Saturday, August 3, 2013

Is BPM the Magic Bullet for Process Failure?

When process fails, perhaps there're both management and governance problems, is the roots cause to failure about effectiveness-does the process still do the right thing? Or about efficiency -does process become inefficient somehow? Is the process document driven or human oriented? ...etc. Organization should go beyond the symptom, and dig through the root causes from different perspective:

  • From  Change Management Perspective: Change can only happen if a) People feel that involved with the decision-making process and it is ‘their process’ and b) Senior Management gets behind the initiative and want to make a change. People forget the improvement aspect and imagine process mapping to be the magic wand for all the problems. Whatever the system or whatever the project, unless it is part of Organization’s culture and driven by Senior Management, process change and use is difficult. From a BPM practitioner’s point of view What has helped you in your organization when looking at using process mapping to improve quality or manage change? How do you know the maps are being used? What methods were employed in the communications program? How was it received by the organization?
  • From Process Perspective: As the mix of traditional highly structured work shifts to a mix of unstructured and structured work (industries where knowledge workers perform process steps), the notion of "process" goes to "process fragments" and the only time you see a "process" is after-the-fact in the audit trail. Users thread together process fragments, software threads together process fragments, users carry out ad hoc interventions, data triggers the launch of process fragments. There are really NO end-to-end processes in an environment where some of the work is being done by knowledge workers - what we have are "process fragments" and aside from the obvious local objective which is to get to the end of a fragment, process fragments do not on their own consolidate to Case Objectives. An entire different mechanism from traditional BPM is needed to assess progress toward Case objectives. Once an organization gets to where it is able to assess progress toward overall objectives, the next level of maturity is to integrate predictive metrics within the overall system
  • From BPM perspective: There are three concepts of Business Process Management (BPM): 1) A management discipline - using processes to manage business; 2) An architecture of a portfolio of the business processes of an enterprise, and the conventions for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio; 3) A tool to manage processes per se. When talking about "Process Failure", it typically means that a process fails to perform. With the intention of BPM (Business Process Management) to make a process perform, (and avoid it to fail), BPM is what you need, although there’s no such thing as magic bullet. Organizations benefit when they integrate predictive metrics within the overall system of process through an Integrated Enterprise Excellence (IEE) value chain. 
By managing the process seamlessly, it is possible to avoid foreseeable process failure through better planning, coordination, control and intervention. BPM is about management, not just about model or map. The word "management" MUST include planning, resourcing, coordination, communication, monitoring and measuring.


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