<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

The Compelling Reasons for BPM

All Posts

The Compelling Reasons for BPM

15_Blog_June-9

The only way any organisation delivers value to a customer is via a business process. This article will explore practical issues around process-based management. What makes it work? Why does it fail? How do we sell the idea?

An Hypothesis

I believe there is a finite set of compelling reasons for BPM; for adopting process-based management--a relatively small number of persuasive arguments from which every person and organisation draws. Every organisation that adopts a process-based management approach does so because one or more of these reasons resonates with its circumstances. The set of causal reasons is quite small.

What if we agreed on what the reasons are and developed a rich and powerful body of knowledge about them? In this scenario, each reason would be comprehensively explained and supported by case studies, elevator speeches, stories, presentations, FAQs and other education and communication resources. If we had such a resource, would it be easier to change individual and organisational mindsets to the process view?

Changing Minds

Have you had the experience where you explain the process view to someone and they “get it” right away? Something about process thinking and doing appeals to them in a visceral and immediate way. These enthusiasts are the vanguard of organisational mindset change.

Conversely, are there other people that you feel you could talk to for years, and they wouldn’t “get it”? Some are skeptics and actively oppose change. They may feel threatened, or perhaps just overwhelmed, by the process view. Others just aren’t interested enough to care either way; they are bystanders.

We have three mindsets to deal with: enthusiasts, skeptics and bystanders. One group actively promotes the change to process-based management, one group is active in opposition (or at least “actively neutral”) and the third group is just not engaged. The majority of people in most organisations are bystanders.

Behaviours cannot be changed unless we change minds. What is the change in mindset that we seek to achieve? Simply stated, we want people to view the organisation as a set of processes that deliver value to customers and other stakeholders. Functional units are still important as they carry out the activities that form the processes. By themselves though, functional units cannot deliver value to external customers. The logic of that position is quite clear. I seldom have anyone disagree with it. Acceptance of the logic, however, does not always cause a change of mindset that results in behaviour change. If the outcomes are all so positive, why is it so hard to change minds to the process view? Why isn’t the whole world doing it?

As process professionals, we must develop our ability to make the case for BPM. Effective education and communication approaches will speak to head and heart, describe benefits that are meaningful now, be credible, create urgency and reveal the way to achievement.

Then minds will change. Then process thinking will become the norm.  Then organisational performance will improve dramatically and demonstrably. This is the core of our belief in BPM is it not?

A Repository of Reason?

A 'Compelling Reason Body of Knowledge' would be a valuable resource in the quest to change minds. Here’s my start on the list of reasons that persuade organizations the process view.

  1. Reduce costs, remove waste. Why waste time and resources doing unnecessary things or doing necessary things the hard way?
  2. Avoid opportunity losses. Deeper understanding of processes and their relationships reduces the chance of missed opportunities.
  3. Improve customer service (value delivery). Business processes are the only way any organisation can deliver value to its customers.
  4. Increase organisational agility. Change demands understanding. Big change and fast change demand intimate understanding.
  5. Improve risk management. The more you understand a process the better you can predict and protect it’s weaknesses.
  6. Document processes. Simply documenting a process provides new understanding and reference material for training and review.
  7. Protect intellectual capital. The fragile and portable heads of key staff members is not a good place to store an organisation’s intellectual capital.
  8. Support contingency planning. Process-based management focuses the development of contingency processes on the things that will matter in a crisis.
  9. Improve  strategy  execution.  Business  processes  are  the  way  in  which  every organisation executes it’s strategy.
  10. Reduce complexity. Unnecessary complexity in any aspect of an organisation is a handicap to optimum performance.
  11. Improve  IT  outcomes.  The  purpose  of  IT  systems  is  to  support  the  execution  of business processes. How can that happen without shared process understanding?
  12. Improve effective performance measurement. BPM allows us to measure the full set of things that matter.
  13. Support staff to achieve success. If “people are our most important asset”, why do we so often frustrate them with broken processes.

What next?

The challenge is to turn this initial list into a comprehensive body of knowledge that can be used to support the case for process-based management. We need to develop and agree the set of compelling reasons and then accumulate presentations, stories, case studies and other support material for each reason.

New Call-to-action

 

*Editor’s Note: For readers like me who aren’t familiar with the term process tragic, it translates roughly into American English as process maniac or process zealot.

This article was originally published at www.BPTrends.com

Roger Tregear
Roger Tregear
Roger is a Consulting Associate with Leonardo. He delivers consulting and education assignments around the world. This work has involved many industry sectors, diverse cultures, and organization types. Roger briefs executives, coach managers, and support project teams to develop process-based management. Several thousand people have attended Roger's training courses and seminars in many countries - and Roger frequently presents at international business conferences. Roger has been writing a column on BPTrends called Practical Process for over 10 years. This led to the 2013 book of the same name. In 2011, he co-authored Establishing the Office of Business Process Management. He contributed a chapter in The International Handbook on Business Process Management (2010, 2015). With Paul Harmon in 2016, Roger co-edited Questioning BPM?, a book discussing key BPM questions. Roger's own book, Reimagining Management, was published in 2016.

Related Posts

Leonardo Invests in Apromore to advance AI-Driven, Open-Source Process Mining Technology

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – 7 July 2020 – Leonardo today announced its investment in Apromore - a leading developer of open-source, AI-driven process mining technology. The investment forms part of a Series A round of funding totalling $A6.8 million, led by German business process management specialist GBTEC, and also included The University of Melbourne, which helped to incubate Apromore prior to spin off.

Leonardo wins 2019 Red Hat Hackathon - Customer Experience with OpenSource

      We're thrilled to share with you that Leonardo has won 2019 Red Hat Hackathon 'ReBoot Customer Experience with Open Source'. Early on Friday morning ( 5am AEDT 13th December 2019),  Leonardo awarded first place from a field that included 320 participants from across the globe.  The Hackathon's brief was to reinvent customer experience using Open Source. Providing an outstanding customer experience that customers actually love is especially challenging in more traditional industries like banking, insurance, telecommunication, public sector/government, healthcare, manufacturing, or transportation. These markets offer great opportunities for change and disruption as has been shown by many examples such as Uber disrupting transportation, Twilio disrupting telcos and Stripe or Transferwise disrupting banking.  We want you to be the next disrupter who creates a customer experience that users actually love.  An Open Source solution - ACE  Airline Customer Experience Our project is an application using a Red Hat Process Automation Manager process-as-microservice developed for "ACE Airlines", our fictional client (see video above for the demo). It communicates personalised, event-driven (gate change, delay, etc.) messages to passengers in the language of their choice, using their preferred communications type (SMS, push notification, email).

How data-driven insights can transform your business

All businesses have processes, from payroll to patient admissions. Often, the larger the organisation, the more unwieldy its processes can become.