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A Business Performance Improvement (BPI) Methodology

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

A Business Performance Improvement (BPI) Methodology

Managing change has become a continuous activity in most organisations. For that reason the concepts of a BPI Methodology are centre around the three aspects of continuous change: Stages of Change, Levers of Change and Deliverables for Change.
A BPI Methodology is a Framework for Change based on 8 Stages, 7 Levers and over 60 Deliverables. The Stages provide a proven phasing for major change programmes; the Levers specify the aspects that can initiate and deliver change; the Deliverables are an extensive set of required interim results to achieve the desired end state. This framework synthesises External Consultant’s expertise in performance improvement methods, best practice solutions and industry benchmarks & trends. Being very modular and providing numerous entry points, BPI is scaleable to support any degree of change desired: from incremental to business transformation; Business Vision or IT driven; continuous or step change.
BPI provides on the job support on how to apply in an integrated but flexible way the 7 Levers of Change: Strategy, Product, People, Process, Technology, Structure and Environment. Interwoven are Change, Performance & Programme Management to achieve successful implementation. A BPI methodology enables an External Consultant to support its customers with a comprehensive set of end-products, based on their Core Competencies, and to be tailored to specific industry sectors, functions and processes.
Since the first measure of Quality is Fit for Use, External Consultants put customer needs first. Once the customert’s need is clear and the required added value by an External Consultant agreed upon, BPI can be mobilised. Therefore a BPI Methodology has Scenarios to support end products. The  are pScenarios are pathways through the Framework for Change, stringing Deliverables in a distinct approach for a specific cuatomers need. A Scenario can be unique, designed for one specific customer situation, or more general: applicable to meet more common customer needs. These include: the Vision Driven, Package Driven, and Resource Driven BPI scenario’s.

Stages of Change

A BPI Methodology identifies the continuous change cycle with Stages of change, which follow the logical “state-of-mind” milestones. The Stages of Change describe the time between the moment of awakening to the need for change and the moment that results are realised. A methodology spans this change continuum and divides it into eight discrete Stages: Awaken, Envision, Focus, Design High-level, Design Details, Build, Implement, Enhance,….. and Awaken again. At the beginning of a change programme it is important to assess in which Stage of Change an organisation is positioned, since this determines the focus and scope of a project
BPI Contiuous Change Cycle.png
From the perspective of an organisation, the change process evolves around four main phases, to which the eight Stages of change correspond. These four phases reflect more accurately the “state of mind” of an organisation. Each phase is driven by a basic question.
  1. Awakening, Envisioning, and     Focusing are meant to Mobilise an organisation;
    1. Key question: “Do I have a clear vision of where I am going?”
  2. Designing and Detailing the future situation helps an organisation to Prepare for the changes;
    1. Key question: “Do I know what and how and when I will change?”
  3. Building and Implementing these designs are necessary to Implement the planned changes;
    1. Key question: “Do I see it working?”
  4. Enhancing the changes is to     Operate the new situation;
    1. Key question: “Can I see, feel and measure the benefits?”
A change programme consists usually of different projects focused on the different organisational change aspects, e.g. process, people, technology and structure. The process of designing, detailing, building, and implementing changes is usually very much project based (programme focus). A BPI Methodology helps to co-ordinate and manage this (overall) change programme. On the other hand, both the process of mobilising the old organisation and enhancing the new situation focus on managing the organisation as a whole, while operating the current or new processes, systems and skills (company focus). A key question is when to do more continuous improvement (enhance) and when to conclude it is time for a new round of step or quantum leap change (awakening). A BPI Methodology, provides numerous entry points, supports the Continuous Change Cycle.
By identifying the Stages of Change a number of significant milestones can be provided. Each milestone represents a greater sense of confidence and a clearer understanding in the mind of the people, who will be affected by the change programme, of the shape that the change is going to take. These milestones can be defined by critical achievements or outcomes that must occur to be ready for the next Stage. For each Stage Deliverables and techniques are identified to ensure the organisation’s success in the change process.
A BPI Methodology describes a number of Deliverables across the change continuum. These Deliverables are critical value-driven work products, completed in the appropriate sequence, to achieve the “state-of-mind” milestones. Further, the Deliverables are supported by techniques that describe how to accomplish a Deliverable and by examples that show a “live” Deliverable. Each Deliverable resides within one of the eight phases, and has precedents and successors. The placement of a Deliverable into a phase should not be considered absolute. It is governed by the rule: when is the latest moment that the Deliverable must be completed to maintain integrity of the change programme. The dependencies between the Deliverables are documented in a BPI Methodology.

A Sample BPI Matrix of Deliverables: A Framework for Change

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Levers of Change

Organisational domains are those aspects of a business that can be either subject to change programmes or initiate a change programme as focal point. In other words the Levers for change are the aspects that an organisation can affect to bring about to change. The Deliverables (and techniques) will address one or more of these Levers of Change.
A BPI Methodology orients around seven Levers of Change:
  1. Strategy;vision, business strategy, strategic management processes
  2. Product/Service offering;products, channels, customers, segments, geography,     positioning, marketing, product development and research
  3. Process/Operations;     flow of     physical work and material across the organisation and its functions, processes, operations, logistics, etc.
  4. People/Social systems; culture, management philosophy and style, job design, teams, communication methods, performance management, compensation, training and recruitment
  5. Technology; technology, application, data architectures, networks, hardware, software, enablers, etc.   
  6. Structure; organisation, facilities, equipment, assets, locations, etc.
  7. Environment/Regulations; policies, procedures, government and environmental controls, assurance, etc.
The BPI Methodology asserts that an organisation will always progress across this continuum of change (of Stages, Levers and Deliverables), whether they are conscious of it or not.


Apart from BPI, an External Consultant may have many more Core Competencies, like Package Implementation, Supply Chain Management, Finance, HR and IT Management, Auditing and so on. BPI can be easily combined with the services based on these and other Core Competencies. By applying the concept of “BPI Inside” to these services, the External Consultant can easily provide the total solutions customers need. An External Consultant will ususally have an established a related set of solutions, World Class Operations, with BPI Inside to assist our clients in improving business performance within targeted business functions. These products and services will demonstrate External Consultant’s commitment and pre-eminent market position for delivering unparalleled operations improvement services.

Phase 1: Awaken

The purpose of the Awaken phase is to bring the senior management of an organisation to the realisation that some kind of significant change is required. A common understanding and commitment about the “why to change” is created. The high-level activities conducted at this early stage centre around top management of an organisation.
The main output from this phase is the Case for Change, which outlines the necessity for “doing business differently”, by confronting the senior management team with a compelling “snapshot” of the business dilemmas and emerging threats to survival and prosperity, currently facing the company. The awakening process is aimed at creating a climate of urgency and, with that, the impetus for change to occur. As required, various Deliverables from subsequent phases of the BPI methodology (e.g. Business Position or Best Practice Comparisons) may be initiated up front, as tactics to “awaken” the organisation. The Case for Change may vary, depending on the perspective and priorities of an organisation; the awakening could be based on current or anticipated problems or opportunities (“the loss of a potential advantage”).
In turn, senior management may engage a (internal) programme management team to awaken and mobilise more of the organisation (e.g. middle management) with respect to the need for change and the significance to the organisation of this opportunity or problem.
The Awaken phase ends when the management teams acknowledge that the organisation needs to change, recognises potential but significant benefits and has engaged the programme management team (and the consultant) to initiate the required improvements.
Deliverables for Awaken

Phase 2: Envision

The purpose of the Envision phase is to develop a common context and understanding (between the senior management and the consultant) of the organisation, its current challenges and its future direction. As rudimentary it may seem, unaligned perceptions and perspectives of (senior) managers will delay or derail the programme. This phase enables the organisation to initiate the BPI efforts so that all project activities strive toward consistent objectives.
The initial meetings with the management serve to validate the expectations regarding the timing and scope of the overall project. These discussions serve to initiate and structure the BPI program, and may involve reviewing and revamping proposed project workplans initially submitted by the programme management. The resulting Mobilisation Plan outlines in broad terms the anticipated approach, timeframe and Deliverables for all phases, while detailing the activities to be undertaken during the early phases of the project. Since this plan assures senior management that all important steps that need to occur are being addressed, the management develops ownership of the programme and understands his or her role in it. The Mobilisation Plan will focus on project events as well as on the activities required to appropriately mobilise the organisation for the programme ahead.
Building a common understanding of the organisations current situation — both its internal operations and its position within the marketplace — is essential to set the proper context for the BPI programme and to gather and accurately interpret pertinent information received from the management during the programme. The complete portrait of the organisation’s situation is defined through the combined development of the Internal Organisational Overview, Business Position and Holistic Business Model.
The Internal Organisational Overview provides an initial snapshot of the current environment in which the company operates. Readily-available documentation is reviewed to gather internal data such as company history, core competencies, recent financial trends and current technology. Articulating the Business Position provides complementary information, which takes an external view of the company and highlights key elements of its business environment, such as market strengths / weaknesses / opportunities versus those of competitors. Finally, the Holistic Business Model takes a “value chain” perspective of the entire organisation, offering management a non-traditional look at the internal and external relationships that form the foundation of how the company operates on a daily basis. It serves as an unifying focal point for the personnel and programme management alike.
While a common view of the current situation is key to understanding “why” dramatic change is necessary, a Readiness for Change Assessment examines the feasibility of the proposed programme in light of the company’s past experiences with change. This assessment serves as the foundation for establishing and continuously updating a comprehensive strategy for managing the “human side” of BPI. This assessment provides a backdrop for creating a Sponsorship Role Map that identifies those key individuals within the company who will “champion” the project, by promoting new behaviours and driving the adoption of the change into the organisation.
This sponsorship portrait provides an unique view of the organisation, pinpointing which executives or (senior) managers can lead the change (versus only supporting it), and gauging how extensive the mobilisation efforts will need to be for the organisation to embrace the change.
Ultimately, to be successful, the entire BPI programme needs to be oriented around a future vision for the organisation that is articulated by senior management. Although most organisations possess a vision or mission statement, its is imperative to validate the relevance and degree of management/employee acceptance of this declaration in light of the company’s current situation. Senior management’s endorsement of the shared vision leads to a formal statement of the (Confirmed) Business Vision. The articulation (“how will the vision affect me”) and communication of the vision to the operational levels of an organisation will limit some resistance and create common awareness and understanding of the direction of the Change Programme.
For certain organisations, a full strategic visioning exercise may be required at this point to develop a credible future direction. A variety of methods are employed to help the client leadership team envisage a “future state” (i.e. “what could be”). For example, preliminary Focus Areas and new technology enablers may be explored, and certain Deliverables (Best Practices Comparisons, “To-Be” Process Model, Technology Architecture) may be initiated early to stimulate and accelerate the envisioning process. It is here that the first breakthrough ideas about how to change the status quo will occur.
Similarly, the exploration of the current business situation during this phase will often lead the management to recognise that alternative business, market and product strategies may be in order.
The Envision phase ends when multiple levels of the organisation have an image of where the organisation wants to be and can consistently and uniformly articulate where the organisation is going. At this point, both the (senior) management and the programme management share a common understanding of the organisation’s structure and operations, the external context in which it operates and what the organisation wishes to become. This shared view provides a single focus for BPI activities outlined in the Mobilisation Plan. At this stage, the BPI programme is publicly announced throughout the organisation, a programme office is established and a core team of programme management (and consultants) is chartered to explore the (as yet unquantified) opportunities of the “future state”.
Deliverables for Envision
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Phase 3: Focus

The purpose of the Focus phase is to identify the major opportunities for performance improvement that are associated with existing processes, technology and human resources. This identification comes not only from appropriate analysis of the existing environment, but also from a full understanding of the direction that the company is taking and the external environment (political, economic, social, etc.) in which it competes. The communication of these opportunities to the senior management serves to sensitise management to the scope/degree of changes being considered and allows for the prioritisation of the design activities that are to follow in subsequent phases.
Organisational vision statements are ineffective if they are not supported by tangible actions that are required to realise that vision. The articulation of Critical Success Factors calls for the identification of (internal/external) customers (and stakeholders), their expectations concerning what constitutes “quality” service, as well as the ways that the organisation must excel to meet these expectations. Key Performance Indicators and Stretch Targets together provide the quantifiable parameters required for gauging project success.
Shared Values and Guiding Principles address the characteristics of the “human side” of organisation, which will be needed to support the organisational vision. This series of statements – endorsed by senior management – outlines key aspects of the future corporate culture (i.e. work atmosphere and practices that will remain the same, as well as new management styles to be adopted). With the prospect that all familiar work patterns may change around them, it is important that employees be told which aspects of their work environment will be preserved, regardless of the business solution adopted.
It is imperative that information such as the Confirmed Business Vision, Critical Success Factors, and Shared Values and Guiding Principles be clearly articulated across the company through the development and execution of a Communication Plan. This plan (which is refined as required at each phase of the BPI programme) identifies overall sponsorship activities, the main audiences to be targeted, messages to be communicated, the sponsors who will do the communicating, the frequency of communication, and the media to be used. It serves as a formal company document listing the activities that are to be executed daily by members of the organisation to initiate and drive the change campaign.
Once the business direction of the company has been firmly established, Focus Areas can be identified. These represent the broad areas of the company where performance improvement efforts should be concentrated. The common understanding advanced during the creation of the Holistic Business Model allows the organisation to clearly pinpoint the “value chain” processes that need improvement. Depending on senior management’s schedule, resources and degree of risk-tolerance, the basis for this selection decision can range from mere intuition to a full cost/benefit justification (e.g. “Activity Based Management”), based on the impact these areas have on previously-established Critical Success Factors.
Upon the selection of Focus Areas, the identification of opportunities for performance improvement is facilitated by the analysis of the current environment resulting from the “As-Is” Process Assessment, As-Is Technology Assessment, and “As-Is” Human Resource Assessment. It is further supported by the articulation of the specific Requirements of Process Customers, which provide the standard against which the current environment is measured. This represents another point in the programme when “breakthrough” ideas commonly occur, inspired by Best Practice Comparisons or technology enablers.
The “As-Is” Process Assessment highlights, from beginning to end, the chain of activities required to respond to customer requests (market-driven approach) and the current level of performance that is obtained. The mapping of existing processes reveals to employees how their day-to-day work duties interrelate with activities of colleagues to produce a product or service — as well as which tasks do or do not add value. The “As-Is” Technology Assessment documents the current network, application and data architecture in place to support the organisation, along with the skills of the management and staff of the information technology (IT) function. Similarly, the “As-Is” Human Resource Assessment identifies the current level of support provided to personnel in areas such as internal communications, training and development, rewards and recognition.
When mapping and measuring the current state/performance of “As-Is” processes, technology and human resources, caution must be exercised to limit the project team’s time and energy to only that required to form an understanding of major problem areas and opportunities. Spending too long analysing the “As-Is” can lead to a loss of momentum and cause the project to stall. This methodology has adopted a “just-enough, just-in-time” attitude towards the logic and level of detail “As-Is” analysis.
The attainment of “breakthrough” performance improvement is founded on the notion that all existing elements of an organisation — people, process, technology, policies, etc. — must be opened up to challenge. This is why, taken together, the assessment of processes, technology and human resource issues establishes a comprehensive performance baseline that can point to Priority Opportunities.
The identification of these opportunities, often fuelled by the now well-understood strategic preferences of senior management, will profoundly influence the direction of the BPI programme in the phases that follow. As gaps are uncovered, issues are identified, suggesting high-level priorities. The priorities must be tempered by known dependencies such as new technology requirements and the organisation’s ability to absorb change.
Opportunities identified are quantified at a high level (+/- 50% accuracy), so that senior management can elect to “remove from the table” any solution being pondered that it deems unacceptable (i.e. unaffordable, unworkable, etc.). At this point, management may opt to assign specific improvement targets to each process to be redesigned (i.e. setting more radical targets for certain processes than for others).
In addition to the Priority Opportunities that are identified, a list of potential Quick Wins (easy-to-implement opportunities) is built up throughout the early phases of the BPI programme. It is important that any feasible solutions are put in place swiftly, so as to generate and maintain the momentum for the large-scale changes that are to come.
Design Charters are developed to serve as the “terms of reference” guiding performance improvement initiatives for the Focus Areas and Priority Opportunities that have been selected by senior management. The leadership team’s consent to move forward and explore a specified range of solution options establishes a set of “process design principles” which guide design sessions during the Design High Level phase.
Upon completion of the Focus Phase, senior management will have a clear strategy of where they are taking the company. Programme management will have a common understanding of the company’s current performance, associated opportunities and constraints to implementation, as well as the degree to which management is willing to support the solutions being contemplated. Affected employees will be fully aware of the BPI programme — why it is necessary, what aspects of the company may be impacted, as well as whether they will personally play a direct or indirect role in the various phases of the programme. Priority Opportunities are isolated and, for the first time quantified, to a +/- 50 percent level of accuracy (confidence). Depending on the situation, this effort, when carefully managed, adequately resourced and remaining under full sponsorship of the senior management can be accomplished in three to five weeks.

Deliverables for Focus

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Phase 4: Design High Level

The objective of this phase is to develop a portrait of how the organisation will conduct business in the future. Design teams are chartered to support the programme management in creating this portrait. It includes a description of and Business Case for the new or redesigned work processes, as well as an overview of technology and human resource changes that the eventual implementation of the recommended “To-Be” processes will require. Sufficient detail is designed to enable a +/- 30 percent level of accuracy in expected benefits and cost.
Best Practice Comparisons are one of the key inputs into the design of the future organisation. These comparisons illustrate the characteristics of world-class organisations along with innovative uses of information technology that need to be incorporated into the designs being created during this phase. This Deliverable also serves to demonstrate to all members of the project team precisely what is possible once the BPI programme is completed.
Optimum performance is obtained in those organisations where there is synergy between work processes and the systems that are in place to support these processes. For that reason, the “To-Be” Process Model, “To-Be” Technology Architecture and “To-Be” Human Resource Model are created in concert with one another to establish the complete picture of the new organisation.
The project team uses the “To-Be” Process Model to map what it considers the most innovative and streamlined work process that will achieve or surpass improvement targets while respecting any constraints stipulated in management’s design principles. The “To-Be” Technology Architecture and “To-Be” Human Resource Model then describe how the information technology, organisational structure and employee skill requirements must be realigned to support the redesigned business processes.
Once the design team has sufficiently crystallised its proposed portrait of the “future state”, the team’s proposals are presented as “work-in-progress” to a broader audience of affected employees for their feedback. This “To-Be” Validation exercise is paramount to obtaining employee buy-in and can take many forms (e.g. “Challenge Sessions”, Process “Walk-through” workshops and “Computerised process simulations”, etc.).
Bringing about a permanent shift in the behaviour of both employees and managers (i.e. from “As-Is” to “To-Be” work patterns) often necessitates a departure from traditional approaches to measuring productivity. A customer-oriented “To-Be” Measurement Dashboard of performance indicators is selected to track how well the organisation is performing relative to its new targets.
The choice of the software and/or hardware needed to support newly designed processes represents, in many cases, a significant portion of the overall BPI implementation cost and therefore needs to be determined prior to any management decision to proceed to implementation.
In situations where commercial, off-the-shelf options are available, Information Technology System Requirements are sufficiently specified to allow a Hardware/Software Selection to be made, which provides rough cost estimates (+/- 30 percent accuracy) that can be presented to management for use in its decision.
The high-level designs of the future state are segregated into component subprojects. Each project has its own discrete requirements, specifications, costs and results. These subprojects will inevitably have dependencies on each other and on other elements of the programme. Technology components such as hardware, software, networks, data and enablers will often have common requirements from the subprojects, as will new facilities and organisations.
These elements will suggest a number of possible scenarios for implementation, integration and migration. Management will need to make decisions regarding which scenarios to model. Scenario and migration planning will be considered from two perspectives: financial and probability of success. The Migration Plan together with the Business Case will enable these decisions. Both Deliverables outline the expected sequence, timing, costs and benefits of the designed business solution during the Build and Implement phases, which can span a number of months or years.
To ensure that an over-arching strategy exists to link in an integrated fashion the various organisational change activities required, management is presented with a Migration Human Resource Strategy. This document outlines a comprehensive plan for addressing anticipated obstacles to change prior to and after project roll-out. This strategy builds upon change management information accumulated since the inception of the BPI programme. It contains, for example, tactics for dealing with resistance to change, fostering frequent sponsorship activities and ensuring compliance with new policies. This strategy is also input into the Migration Plan.
The anticipated financial implications, risks and timing of the proposed solutions are presented to senior management in the form of a Business Case. In some organisations, senior management opts to spend months conducting detailed financial analyses before proceeding past this point. Other management teams are comfortable offering an “approval-in-principle” based on a rough assessment. It is premature to expect a degree of accuracy in the costs and benefits of the programme lower than +/- 30 percent (i.e. 70 percent confidence) at this time.
In the interest of moving quickly but prudently, the activities in the Design High-Level phase allow the development of a good understanding of what could be, roughly what it will take and as well as how much it will generate. This level of detail can only provide a reasonable degree of accuracy which we quantify as +/- 30 percent. Ideally, the level of detail provided should enable senior management to select a preferred scenario, allowing for a final “go/no-go” decision, by sub-project, at the end of the “Design Details” phase (i.e. once all impacts have been identified and considered).
By the end of the Design High Level phase, a complete business solution will have been designed, and a Business Case and the Migration Plan will have been agreed upon “in-principle” by senior management, and understood by all affected managers and staff. The programme office serves as the focal point of all migration planning and Business Case activities, maintains communication channels and dispatches unresolved issues that have been identified for further analysis in subsequent phases. This multiple team client-consultant effort will require 8 to 16 weeks to complete, and is strongly dependent on the number and level of detail of migration scenarios contemplated.

Deliverables for Design High Level

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Phase 5: Design Details
The objective of this phase is to design the details and understand the consequences to the organisation of implementing the preferred “To-Be” business solution. The BPI programme becomes a composite of multiple, discrete projects for which parallel teams of technical specialists, aided by design team members, explore the interrelated impacts of conducting simultaneous changes to processes, human resources, technology, policies, and physical infrastructure. This planning facilitates the identification of real costs, benefits and migration activities that will maximise the probability of a successful implementation and demonstrable results for the company. All detail is designed to enable a +/-10 percent level of accuracy (i.e. a 90% level of confidence).
Detailed Process Descriptions are developed to explore precisely how the new work processes will function. In most cases, this activity involves a systematic analysis to identify the detailed information requirements of “To-Be” process flows. When package software has been selected to enable the process or business, these descriptions are created with a prototype of the software so that processes can optimise the functionality of the selected package. In those cases where custom development occurs, logical decision rules governing the information requirements are established from this Deliverable, that ultimately are translated into the underlying programming code that is developed.
Technical Specifications define the protocols and technology standards to be used in designing the new IT systems. These parameters ensure that the new system possesses the functionality, speed and capacity to handle the anticipated demands for information of the future process.
Once Detailed Process Descriptions have been defined, an Organisation Structure is described that outlines how the company’s workforce can best be organised to perform these new processes. Internal constraints, such as clauses in collective agreements, shortages of required skills, “turf” battles for control of territory, etc. often dictate a number of different scenarios to be explored. Senior management must then choose a preferred model based on the strengths and weaknesses of each option.
The selection of a preferred organisational model requires a full Delineation of Roles and Responsibilities for key positions, in order to explain the full extent of the proposed changes. This exercise sets clear boundaries on the duties of each position, thereby reducing the potential for confusion and duplicated effort during and post implementation. It also facilitates the calculation of the Workforce Numbers and Cost, indicating the number (and position/level) of employees involved in the new processes.
Completion of a Competency Needs Assessment identifies the shortfall between current employee skills and the competencies required to function effectively in the “To-Be” state. While this assessment can vary significantly in size, a comprehensive assessment will map out a personalised (re)training path for each employee, based on their individual needs. It will also point to ways that the organisation can optimise its investment in training by employing a combination of different delivery modes (e.g. computer-based training/support, on-the-job mentioning/partnering, classroom courseware, etc.).
The process redesign exercise will have identified a series of policy changes required to enable the adoption of the new process. In this context, “policies” refer to either external regulations or internal “house rules” that guide day-to-day employee decisions and behaviours in the workplace. Policy/Regulation Changes are catalogued (including the benefits and risks associated with each) as input for management approval.
Similarly, Physical Infrastructure Requirements detail the impacts that all combined changes will have upon existing facilities and outline any future facilities requirements. While in many organisations, changes to facilities may be minimal (e.g. modified layout of office cubicles), some companies must deal with the construction of new buildings or the installation of modern equipment.
Although all the analyses described in the Deliverables above need to be completed, successful implementation of a multi-faceted BPI programme goes well beyond putting in place new computers, rules and organisation charts. A complete Portrait of Desired Behaviours must be developed to address the “human element” of the change programme. The achievement of lasting change must align reward and compensation programmes, accountability frameworks, planning cycles, etc. to correspond with the “To-Be” business solution that has been designed.
Key conclusions from all Deliverables in this phase are synthesised into Committed Project Results and Budgets, a Deliverable that entails a refinement of the financial estimates that were presented to management in the Business Case.
By this time, a majority of anticipated impacts of the business solution will have been identified and can be weighed into revised financial and risk estimates. Elements of the solution are now fully designed and planned project-by-project, in accordance with the Migration Plan. Resources are marshalled, orchestrated and enrolled; the sequence of capital expenditures is known; cashflows are forecasted; profit and loss (P&L) impacts are understood and benefits are assigned and scheduled. Senior management’s “go/no-go” decision at this stage constitutes the “point of no return” for project building and implementation.
Upon completion of the Design Details phase, management will have given its unequivocal commitment (i.e. for sponsorship, dedicated resources and funding) to move forward with a set number of implementation sub-projects with a high level of certainty in cost and confidence in benefits. Key employees will have been assigned active roles to deliver project results on time and on budget. Individuals are considered accountable for the success of the project, and specific rewards and consequences are often implemented to motivate appropriate actions.
The start, end and duration of each subproject is governed by the Migration Plan. Each sub-project has its own timeline dictated by the complexity and required activities of its scope. The programme office manages the integration, communication and co-ordination of these efforts, which for large-scale projects, can easily represent 50 discrete projects and 600 dedicated resources.

Deliverables for Design Detail

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Phase 6: Build
The purpose of this phase is to construct and test all outputs of key components of the business solution. Subproject teams work in parallel to build an infrastructure capable of supporting the “To-Be” processes. Information technology systems are validated against initial requirements both from a technical and a user perspective. All necessary support documentation is drafted or assembled in anticipation of the “go-live” implementation date. Modifications/upgrades are made to physical facilities, and organisational programmes are put in place to help deal with a broad range of employee-oriented issues.
In virtually all BPI programmes, information technology (software, hardware, networks, etc.) is inevitably a critical component of the overall business solution. In this phase, the various aspects of the IT component are built from the conceptual designs that have previously been drafted. Custom Software Development is completed in those cases where software applications are created based on the functional requirements outlined in the Detailed Process Descriptions Deliverable. When package or “off-the-shelf” software has been selected to support the execution of business processes, it is necessary to perform Package Software Modifications for adequate support to occur. In either situation, various forms of Information Technology Testing will take place to ensure that the system is suitable for roll-out across the organisation. This testing addresses both functional and technical aspects of the system.
Data Migration is an important part of this building process. It consists of identifying the data requirements of the new system and either manually keying-in data (from existing paper files) or developing conversion programmes capable of uploading legacy-system data into the new computer system. The results of this Deliverable are critical for all IT Deliverables in this phase and for the Business Solution Roll-out Deliverable in the next phase. Depending on urgency and necessity, data-conversion activities are often spread across months or even years.
During the building process, Implementation Pilots are executed to enable the company to assess — within a controlled environment — the look, feel and practicability of the processes, organisational changes and software/hardware being utilised. Pilot projects are commonly done, because they provide an opportunity to identify and remove as many problems as possible prior to implementation to the full organisation.
New/Revised Policies outline the new rules for staff, and also explain “why” the policy is being rewritten, as well as how their daily work routine will change as a result. Position/Competency Profiles outline key job responsibilities, and allocated time percentages are drafted in accordance with company practices (Job description formats are often stipulated within provisions of collective agreements.)
A Measurement System is needed to set in place mechanisms that feed information to both staff and management pertaining to actual versus planned performance. The system that is developed must transcend simple process measurements and provide a true indication of the overall success of the BPI initiative (e.g. compliance with new policies, success of training programmes, etc.). This system is complemented by the Performance Support and Recognition Deliverable, which calls for development of compensation schemes, as well as performance management and reward processes. All of this is to help individuals and teams achieve agreed-upon business outcomes, and to provide appropriate recognition of their success.
Supporting documentation will invariably be required to provide the necessary support to employees upon full implementation of the business solution being built. Front-line employees refer to the Process/User’s Manual for guidance on how to perform their new duties in redesigned processes, as well as how to perform day-to-day job tasks with the aid of the new IT system, if applicable. The Information Technology Operations Guide provides instructions to the company’s information systems staff on how to perform support activities such as upgrade installation, database administration and backup / disaster recovery procedures.
Training support materials are built as part of the Learning Strategy and Materials Deliverable and await delivery to employees in accordance with implementation schedules that are prepared later in this phase. New materials and educational software programmes are tested with employee focus groups. In larger organisations, “train the trainer” programmes are also developed.
In those cases where significant changes in physical infrastructure need to be made to enable the business solution to be implemented, Facility Layout/Construction is aligned with the other process, IT and human resource activities that are occurring. Typically, external sub-contractors are hired to perform the work required. Hence, their progress must be closely monitored.
Once these components have been built, the final Acceptance Test is conducted. This test proves to the client that the business solution operates according to the functional requirements and officially marks its acceptance as satisfactory for installation and use by the employees. Implementation Plans are presented to (senior) management and users to outline the strategy and timing of the full-scale implementation of the business solution in the organisation, including the sponsorship, commitment and communication activities to foster rapid acceptance. The Implementation Plans are used to mitigate risk and monitor progress of implementation as part of “programme management” (e.g. by scheduling ongoing feedback and status reporting to management, to avoid the potential for “runaway” systems implementation problems).
By the end of the Build phase, the organisation will have been shown a compelling demonstration of a working prototype of the business solution and will be able to confidently confirm the attainable benefits. Senior management will have declared “we are ready to go live”. Detailed implementation activities of every subproject will be known, and senior management will clearly comprehend their role during the upcoming Implement phase.
The programme office monitors progress, risks and the quality of the multiple development subprojects; co-ordinates the timing of implementation and organisational impacts; and establishes a mechanism for benefit-tracking.

Deliverables for Build

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Phase 7: Implement
The objective of the Implement phase is to set in motion across the company the full suite of process, technological and social changes that have been designed and built. Implementation begins when the targets of change begin experiencing the impacts and are expected to adopt the new state. There are a wide range of activities being completed by implementation teams in this phase such as equipment installation, employee training, issue documentation/resolution, and managing compliance to new processes and policies.

Managing the Business Solution Roll-out throughout the entire organisation (often across many geographic regions) is one of the most challenging aspects of the BPI programme. Abnormally high levels of support are likely during the initial operation of the business solution that need to be directed and co-ordinated. New issues to be addressed for the implementation to proceed smoothly will continuously arise.
Learning Programmes are instituted across the organisation both during pre-implementation activities and after the initial operation of the business solution has begun. These programmes communicate to employees all new responsibilities resulting from redesigned processes and new policies that have been created and provide employees with necessary skills to fulfil their new responsibilities.
All business solutions need some continuing support to ensure their ultimate success. This is why an adequate Support Infrastructure is designed to be in place and functional during implementation, so that desired performance can be attained as quickly after implementation as possible. The types of support that make up this infrastructure vary significantly but can include the reporting/resolution of “bugs” in implemented IT solutions, the creation and maintenance of an User Help Desk to answer employee questions pertaining to aspects of the new business solution (e.g. policy changes), or the updating of documentation such as the Process/User’s Manual.
Given that organisations have a natural tendency to gravitate toward traditional (“tried and true”) behaviours, even well-intentioned employees often slip back into performing the job duties just as they have always done them. This situation can result in performance gains to be lost over time or to not be realised at all. To sustain the new environment, a Performance Feedback mechanism, connected directly to the Critical Success Factors of the (Confirmed) Business Vision, is put in place to measure desired performance targets, and provide for corrective action and continuous improvement.
During the course of the implementation it is not only important to measure the resulting improvement in organisational performance but to also measure the progress of the implementation itself. This measurement is conducted as part of “programme management” using the Implementation Plans and Performance Feedback mechanisms.
Upon completion of this phase, the planned business solutions will be operational across the organisation and employees will have been fully trained. Staff will be configured under the revamped organisational structure and will respect the revised policies that govern their work duties. The employees will see and feel the benefits and senior management will declare that the expected results from the BPI programme have indeed been achieved.
The programme office acts as a “War Room”, co-ordinating and controlling all implementation events. Daily progress is monitored against Implementation Plans. Benefit tracking and Performance Feedback are in place to measure the learning curve and performance improvements against established timelines of the Migration Plan.

Deliverables for Implement

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Phase 8: Enhance

The goal of the Enhance phase is to put in place mechanisms to ensure that performance improvements resulting from the BPI programme are sustained over time and ultimately lead to opportunities for additional performance gains. By training small teams responsible for identifying and initiating ongoing improvements, the company will initiate an effort to make continuous performance improvement an integral part of the organisational culture.
A Continuous Improvement Programme is established, which outlines the manner in which future performance enhancements will be supported in the organisation. Along with initiating programmes such as Total Quality Management (TQM) and Statistical Process Control (SPC), this plan addresses the need to develop and sustain appropriate management leadership of and participation in, performance improvement. In addition, the plan identifies the steps that are needed to allow the employees not only to identify opportunities for improvement, but also to become empowered to act upon them.
Although this phase is ongoing, demonstrable results will occur on a number of fronts, including the successful completion of continuous improvement projects, as well as consistently improving results in customer and employee satisfaction surveys. The programme office activities focus on (internal) client relationship management, identifying opportunities to further enhance the organisation’s performance. Senior management will recognise that continuous performance improvement is an initiative that must be supported on an ongoing basis and will set the foundation for the “awakening” to the next BPI initiative.

Deliverables for Enhance

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