When implementing a process the project manager can loose sight of the originally intended business benefits because (s)he focuses on the technical and people aspects of implementation. The process project owner (or sponsor) is responsible for the realisation of business benefits and the ownership role needs to be undertaken proactively. Often project owners are executives with a lot on their plate and they rely on the project manager, but the project manager is working to project kpi’s and will not necessarily look after realisation of the targeted business benefits, rather deliver on functionality and time/cost/quality.

Tony (not his real name) runs a central administration team. This team liaises with individual teams in business units, which report locally. There was good support for process change both in the central and the business unit teams and with customers, primarily because of real involvement and consultation from the start and the obvious need for improvement. Process designs, system builds and implementations went well. However once new processes were implemented it was clear that some organisational change was necessary as resources could be redeployed and process managers were required, but somehow attempts to implement the changes were forestalled and relations between the central and business unit teams deteriorated.

I was talking to a large organisation recently about their work on second tier processes (first tier processes use large industry-based operational systems handling the highest volumes of transactions; second tier processes have transaction numbers that are high enough to warrant analysis, redesign and automation but which individual users use infrequently and which are automated using a BPMS). I was told they were running one process project at a time.

It is easy to say ‘map processes at the activity level’ but what level is this?
In practice an activity can be defined at anywhere between almost a sub-process level, at what we normally mean by an activity level, and at a level that is barely above tasks level, the only difference being that no ‘how to’ is attached to the activity otherwise it would be a task.
How can you tell what level you are at? I find that defining activities at the generally accepted activity level will result in a map that can fit onto one or two pages, whereas at a low level the process stretches across multiple pages.
So which is right?