How To Achieve BPM
Throughout the past topics that we have been discussing, from Fueling Growth and Driving Work Live Balance to Size, not Mattering and imposing the Sticks and Carrots that can be driven from BPM (Business Process Management) and BPX (Business Process Excellence), we have focused on Why you would want to Achieve BPM in your organizations. In today’s topic, I will discuss further how we can go about achieving BPM.
As would any other new initiative within an organization, the most important step to ensuring that BPM is a success is the unwavering support of top management in its embedment. This is realized through a clear vision and strategy that will need to be set by top management, albeit for increased productivity, better cost savings, improved governance, effectiveness in re-organizations, or simply better clarity and transparency upon the going-ons within and across the various divisions and departments of the organization. Once this vision and strategy are set, a time limit needs to be placed on when this vision and strategy need to be realized. With the time limit being set, expectations on performance improvements in the Targeted Operating Model will need to be defined clearly and in measurable terms, the simplest of which being in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). It is always imperative to ensure that KPIs are defined in the simplest of terms and their metrics defined in their absolute.
With management’s vision and strategy defined in realizable terms of KPIs, the scope of inculcating BPM in an organization will need to be identified. This scope will need to include the trifecta of people, processes, and technologies being impacted. Inevitably, people would require the most attention to managing the change as BPM embedment requires deep acculturation of each person to align their behavior and attitude towards the new BPM discipline. Because people would require the longest time to inculcate the BPM discipline, it is logical to first ensure that the processes and technologies are being tackled first to ensure that all the required support and guidance systems are in place for the individual to learn and practice BPM. Support processes for BPM usually include a well-defined process governance process describing who are the process owners, what type of changes can be made to a process, and the overall flow of how a process change would include and who would be involved. Support systems for BPM would usually include a flexible and inclusive tool that allows processes to be published and shared. More importantly, it would need to be a collaborative tool that allows viewers and subscribers to raise comments and suggestions that can easily be responded to and when a change is warranted, would allow the appropriate actors to make and version the changes in a robust workflow. With these tools and systems in place, it would help to foster a more confident environment for people to trust that the processes being published are the single source of truth with the timeliest updates on who, what, where, when, and how activities are to be performed throughout the organization.
Finally, to ensure that the embedment of BPM is truly a success and the intended results due are achieved, the goals achieved by BPM will need to be constantly monitored in real-time and publicized, not just to top management but to all who are involved. Not only does this allow top management to have real-time insights into the return on investments on BPM, but it allows all employees to both bask in the successes achieved by BPM and also study collaboratively on lessons learned where BPM has fallen short. This allows all parties, from top management to the working level to work cohesively to ensure the success of BPM is achieved. Most importantly, having real-time insights into the successes and failures of BPM allows organizations to adjust their methodologies of employing BPM in a much more judicious manner by strengthening factors contributing to successes in BPM and abridging factors hindering the progress of BPM. Traditionally, such monitoring would come in the form of program audits which fact check the successes and failures of the BPM program but nowadays, process monitoring mechanisms and tools are much more available and capable, and enabling real-time monitoring of processes and KPI achievements is no longer a want but a need.
As a final closing note, it would be important to affirm that BPM is not a cure-all pill. It simply underlies the most fundamental foundations upon which organizations are being built, vis-à-vis the people, processes, and technologies. Employing BPM would therefore be central to any initiatives that the organization seeks to realize. Ensuring that change is managed at the most elemental levels of operations safeguards the effectiveness and efficiency of any change.