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There must be 50 ways to….

Blog: Process transformation - interventions for meaningful change

There must be 50 ways to support the transparency, management and improvement of processes…..

I have tweeted it before: getting tired of the many people I meet that still associate process management first and most of all with documenting processes. Almost like a reflex “Ah, we will work with processes, so… we need to model and document this/all processes”.
Sure it can help, but first of all it’s not the only action a business can take. And second it may definitely not be the right action – other actions might add much more value.
Therefore, here are fifty (ok, some more) other possible interventions that can support the transparency, management and improvement of processes. Did I miss something? Let me know!

(Note, I concentrate on interventions focused on a specific process, and have left out the many interventions one can do to support implementation of process management and BPM within a company on a larger scale…)

The key activity
1. Understand all possible interventions, understand the context, and select, based on best practices, budget and requirements, a good set of interventions for the process, in close cooperation with key stakeholders and in line with your process management strategy (do you have one?)

High level understanding
2. Identify the process (and more important: the service/product that it delivers) and place it in a Product Catalogue
3. Identify the process (name it) and place it in a process architecture/decomposition
4. Identify all stakeholders in the process and understand their goals and high level role in the process
5. Identify all external stakeholders to a process (suppliers, partners, customers) and identify the primary interactions with the process (flows of information, physical goods)
6. Establish SIPOC – Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer, but only one a very high level
7. Understand how this process is related to other processes (input/output/supporting/managing) and the fit
8. Classify the process using certain classification criteria: high/low volume, routine – ad hoc, high/low cost, high/low strategic relevance
9. Understand how this process relates to your core competencies. Discuss and decide on sourcing strategies
10. Define the products and services that are output and that are input to the process, and establish quality criteria
11. Understand what IT-systems are supporting the process, with what functionality
12. Understand the relation between the process and core business objects (data) : Create, Read, Update, Delete.

Measurement & Governance
13. Establish goals, associated key performance indicators & targets for a process and start measuring
14. Define a Service Level Agreement with the key customers (internal/external)
15. Discuss and understand the control model: what can we do if all KPI’s are in red?
16. Plan the process execution. Create a simple plan, that estimates demand, defines required capabilities and needed resources (per month, quarter, …)
17. Assign someone / people to be accountable for certain aspects of a process (execution, quality, performance measurement, improvement, improving maturity). Make sure there are clear lines of responsible for process vs. line management
18. Implement reporting lines and procedures for these accountable people
19. Set up a “quality circle” of process experts, that discuss and propose improvements
20. Establish a evaluation cycle that follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle for the process
21. Implement a cross-function process governance board (strategic and tactical level) in which functional departments govern process performance and improvement activities
22. Implement procedures and supporting roles/resources for participant support (helpdesk), process incidents, problems and change requests/change management
23. Implement a regular customer satisfaction measurement/evaluation – outside in
24. Make sure all your process KPI measurements are stored safely, so that in time, you can do trend analysis and inline simulation
25. Audit compliance and report on findings

Analysis & Improvement
26. Determine the voice of the business: how this process needs to operate to execute the strategy
27. Adopt a best practice process framework (such as APQC, SCOR, eTOM, …) and assess the process
28. Understand all applicable regulations and policies and understand compliance requirements
29. Perform an outside in analysis of the customer: who is the customer and what is important for them (voice of the customer)
30. Determine the “voice of the employee”: what do the process participants find important in terms of roles, development, employee happiness and fulfillment?
31. Assess the performance of the process (specific measurements, such as cycle time, throughput, cost, quality, compliance)
32. Perform a value added/waste analysis, and remove waste & non-value added activities
33. Perform a bottleneck analysis (ToC)
34. Understand process breakdowns, using a Rootcause analysis
35. Assess the capability of the process, based on the current resources: what are the limits & regular operating levels?
36. Identify the risks in the process and come up with/implement controls
37. Identity quality aspects and implement first time right / error proof interventions and checks where required + audits to proof adherence
38. Measure a certain aspect and it’s variance, and attempt to understand natural and special causes for the variation
39. Define a process improvement plan, including key indicators, and make someone / people responsible for executing it in a certain time frame

40. Assess the maturity of a process and define the required maturity
41. Define a maturity improvement plan (based on a maturity model), including key indicators, and make someone / people responsible for executing it in a certain time frame
42. Implement PDCA cycle, roles and responsibilities focused on Maturity

Culture, awareness and HR
43. Train the process participants and managers in the process. Create a RACI matrix.
44. Understand the roles and come up with clear functions, with clear business rules around mandate and separation of duties
45. Understand the roles in a process (and the activities they execute and/or manage) and define required competencies
46. Organize awareness sessions to make people understand their role in a process and the impact of their behavior on customer, other people and process performance
47. Train relevant stakeholders in process thinking
48. Organize a BPM-game, where participants learn about the concepts of process, process improvement and process management through an engaging game
49. Organize a BPM day for various departments involved in a process, and use it to build (social) cohesion and alignment
50. Build awareness and capability at the management level in process thinking, process improvement and process stewardship
51. Implement incentives for process improvements (as opposed to rewarding repeated fire fighting behavior)

52. Go and buy a BPM Suite and automate the process and the BAM
53. Go and buy a BRM suite and support business rules and knowledge support

And finally: document your process(es) (are you really sure??)
54. Understand the stakeholders, goals, life expectation and required detail for documentation
55. Create a process model with supporting documentation, containing a detailed analysis of activities, events, business rules, roles, data flow, physical flow
56. Publish the process model & documentation to relevant stakeholders
57. Place the process model & documentation under configuration management and implement processes to signal updates/deviations and keeping documentation updated

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