Monday, 14 May 2012

Business Process Management Practices in Education

Gartner's definition of BPM is a management discipline that treats processes as assets that directly contribute to enterprise performance by driving operational excellence and agility.

Businesses tend to look at markets, products and functions, and often miss processes. But, that is the main work that we do. Processes create value. Often taken for granted. Often not seen end to end. Often hidden in applications, tasks or overlapping practices. Increasingly unstructured and unautomated. Often no ownership end to end.

Many barriers, functional barriers, and hierarchical barriers, lead to management blind spots.

We're not very mature as a sector in dealing with BPM.

Some benefits from BPM include increased agility, faster delivery time ( good BPM projects are less than 4 months) and increased customer satisfaction. BPM is also a source of competitive advantage. In IT, BPM can reduce the "running the business" costs.

How to get started in BPM. Consider the 3 Cs.
Competence, (eg have to be good at change management)

Most BPM projects driven out of IT departments because we already look across different departmental silos, and we're used to thinking about processes.

Start with small proof of concept. Then do another, and another. Each time, you're building a business case for your next BPM project. Keep staff numbers small. Projects should be low impact and low risk to start with, and not in IT in order to get credibility. Has to be something the business cares about, eg staff recruitment or induction. Stopping doing stuff is a valid part of the process.

Then, step up to high impact, high visibility projects. Eg Customer facing, large scope.

BPM is about change management, a core element of which is communication. So, you need to communicate what you're doing. Has to be relevant, compelling and repeatable. Make it business focused. Communicate your success. If you can't do it, the BPM programme will die. Has to be at least quarterly. Tailor the comms to different audiences. Make sure you get the "what's in it for me" messages. These will be different for different staff. Eg for execs, will it improve business performance?
For line manager, will it help me achieve management goals?
For workers, will it make my job better?

Develop your key objectives. Eg, improve customer satisfaction to 90% by September 2013. Must be hard, tactical and impactful. Need metrics, and the most important of these is a baseline.

Some common failures:
BPM project costs are more than the benefits
Endless analysis and no results, mapping current processes instead of improving anything
Rushing to a solution, deploying a technical solution that increased transaction time.

Successful implementations require:
Business driven projects
Visible projects, killer processes
Projects with strong cost savings element.
Ongoing engagement of subject matter experts
Gain trust of employees
Strong partnership with IT
Frequent reviews of quality
Iterative and rapid process development process
Utilising trial and error approach. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

Excellent session, and lots for our new LEAN unit to think about.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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