One of the most difficult aspects of creating a climate of process-based management is achieving the required level of buy-in. It’s tempting to say “executive buy-in” but we need buy-in across the whole organization—having support only at the c-level is not enough to make sustained change. Getting the right people on board at the right time, and keeping them there, is often a serious challenge. Everyone is busy. Changing to a process-based management approach sounds more like a problem than a solution. In addition, we are often working in an environment where the organization is reasonably successful, so what problem are we trying to fix?
As we start this new year I want to revisit the basic premise of my involvement in business process management and improvement — to explain it to you, to reassess it for myself, and to seek your feedback. My working life revolves around the certainty that organizations need to be fully committed to both continuous process management and continuous process improvement. Why is this so? In brief, it's the principle of the primacy of process. Let's unpack that and see if I can convince you of its pre-eminence — and, yes, I appreciate that, as this paper is originally published in the Business Rules Journal, that may not be easy! Do you want a simple, but effective, practical, but well-grounded, explanation of the role of business processes in management? After many years working on this question in organizations of many sizes and types, in different national and organizational cultures, I believe I can help you with a simple, effective, practical, and well-grounded meta-model of management.
Arriving at your destination airport to discover that your checked-in bags are somewhere else is a sufficiently common occurrence to have travelers staring anxiously at the stationary carousel, then fixedly watching the point where bags are first seen, and then breathing a sigh of relief on seeing their bags finally appear. SITA reports1 that 4 billion passengers checked in 4.5 billion bags last year. While only about six bags per thousand passengers get lost, lost bags (more gently termed by the airline industry ‘mishandled baggage’) is a significant problem for airlines, airport owners and managers, and their customers. SITA further reports2 that in 2016 alone, baggage mishandling cost the industry US$2.1 billion, and in the period 2007-2016, the industry cost was a staggering US$27 Billion. The problem is easing3 with the use of new technology, but millions of pieces of luggage are still being ‘lost’ each year, costing the airlines significant amounts, and causing considerable aggravation for travelers.4
The beginnings of Leonardo Consulting started humbly. Our first office was located in the stuffy front room of a small weatherboard house located in the southern suburbs of Brisbane that I rented in September of 1999. Leonardo Consulting was named after the technologist and innovator Leonardo Da Vinci - and was founded to help enterprises implement a little-known BPM tool called ARIS - made by German software developer IDS Scheer. Fast forward to 2014 - we decided to create a technology arm of the business that would help execute on the great architectural work that our consulting team delivered. That small group now has grown tenfold and has developed our business into new clients, new services and new partnerships - both in Australia and worldwide. Together, the skills and capabilities of our current team allows Leonardo to truly delivery end-to-end process improvement - from strategy to execution. Today Leonardo Consulting is more than just a consulting company. We are a 70+ diverse team of developers, consultants, trusted-advisors, technologists, project managers, scrum-masters, coaches, architects, agile delivery-leads, knowledge managers, trainers, analysts, pre-sales, channel marketers, business administrators and team-leaders. Just as people and businesses evolve, so do brands. I am excited to announce we marking a new chapter of our company - we’re evolving our business to simply ‘Leonardo’.
Leonardo will be exhibiting and presenting at the Red Hat Forum in Sydney at the Hyatt Regency. Our presentation topic will be 'Using Processes-as-Microservices to Drive Better Customer Experiences' which presents an approach that combines digitised processes, business rules, and microservices that collectively deliver improved customer experiences through event-driven digital “micro-moments” – those brief interactions with your customers that can sometime be neglected.