Monday, May 16, 2011

BPM Initiative

Venturing into the BPM space would make much more sense for an IT division of a company if certain practices were already considered and implemented. This would not only guarantee successful Return on Investment, but also helps win the confidence of business users. But the fact is, not too many organizations are willing to consider, and even if they consider fail to implement. Organizations get carried away by fancied product vendors, who in turn sell their tools and not concepts. So what are these practices an organization needs to plan before jumping into BPM?

Process Blueprint Stack

It is imperative for an organization to build a process blueprint stack at first, before even thinking to buy a BPM tool. Well, building a process blueprint is no simple task, and it requires enormous effort and collaboration from various stake holders of the organization. Process blueprint helps in identifying the processes to be automated and at one level below it identifies the business processes itself. Also, process blueprint not only helps identifying the critical processes but also ascertains the future demands from the business.

Building Standards and Best Practices by forming CoE

Standards and best practices ensure consistent and uniform delivery from IT. This should be regulated by forming a Center of Excellence (CoE). CoE must help the delivery teams and ensure standards are met and delivery is aligned with organization goals and principles. CoE should not do policing on teams that deviate from standards; instead CoE should try to build processes, policies and frameworks such that teams fall in trap for standards. In case of deviations, CoE must analyze the deviation and make sure they fill the hole in the policies to ensure no such deviation takes place in future.


One of the primary responsibilities of CoE is governance. Without proper governance nothing fruitful can happen and BPM is no exception. Governance with respect to BPM CoE is all about process ownership. Process ownership can be maintained by building a Responsibility Assignment Matrix charts (RAM). RAM charts helps in identifying the process owner with the process status.

Training the stakeholders

A very important and fundamental aspect of a successful BPM initiative lies in training the BPM stakeholders. Training the stakeholder on BPM concepts and making them aware of the BPM tool which the organization has acquired helps in bridging the conceptual gap. It basically ensures that BPM stakeholders talk in one language. For instance, the business requirements or software specification requirements can have BPM aspects like SLA, KPI, task routing instead of details in vanilla software terms which would cause ambiguity. Also, product promotion should be championed across the organization to make users well aware of the BPM tool. This would also help the business on what they can expect from a prospective BPM solution.

Lombardi Best Practices
published as a separate post.

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