is put forth and the first business case is developed. ROI analysis is conducted and a communication and human change strategy is developed.
  • The Understand phase is about gaining a sufficient understanding of the current processes that allows comparing them to the future process scenarios that will be developed in the next phase. Along with the coarse level process models, appropriate metrics are collected to prioritize innovation and redesign as well as to baseline the current status. The actual performance levels are measured and documented accordingly.In this phase, it is identified and documented what works well in the current processes and what areas are subject to improvement. ’Quick win’ opportunities will also emerge during this phase.From the SOA point of view, candidate services are identified based on the business use cases. Application capabilities are then mapped to these candidate services based on the process-to-applications mapping as far as the applications are suitable for service mining.
  • The Innovate phase aims at re-engineering the processes in scope to make them as efficient and effective as possible, while meeting stakeholders’ expectations and conforming to the strategy and to the process architecture. In the course of the phase, the renewed processes are modelled and validated. The business case is updated and transformation strategy is developed.The phase may involve benchmarking, simulations, activity-based costing, capacity planning and cost-benefit analysis.From the SOA point of view, enterprise common information model and/or industry vertical information model, if available, are used to specify service interfaces. Service contracts and usage policies are defined in this phase. Also, nonfunctional requirements such as performance considerations, service-level agreements and infrastructure requirements are documented.
  • In the Develop phase, the process solution is created and the roles, performance management systems and training are designed.More specifically: The requisite physical infrastructures are built Human core capabilities are provided Computing infrastructure is set up Processes, procedures and rules are developed Services are realized Jobs are redefined Organizational changes are designed Human resource policies are updated Technology and systems are developed and/or integrated Training capability is developed
  • In the Implement phase, the business process improvements are brought to live. The phase needs to be considered from the very outset of the project, as the implementation decision impacts many areas of the project. The method of implementation may also change in the course of the project and once the Implement phase is entered, the implementation strategy should be reviewed and updated if needed. All other project deliverables should be updated as needed as well.Implementation not only involves informing the stakeholders of the solution and training its use, but also considerations of motivating the staff to use the solution. User acceptance tests and pilot runs are part of Implement phase and will also need pertinent preparation either at this phase or even at the Develop phase. Appropriate roll-out, back-out and contingency plans will be developed. Finally, the changes are rolled out and the progress of roll-out is monitored based on established performance indicators.When the solution has been successfully rolled out, all the stakeholders should be thanked for their commitment, involvement and participation in the project.
  • Once the business process is up and running, it will call for continuous nurturing, maintenance, bug-fixing and improvement. Areas for improvement can be identified by observing performance metrics. Benchmarking to other organizations’ processes can also provide insights into further improving your process. Post-implementation reviews are a good way to elicit information on how the process works and provide justification for making adjustments.
  • Transcript

    • 1. www.requisiteremedy.com
      Project Methodology
      Adopted from:
      • Burlton (2001): Business Process Management: Profiting From Process
      • 2. Jeston & Nelis (2008): Business Process Management: Practical Guidelines to Successful Implementations, 2nd edition
      • 3. Service Oriented Architecture Framework (SOAF)
      • 4. Service Oriented Unified Process (SOUP)
    • Develop Top-Down and Outside-In
      Business Context
      Architecture
      Strategy
      Establish
      Understand
      Design
      Innovate
      Develop
      Realization
      Implement
      Continuous Improvement
      Operational
    • 5. Business Context
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 6. Architecture
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 7. Establish
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 8. Understand
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 9. Innovate
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 10. Develop
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 11. Implement
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 12. Continuous Improvement
      Strategy
      Design
      Realization
      Operational
      Business
      Context
      Architecture
      Establish
      Understand
      Innovate
      Develop
      Implement
      Continuous
      Improvement
    • 13. To
      Tacit
      Explicit
      Tacit
      From
      Explicit
      Development initiatives create organizational knowledge