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BPI Storyline for a Vision-driven Scenario

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Storyline for a Vision-driven Scenario

Following on from previous BLOGS regarding the implementation of large scale Integrated Software Solutions I came across an old  Business Process Improvement (BPI) Methodology developed by KPMG some years ago that I believe is still relevant in days environment. The BPI methodology represents an approach to a large-scale, complex, holistic and dramatic Business Performance Improvement programme. This Vision-driven Scenario was selected because, as such, it calls for a large inventory of deliverables to be created during the course of the programme. The Vision-driven Scenario has the following assumptions.
  • No constraints have been established by Organisation senior management to limit the effort.
  • An external consultant has been asked to assist the Organisation from start to finish—Awaken through Implement.
  • Redesigned processes drive the software selection, development and implementation (and not vice-versa).
The scenario requires that all deliverables and techniques described in the Methodology are used to successfully complete the program.
The scenario comes best to life when the phase-level storylines are read, since this is where all the deliverables are described and related to each other. Below is a brief synopsis of the eight phases.


The purpose of the Awaken phase is to bring the leader(s) of an organization to the realization that some kind of significant change is required. A number of high-level activities are conducted at this early stage to sensitise the chief executive and senior management to the magnitude of the change exercise.
The Awaken phase ends when the chief executive (and management team) acknowledges that the organisation needs to change, recognises that change can bring significant benefits and has engaged a Consultant to initiate the required improvements.


The purpose of the Envision phase is to develop a common context and understanding (between the chief executive, senior management and the consultant) of the organization, its current challenges and its future direction. As rudimentary as it may seem, unaligned perceptions and perspectives of senior managers and consultants will delay or derail the program. This phase enables the organisation to initiate the BPI efforts so that all project activities strive toward consistent objectives.
The Envision phase ends when multiple levels of the client organisation have an image of where the organisation wants to be and can consistently and uniformly articulate where the organisation is headed. At this point, both the organisation and consultant 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 program is publicly announced throughout the organisation, a Program Office is established and a core team of organisation and consultants are chartered to explore the (as yet unquantified) opportunities of the “future state”.


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 organisation 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.
Upon completion of the Focus Phase, senior management will have a clear strategy of where they are taking the company. Core team members 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 program—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 program. Priority Opportunities are isolated and, for the first time, quantified (to a +/- 50 percent level of accuracy). This effort, when carefully managed, adequately resourced and remaining under full sponsorship of the chief executive can be accomplished in three to five weeks.

Design High Level

The objective of this phase is to develop a portrait of how the 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 the 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.
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 organisation-consultant effort may require 8 to 16 weeks to complete, and is strongly dependent on the number and level of detail of migration scenarios contemplated.

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 program 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 maximize 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).
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 Program Office manages the integration, communication and coordination of these efforts, which for large-scale projects, can easily represent 50 discrete projects and 600 dedicated resources.


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 organizational programmes are put in place to help deal with a broad range of employee-oriented issues.
By the end of the Build phase, the organization 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 Program Office monitors progress, risks and the quality of the multiple development subprojects; coordinates the timing of implementation and organizational impacts; and establishes a mechanism for benefit-tracking.


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. A wide range of activities are carried out by implementation teams in this phase (e.g., equipment installation, employee training, issue documentation/resolution, and managing compliance to new processes and policies).
Upon completion of this phase, the planned business solutions will be operational across the organization and employees will have been fully trained. Staff will be configured under the revamped organizational 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 program have indeed been achieved.
The Programme Office acts as a “War Room”, coordinating 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.


The goal of the Enhance phase is to put in place mechanisms to ensure that performance improvements resulting from the BPI program 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 organizational culture.
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 client relationship management, identifying opportunities to further enhance the client’s business performance. Senior management will recognize 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.

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