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BPI Design High Level – Storyline

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Design High Level – Storyline

The objective of this phase is to develop a portrait of how the client organization will conduct business in the future. Design teams are chartered to support the core team 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 client organization. These comparisons illustrate the characteristics of world-class organizations 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 program is completed.
Optimum performance is obtained in those organizations 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 client organization.
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, organizational structure and employee skill requirements must be realigned to support the redesigned business processes.
Once the design team has sufficiently crystallized 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 ‘Computerized 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 organization 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 sub-projects. Each project has its own discrete requirements, specifications, costs and results. These sub-projects will inevitably have dependencies on each other and on other elements of the program. Technology components such as hardware, software, networks, data and enablers will often have common requirements from the sub-projects, as will new facilities and organizations.
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 years.
To ensure that an over-arching strategy exists to link in an integrated fashion the various organizational 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 program. 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 organizations, 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 program 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 Program 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.

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