Sunday, July 7, 2013

CIO as ‘Chief Process Officer’: Process Assessment and Modeling

 Business processes underpin organizational capabilities, there’re potential tangible/in-tangible benefits of moving an organization/process through the process maturity levels, but, how to assess current processes and how to develop the structured process model?

  • When you want to analyze the maturity, the right approach needs to consider the current process maturity. Be aware that if your current maturity is low, people will find the assessment very difficult to apply, because they will not understand the concepts behind it. It's kind of a "chicken or the egg" thing: when the maturity is low, you cannot understand that their maturity is low, or what higher maturity means 
  • Develop an assessment model that evaluates an organizations management approach and how process oriented it is. The challenge that many organizations have is how they move from just managing a few processes to managing a portfolio of processes and change the management approach from function to process. The process assessment evaluates process design, publication, ownership, improvement etc. against each of processes in the architecture, Process management and Enterprise Architecture should always go hand-in-hand. 
  • An organization needs to be relatively mature to gain the most benefits from a process maturity assessment. There’re three levels of assessment. The Quick Assessments are web-based, short, and easy and are a first step for an organization to see where they are at on the journey. The Mini and Full Assessments are more comprehensive and are targeted at more mature organization. 
  • A good framework should be structured Process Model or Methodology that informs and guides the people involved. This includes roles, processes, and the necessary rules for following them. As the organization matures in the process area, you can start to look at more sophisticated models. Use one good methodology for process modeling is an indicator for process maturity. But how to balance methodology driven process modeling and process agility is another consideration. 
  • In the context of knowledge work centric processes where a team of knowledge workers are collectively working on achieving shared process goals, the following social capabilities can increase effectiveness and efficiency of the processes 
a)     Activity streams - Knowledge workers have visibility into who started which activity in which context, which activities have concluded, who is stalled on which activity, if a team member had to rework something. The benefits are two fold - a common shared understanding of a how team is doing relative to shared goals can allow for exception based interventions as appropriate. When coupled with the ability of team members to selectively "subscribe" to activity streams along any of dimensions, this can be a very powerful capability

b)     Collaborative decision making - As often is the case with knowledge work, the knowledge workers have too often assess based on context and their own judgment which path is likely to yield the best results when it comes to achieving the goals of the process. Different knowledge workers could possibly reach different conclusions in cases when there is not a clear best path. In such cases the ability of knowledge workers to seek input from the immediate social network i.e. the team or even the population of individuals in the organization with relevant knowledge and expertise to help reach the optimal decision.


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