<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1907245749562386&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Event_bg

The Leonardo Blog

All Posts

The Lifecycle of Business Process Management: Target, Measure, Respond

 15_LC_Blog_May-1-2

Target >Measure >Respond is the essential lifecycle of business process management. Set a performance target for a process, measure what is really happening, and do something if the results are not what they should be. This is it; all process management and process improvement comes down to this. If we aren’t improving processes, sometimes with radical effect, then we are wasting time. Process-based management is both as simple and as complicated as target>measure>respond.

Target

Which process? Be clear about the boundaries of the process. What triggers its execution, and what results from that execution? Now that we know which process we have in focus, and if it were working as well as a consensus of key stakeholders would like it to, what would it be doing? And how would we know? There’s a lot in that. We need to know who the stakeholders are, and what they need from the process – what value is the process supposed to deliver? The performance targets need to be directly related to the expected performance. Set the targets, and look to have the ‘vital few’ rather than the ‘trivial many’ (as JM Juran et al. have explained).

For each performance target, it is likely to be useful to have upper and lower limits of acceptable performance; a band within which a consensus of key stakeholders would be happy.

Also, for every performance target, identify the ways in which the performance data will be collected (i.e. the measurement method). If you can’t measure it, or can’t afford to measure it, then the target is meaningless.

Measure

Having established the measures and the measurement methods, don’t stop – make them! This requires a very clear allocation of tasks. Data collection cycles might be anything from real time to quarterly, or longer, and the data might come from IT systems or gathered manually (e.g. via customer surveys). The logistics of process performance measurement need to be well designed and the data gathered, analysed and delivered reliably.

Make the measures (i.e. collect the performance data), but also analyse and report it in a useful way. Develop a strategy that makes process performance reporting both practical and sustainable. Across an organisation, there are many processes and many more process measures; so, avoid an avalanche of performance data, report by exception. Only report actual or emergent performance anomalies, and in a way that is easy to understand with available detailed analysis as required.

The Office of BPM – aka BPM Centre of Excellence (or Expertise) – has a key role to play in performance data management.

Respond

This seems obvious, but it’s a common failure point. Without an appropriate response, all measurement is a waste. The purpose of measurement is to correct problems, indeed to avoid them. In an environment where the management structure is concerned with overseeing individual functional areas, who will respond to cross-functional performance issues? This is the key role of the Process Owner.

The Process Owner, or whatever term is used, is often said to be responsible for the performance of the process – that is, we ask someone to take responsibility for something over which they are unlikely to have complete, or perhaps any, control.

A better summary of the Process Owner role is to say they are accountable for responding when the process performance is outside of the accepted range or trending in that direction.

How should a Process Owner respond? That will depend on the circumstances, but the options might include one of these:

a)      commission a process-improvement project

b)      request more analysis of the underlying data

c)      collect more (or different data) to give deeper insights

d)      discuss the issues with those involved in executing key parts of the process

e)      simply go and watch the process being executed.

The Office of BPM is a life support system for Process Owners. The detail can be left to the Office and others, but strategic process leadership must come from the Owner.

Summary

If you are not doing this already, how should you start? Don’t wait. Don’t over-analyse. Don’t try to do it all at once. Pick one cross-functional process and implement the simple steps of target>measure>respond.. No management support? Do it anyway; just one process will prove the value. Start now.

 Why Measure Process Performance?

Related Posts

Leonardo at the Red Hat Forum in Sydney

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.

Leonardo partners with Trisotech for greater client success

Leonardo announced today that they have formed a partnership with Trisotech - a leading provider of highly visual and interactive software tools that help organizations innovate, transform and improve their operations. According to Adam Mutton, Managing Director of Delivery for Leonardo, “Trisotech enables Leonardo Consulting to foster an innovative, collaborative approach for the subject matter experts at its clients. Trisotech’s Digital Enterprise Suite is a modelling environment that helps Leonardo design, model and execute its customers’ business processes & business rules. Organisations globally are demanding digital and mobile enablement to streamline and automate their processes to improve the customer experience and drive revenue. Trisotech’s modelling platform delivers BPMN, CMMN and DMN which are crucial artefacts to drive consistency that connects business strategy to automation, integration and implementation for Leonardo’s clients.”

Leonardo partners with University of Melbourne’s Apromore

Leonardo and the University of Melbourne’s Apromore team today announced a partnership whereby Leonardo will be assisting the Apromore team in developing the platform strategy and implementing it through an agile methodology, and by providing industry-strength development power to improve the platform. According to Leonardo Managing Director of Deliver Adam Mutton, “Apromore’s unique selling point is that its process mining capabilities are ahead of the curve, given that they are directly informed by many years of academic research, combined with numerous applications in the field. We have substantial experience in supporting open-source initiatives and are confident we can transfer this experience to the Apromore Initiative”.