Programs

Programs deliver the business benefits of strategies

PROGRAMS

Programs deliver the business benefits of strategies.

“BPM” means Business Process Management.
A BPM program will always vary according to your needs, but the following will give you an idea of the phases and activities that form a business process program for human-oriented, decision-centric processes.

Process architecture

Stakeholder consultation

High-level process mapping

Process projects selection

Target process initial profile

Project terms of reference

Project teams selection

Steering/governance meetings

Projects oversight

BPM software selection

The speed of business today demands that your organisation function without continual referrals up the line for direction, authorisations and approvals. Your people need to be able to respond immediately with confidence – their confidence that they know the right course of action, and your confidence that they can get it right.

Effective leaders provide a business framework in which people and business partners can work efficiently and effectively, both individually and collectively, and succeed for mutual benefit. A framework comprises:

goals and strategies,

policies,

organisation and culture,

relationship contracts and arrangements,

business processes,

roles,

tools,

systems,

objectives and

measures and incentives.

A good business framework creates an organisational environment in which people think and act for themselves, yet collaborate to achieve common goals and objectives. And the processes are the backbone.

Processes are how strategies are operationalised and goals are achieved

They guide your people as to how to get things done

Policy is embedded in business rules the processes use

Roles are defined to support process activities

Processes are implemented in systems that manage process flow

Systems report against process measures and objectives

Processes provide relationship interfaces

Business processes are how the organisation gets things done

Strategic Benefits

Here are some of the strategic benefits which a Business Process Management (BPM) program can deliver:

1. Enables operationalisation of business strategy

2. Improves customer perception of value

3. Improves capacity/ throughput/ revenues

4. Encourages repeat business

5. Communicates clearer expectations

6. Reduces need for direct supervision

7. Enables local decision-making

8. Reduces up the line referrals

9. Increases resourcing flexibility

10. Shows participants how they contribute

11. Encourages collaboration

12. Reduces internal conflict

13. Ensures consistency of outputs

14. Ensures requisite output quality

15. Reduces cycle time

16. Reduces costs

17. Acts as checklist

18. Outputs are more predictable

19. Reduces risk

20. Improves staff satisfaction

21. Provides opportunity to look for fast track options

22. Aids planning and estimating activities

23. Provides baseline for further improvement

24. Facilitates continuous improvement

Your Program

Business processes should be at the core of a strategic program to align the organisation and its operations with its business goals.  Here’s the plan:

Define the business goals

Talk to Business Processes Australia, formulate the process strategy

Form the team

Document the status quo (AS IS)

Design the processes, agree policy and business rules (TO BE)

Select the software

Optimise the TO BE for automation (SYSTEM)

Define the business requirements and configure the system

Implement the processes, lead and manage change

See improved results, please the customer

Align the structure, empower your people

Achieve the benefits.

A senior BPA consultant supports your internal program team, with your senior business leader acting as program owner.  This ensures strategic, business ownership of the program and assists policy and cross-boundary issues that will arise.

The consultant provides all of the necessary process, program and change management advice to the program manager and facilitates team workshops. The program team defines the process ‘architecture’ for the organisation and prioritises process work according to where the pain is felt most.

Individual process projects are initiated by the program team, each with its own business team leader and a consultant advising. Internal people do the best job of business analysis because of their existing knowledge, but need technical guidance. The project team designs the process across the whole organisation and implements it. You can run multiple process projects in parallel.

To secure the best business benefits, redesigned processes need to be implemented using automated workflow. Good workflow design allows human decision-making whilst automating the workflow and its management. This minimises resource usage, applies human decision-making at critical points, and provides flexibility to meet customers’ individual needs.

The business people in the project team define the business requirements and oversee automation. Ideally IT provides one or two project team members so that automation is collaborative.

That’s how to align your operations with your business strategies and reach your goals!

Issues, Goals & Benefits

Here are some examples of common issues driving process programs, root causes, goals for solutions, and the benefits you can expect from implementing the solutions built within a business process program.

1) Customer Service

IssueCustomers are complaining about our service.
Root causeMost organisations have got to where they are today by building processes for individual functions. Managers focus only on their own functional output, and so the end-to-end process for the enterprise as a whole will not be optimised and cost and effort is wasted in non-constraint functions.
GoalsWe want everyone focused on service to our customers, not functional outputs.
BenefitsWe will get consistent, high quality, minimum cost service delivery and market credibility.

2) Timeliness

IssueThere’s a lot of time wasting, we take too long, but we need help fixing it.
Root causeTime is wasted waiting between tasks, this is unproductive wait time.
GoalsWe want our people to do things promptly, with minimal delay and time wasting.
BenefitsWe will get reduced cycle time, which will keep our customers coming back and encourage them to recommend us to others.

3) Effectiveness

IssueThings keep going wrong. We have internal objectives, KPIs, and all the ‘right’ management tools, but they don’t give us the excellence we want. There must be a better way.
Root causeWe have been trained to work on functional or departmental outputs, we are internally focused and facing each other; instead we need to face the customer and focus on delivering to the customer.
GoalsWe need to make what we do work for the organisation, not just for the function or department.
BenefitsWe will be recognised for our operational excellence.

4) Efficiency

IssueWe know we are inefficient, we’ve tried to improve, but somehow we don’t seem to be getting anywhere.
Root causeWe are focused on tasks, not processes.
GoalsWe need processes to improve the way we do things.
BenefitsWe will minimise our costs whilst improving value.

5) Culture

IssueNo-one will take responsibility, there’s a lot of buck-passing and passing up the line.
Root causeWe are production and internal performance oriented, not customer and service oriented.
GoalsWe need front-line decision-making within guidelines, with people taking responsibility for their decisions. At the same time we need to have confidence in outcomes as a matter of governance.
BenefitsWe will have a collaborative, customer-focused culture, with rapid response and high performance within policy and governance guidelines.

If you don’t see your issues or goals above, contact us and let’s discuss your issues and how we might be able to help you.

We offer a free 2 hour consultation visit with your CEO or other senior executive(s) at any Sydney location.

Lessons Learned

We have learned many things on our assignments, some important ones are set out below for your consideration when you plan your program.

Redefining business processes is a strategy to improve customer experience and staff effectiveness.  This increases organisational throughout and raises service standards, which in turn raises revenues and margins.  Cost or resource savings occur naturally out of good process design and elimination of rework and unnecessary activities.


End-to-end business processes must cross organisational boundaries.  Typically existing processes comprise siloed activities that are designed and optimised for the silos, not for the organisation as a whole.  This means the organisation is constrained to the capacity and effectiveness of the least efficient or tightly resourced silo in any process.  The organisation may well not operate as an integrated service provider.  Don’t work on functionally-based ‘processes’ alone.


Any modern process will be automated, at least to some extent.  At the same time service organisations require the ability to personalise their services, as many of their customers want their special circumstances to be recognised.  To provide excellent service the need is therefore to automate for the sake of efficiency, but to allow for variation based on human decision-making.


To get the best from a business processes program a subject matter expert is required to work with the organisation’s team, to minimise resource time, to provide timely expert guidance and leadership, to provide method templates and assist with technical tasks, and to keep the team focused on the strategic goals and objectives.  The expert also assists the program owner in selection of individual process project teams and guides the project leaders and the work of those teams.


Business processes can be contentious as they cross internal territories.  Territorial behaviour is normal and it can limit the progress of the program.  It can result in the subordination of strategic objectives to territorial objectives or even the defeat of the entire program.  It is an advantage to have an independent arbiter to provide an objective view to the executive management and program owner.


Organisations are best served by consultants guiding and up-skilling the organisation’s own people.  Consultants should be used for their knowledge and experience, not as alternative resources. In this way an internal capability is built and consultancy costs are contained.


We welcome comments from practitioners and experienced organisations as to lessons you have learned during business process programs.

BPM Project Phases

The following are the phases and activities of a process program

Process discovery

Interviews and workshops

Documentation review

AS IS process profiling

AS IS charting

AS IS documentation

AS IS metrics

Process design

Stakeholder perspectives

TO BE objectives, constraints, CSFs, etc (extended profile)

Black box process scan

TO BE design workshops

TO BE charting

Role definitions

Business rules (micro policy) and policy clarifications

Process definition and documentation

KPI setting

Process presentations

Stakeholder reviews

Workflow automation/BPM system development

Optimise the TO BE for automation (SYSTEM)

System-level workflow charting

Business requirements

Screen shot reviews

Collaborative, iterative system development

BPM configuration/development reviews

System Testing

User Testing

Pilot

Process implementation

Post-implementation reviews

Implementation planning

Communications, education and training

Roll out

Change management

You will notice that reference is made to the process program as distinct from process projects. This an important distinction. The program is all about business management and achieving the strategic outcomes that are sought, whereas projects are about delivering individual processes into operation.