Business Process Management: Successful Implementation

Introduction

Business Process Management: Practical Guidelines to Successful Implementation by J.Jeston and J.Nelis provides a comprehensive view of business process management within an organization. Important aspects of BPM implementation are analyzed in the book. This review will describe the critical factors of BMP success, business maturity process, phases of BMP implementation, and the role of communication in the 7FE model.

Critical Success Factors

Although every BPM project is unique, ten fundamental factors, critical for BPM projects’ success, can be identified. The first factor is leadership, which means having the support, funding, and commitment of the project’s leader. The second success factor is a BPM experienced business project manager. Process architecture, the linkage to organizational strategy, and a structured approach to BPM implementation are crucial, as the maximum benefit can be achieved only through consistency. Other important aspects are people change management and people empowerment. Project initiation and completion are also essential as BPM initiatives in one organization have to align with one another. Sustainable performance means that the efficiency of all processes is maintained after the project completion. Finally, realizing value is vital as projects are commenced to create value contributing to the organization’s strategy.

Business Maturity Process

Maturity models were designed as a tool to assess the sophistication and capability of a selected domain in an organization. The Capability Maturity Model comprises five stages of BPM from the initial attempts towards BPM to BPM becoming a core part of the strategic and operational management of a company. The Business Process Management Maturity model provides a multi-dimensional outlook, including factors, stages, and scope. Factors reflect fundamental BPM characteristics, such as strategic alignment, governance, methods, people, information technology, and culture. The maturity stages range from 1 (low) to 5 (high). The scope is defined by an organizational entity to which the model is applied and by the time the model is applied.

7FE Framework Phases

BPM implementation involves ten phases, starting with the Organization strategy. The input includes a documented version of an organization’s vision and goals, a business model, and key differentiators. The steps are analyzing internal and external aspects of an organization, making strategic choices, establishing strategic measurements, completing the plan, and sign-off. The phase’s output provides a valuable contribution to the following stages, aligning every phase with the goals of the organization.

The Process architecture phase ensures that all the processes meet the organizational objectives and strategy. The steps begin with obtaining strategy, process guidelines, and IT principles. The information should be consolidated and validated before the architecture is applied. The output of the phase will include process architecture, project start architecture, an organization process view, and a list of end-to-end processes.

The Launchpad phase provides input in the form of a process selection matrix, a list of initial metrics, and an initial implementation strategy. Also, the initial project plan draft, risk analysis, and the initial business case will be presented. The steps are stakeholder interviews, high-level process walkthroughs, stakeholder engagement, and workshops followed by developing an implementation plan. The phase outputs will have a contribution to the Understand and the Innovate phases.

The Understand phase results in models of the current processes, metrics for process measurement, measurement of current performance, documentation for process improvement, and ‘quick wins’ identification. The steps include revalidating scope, completing metrics analysis, and completing capability matrix, followed by identifying innovative priorities and presenting a phase report. The outputs contribute to the other stages of implementation, such as the Innovate and the People phases.

The Innovate phase input includes redesigned process models, a process gap analysis report, a detailed project plan and cost-benefit analysis, and an updated business case. The phase consists of the project set-up, followed by innovative workshops, metrics projections, and simulation. Then, solutions are proposed and validated, and process gap analysis is performed before presenting a report. The phase output is the contribution to the Develop phase.

The People phase will provide the dissection and amalgamation of the new processes, redesigned role descriptions and goals, and a new process-based organization structure for the business area. The steps include designing people strategy, activity defining, role designing, people capabilities gap analysis, designing the organizational structure, resulting in updating HR policies and training development. The output in the management systems will impact their sustainability.

The Develop phase input includes the overview of the solution, detailed business requirements, final software documentation, specification, development, and test script results, as well as hardware specification, availability, and test script results. The phase consists of determining BPM components, deciding on re-use, making, or outsource, updating technical specifications, and software and hardware development and testing. The output is improved functionality and sustainable performance.

The Implement phase results in trained and motivated staff and enhanced processes. The steps are updating the implementation plan, preparing for user testing, staff training, developing rollout, back out, and contingency plans. Also, it is important to adjust the processes and provide feedback to users and stakeholders. The Implement phase output has an impact on the realization of the project value, sustainable performance, and the People and Develop phases.

The Realize value phase provides a benefits summary plan, a benefits milestone network as well a benefits delivery matrix, and a benefits realization register. The process begins on the earlier phases with benefits management framework, establishing a baseline, optimizing benefits mix, and finishes at this phase with benefits delivery and tracking. The phase output includes maximizing the benefits and ensuring sustainability.

The input of the Sustainable performance phase is the mechanisms to manage business processes and realize opportunities for improvements. The steps are evaluating project results, developing and embedding sustainability, embedding performance measures in management, rewarding and monitor sustainability, and maintaining the process models. The main outputs are to the Organization strategy and Process architecture phases, with gained knowledge for subsequent projects.

Role of Communication in 7FE Model

Efficient communication at all phases of the BPM project implementation is critical to its success. During the initial phases, communication of the organizational strategy and the architecture creates a basis for the decision-making within the organization. Communication continues throughout the Launchpad phase and includes continual updates. During the Innovate phase, the stakeholders must be informed about the scope of the project and their input. In the Develop phase, it is necessary to communicate the scope of the automation to all stakeholders. Implementation requires effective communication as well, inviting users’ participation and feedback. At the final stage, communication focuses on the realized benefits and how they will be sustained in the future.

Conclusion

In conclusion, BPM projects are complex business activities requiring consideration of many factors to order to succeed. To assess the level of BMP sophistication, maturity models have been developed, providing a multi-dimensional outlook of the BMP within an organization. Ten phases are identified in the effective implementation of BPM, with continual and explicit communication being the necessary condition at all phases.