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BPI Priority Opportunities – Focus Phase

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Priority Opportunities – Focus Phase


  • A summary, including preliminary (+/- 50%) estimates of costs and benefits, of the key opportunities for changes in processes, information technology, physical infrastructure, human resources, etc. identified through assessment activities conducted to date in the BPI project.    

Client Value

  • This overview sensitizes both management and staff to the nature and size of the changes being contemplated. Management then has the opportunity to ‘remove from the table’ at the outset any proposed solutions it considers unworkable or unaffordable (given its understanding of the benefits and costs of each idea).
  • This deliverable provides the first tangible analysis of what can be improved to achieve the desired performance in the organization. If all process opportunities are not formally documented, suggested improvement opportunities might not be given justice and could be overlooked. In addition, if constraints to implementation are not identified and addressed up-front, the risk of failure in implementing a proposed opportunity will increase significantly.
  • The articulation and communication of opportunities proposed by staff of all levels helps to foster a sense of openness and employee involvement in the BPI initiative. Often resistance to change can be reduced if it can be demonstrated to employees that their ideas have been taken into consideration (whether or not the suggestion ends up being accepted as part of the solution).


This deliverable is a compilation and continuation of three deliverables previously completed: As-Is Process Assessment, As-Is Technology Assessment, As-Is Human Resource Assessment. The objective of the deliverable is to identify opportunities for performance improvement along with associated constraints to implementation in order to communicate to senior management preliminary estimates of costs and benefits for proceeding with the BPI effort.
  1. Review results from previous assessment activities and identify potential opportunities for significant performance improvement (Activity Based Costing Using , Cost/Benefit Analysis).
    1. Identify key performance improvement opportunities within each of the focus areas
    2. Estimate high level costs and benefits for opportunities identified
    3. Identify potential barriers/constraints that could impact the feasibility of         implementation (e.g. collective agreement stipulations, government legislation, shortage of in-house skills, etc.)
  2. Document results and communicate to appropriate audiences
    1. Identify audiences
      1. The primary audience for the briefing consists of the decision-makers who will sponsor the imple­mentation of the opportunities identified. This includes the project sponsor and members of his/her management team. If appropriate, the sponsor     may choose to invite others in the organization who will be affected by the redesign.
      2. Determine mode of communication
  3. Present, discuss and obtain management ‘buy-in’ and approval for the results



  • Be careful of choosing processes as early targets that will require significant up-front technology investments, which are costly and which delay both tangible change and measurable benefits.
  • Be aware that unexpected, “hot” organizational issues may cause the executive team to shift its focus to processes that do not have a significant business impact. The use of the Process Impact Analysis can help to refocus the executive team.
  • Where many processes re being considered, it may be necessary to assign weights to the Critical Success Factors, so that a quantitative rating of processes will not produce many “ties” and so that the relative importance of the Critical Success Factors is considered (see technique Process Impact Analysis).
  • The priority opportunities should tie directly back to the Critical Success Factors, Key Performance Indicators, Stretch Targets, and the Focus Areas. Obtaining client buy-in for the redesign will go smoothly if it can be shown that the process improvements and the resultant performance improvements are aligned with the Focus Areas. To recapitulate, the focus areas were derived from critical success factors, key performance indicators, and stretch targets of the clients business.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Maintain regular communications with the key members of the leadership team and other leading project stakeholders (while As-Is assessments are being conducted) to ensure they are not caught off guard by last-minute, surprise conclusions. ‘Previews’ of this nature prepares these key audience members for issues they will face, and can serve as a forum to identify political obstacles or other prob­lems before they arise.    

Resources and Timing

  1. External Consultant resources involved in completing this deliverable require experience     in compiling the results of process analysis workshops and assisting client design personnel in identifying and describing opportunities/problems/constraints to be addressed with senior management

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