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Archive for March, 2007

Analyzing Processes

There’s so much discussion in the blogosphere about WHAT BPM is. This conversation is so important–we need to be able to define the space before it can be communicated to our CEO’s, our business units, and our IT departments.

BUT, it would be refreshing to find some discussion regarding HOW to analyze processes. I know there are plenty of training courses out there to help guide the way, but I would love to see some conversations focused on how people analyze processes to create something that is innovative and valuable for our companies and our customers. How are we supposed to define BPM if we do not have a shared understanding of how to do BPM?

Bruce Silver has blogged on how to model processes, and his posts have been very helpful in understanding BPMN. His focus, however, does not seem to be about how to analyze processes either. Can someone point me to a blog or website that focuses on the tricks of the trade?

(As I find links I’ll post them on the sidebar as “Process Analysis Tools”)

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There’s so much discussion in the blogosphere about WHAT BPM is. This conversation is so important–we need to be able to define the space before it can be communicated to our CEO’s, our business units, and our IT departments.
BUT, it would be refreshing to find some discussion regarding HOW to analyze processes. I know there are plenty of training courses out there to help guide the way, but I would love to see some conversations focused on how people analyze processes to create something that is innovative and valuable for our companies and our customers. How are we supposed to define BPM if we do not have a shared understanding of how to do BPM?
Bruce Silver has blogged on how to model processes, and his posts have been very helpful in understanding BPMN. His focus, however, does not seem to be about how to analyze processes either. Can someone point me to a blog or website that focuses on the tricks of the trade?
(As I find links I’ll post them on the sidebar as "Process Analysis Tools")

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I just created a web-based group on the CollectiveX platform called “BPM-Process Analyst Group.” My hope is that we can get some meaningful discussions started around the topics near and dear to process analysts.

CollectiveX is good for creating a network and discussion groups. I’ve already started two discussions:

  1. Training
  2. Tricks of the trade

Please sign-up for the group by entering your email address on the bottom-right hand side of this page or by clicking on this link. I’m looking forward to creating this network and seeing you there…

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I just created a web-based group on the CollectiveX platform called "BPM-Process Analyst Group."  My hope is that we can get some meaningful discussions started around the topics near and dear to process analysts.
CollectiveX is good for creating a network and discussion groups.  I’ve already started two discussions:

  1. Training
  2. Tricks of the trade

Please sign-up for the group by entering your email address on the bottom-right hand side of this page or by clicking on this link.  I’m looking forward to creating this network and seeing you there…

Labels: ,

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I just finished facilitating a workshop with stakeholders of an end-to-end enterprise process. In one day we were able to get some fairly deep insight as to some of the problems of the process. Some of the issues identified probably are very similar to many processes at other companies:

  1. No end-to-end owner of the process.
  2. No formal communication platform.
  3. Goals are based on functional areas without alignment to corporate strategy.
  4. IT systems inadequacies.
  5. Redundancies.

These are just a few.

Although the workshop participants participated in heated discussions (all constructive) and did a thorough job mapping the processes, they couldn’t come up with specific action items.

This is my first time doing this type of facilitation, so it was quite a learning experience. My next go at this I will try the following:

  • make the workshop 2 or 3 days. One day is just to short to digest the concepts. It’s also very tiring.
  • challenge the group to develop specific solutions. General solutions (e.g. define an owner) helps get the ball rolling, but I was hoping to come away with a list of projects to implement.
  • harp on outside-in approach. It really helps to focus on solutions in if we are asking ourselves “How does this add value to our customers.”

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I just finished facilitating a workshop with stakeholders of an end-to-end enterprise process.  In one day we were able to get some fairly deep insight as to some of the problems of the process.   Some of the issues identified probably are very similar to many processes at other companies:

  1. No end-to-end owner of the process.
  2. No formal communication platform.
  3. Goals are based on functional areas without alignment to corporate strategy.
  4. IT systems inadequacies.
  5. Redundancies.

These are just a few.
Although the workshop participants participated in heated discussions (all constructive) and did a thorough job mapping the processes, they couldn’t come up with specific action items.
This is my first time doing this type of facilitation, so it was quite a learning experience.  My next go at this I will try the following:

  • make the workshop 2 or 3 days.  One day is just to short to digest the concepts.  It’s also very tiring.
  • challenge the group to develop specific solutions.  General solutions (e.g. define an owner) helps get the ball rolling, but I was hoping to come away with a list of projects to implement.
  • harp on outside-in approach.  It really helps to focus on solutions in if we are asking ourselves "How does this add value to our customers."

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I like reading George Van Antwerp’s blog postings either on his blog or on the BPM Enterprise blog.

His most recent blog post on BPM critiques the current focus of BPM on technology solutions. As he puts it

if you focus purely on BPM as a software deployment, you will miss the benefits, limit adoption, and frustrate your executives.

We do exactly that in our company, and I don’t think we are going to see huge benefits from our BPM projects. We may find better platforms that will help us to reach a higher level of efficiency, but overall the outcome won’t be disruptive or transformative. I’m trying to do some true process analysis with stakeholders around my organization without IT involvement. Much of the focus is on preparing ourselves to answer some of the questions that George lists:

1. What is your planned/actual ROI or NPV?
2. How is BPM transforming your business?
3. How are you using BAM to change the decisioning process and management 4. processes across the company?
4. Has the agility of BPM allowed you to compete on process and less on price?
5. What has the reaction been of the CEO or board of directors?

Also we’ll focus on answering the question “How are we aligning our processes to meet the expectations of our customers?”

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