Process Is The Main Thing

@ Anatoly Belaychuk’s BPM Blog

Scott Francis about Legislating Competency

Scott Francis wrote a great post that very much resonates to our experience.

BPM projects are special because business processes are volatile by their nature. They are changing because (1) the business environment is ever changing and (2) our own understanding of what is the best way to do our job and to serve our customers is changing.

It happens all the time: as soon as the customer’s process is discovered and mapped, people at the customer side say: “do we really work this way?!” Meaning that it’s so obviously inefficient and ineffective. Yet it only becomes obvious after the analysis is done by a competent process team, not in advance.

This is why an attempt to do the process work traditional way - on the basis of rigid specifications and contract terms - is doomed. Here is how Scott describes it:

  1. Incredibly detailed specifications for the software, regardless of the native capabilities of the underlying software platforms.
  2. Named resources (staff) on the project, in the contract.
  3. The contract includes most or all of the specifications, binding the vendor to an exact implementation definition, and removing all doubt about what is desired.
  4. Having secured very rigorous contracts, with performance penalties and exacting specifications, the contract will also specify an extremely aggressive average rate for the personnel on the project.

» read the rest

07/06/15 | Guests | ,     Comments: closed

Recursive BPM

A customer needs to put in order the contract approval process. Desired timeframe is “yeserday”.

But to do so they need to agree the contract with the BPM consultant ;)

The true story…

07/04/15 | Notes | ,     Comments: closed

Process/Project Dualism

Process vs. Project Management distinction is in fact very artificial - at a closer look one doesn’t exist without the other.

Both for projects and processes two levels of management can be specified:

  1. managing business/company (or its part)
  2. managing the management system - let’s call it meta-management

For example, managing the new shop construction is about creating timely and accurate schedule, back it up with resources, make everyone know what he/she should do, where and when. Reporting and control, addressing deviations and adjusting schedule - this is the project management routine. It’s the first level of the project management. » read the rest

06/30/15 | Articles | ,     Comments: closed

(Русский) Знания BPM - в массы!

Sorry, this entry is only available in Русский.

05/18/15 | News | , ,     Comments: closed

The Unified Collaborative Work Environment

In the previous article we divided the collaborative work continuum into projects, processes, cases, document-oriented workflows and issues.

We also noted that it was made for analysis purposes only; in reality, they are interrelated. As an illustration, the PMBOK (Process Management Body of Knowledge) talks about processes more than about projects; similarly, the big part of BPM CBOK (Business Process Management Common Body of Knowledge) is devoted to processes improvement and process transformation projects.

This interrelation shows itself in the following: » read the rest

02/19/15 | Articles | ,     Comments: closed

Managing Projects, Processes and Cases

Interestingly, when you meet a certified project manager, he/she almost immediately starts talking about how important is to manage projects and how it should be done. Similarly, a process management expert looks at the world through processes.

In reality, however, most organizations have to deal with processes, projects and cases which are somewhere between the two. Therefore they need a balanced, unbiased view of projects, processes and cases that in essence are just different kinds of collaborative work. Projects, projects and cases have more in common than it may seem at the first glance: whatever approach is taken, there always is an initial state, resources and goals to be reached.

Yet it’s hard to be an expert in different knowledge areas. One can learn the theory but it takes years to become an experienced practitioner. That’s why it’s relatively easy for an organization to find a project or process experts but there is risk that they will overestimate the importance of one approach at the expense of the other. » read the rest

Functional and Process Management: Tools Support

In the previous articles, we positioned Project Management and Process Management as systematic ways to compensate the issues of pure functional management: loss of control at handoffs, loss of focus on corporate goals, sub-optimization, etc. Let us now consider the tools (i.e. software) support for functional, project and process management.

Let’s start with the functional management. First, there are standalone applications – accounting, warehouse, product lifecycle management (PLM), advanced planning & scheduling (APS), etc. targeted to specific departments. Historically, these applications have appeared first as the earliest form of management was functional management. » read the rest

Processes vs. Projects vs. Functions

In the first article we described how the division of labor increases productivity of an individual employee yet, at the same time, creates a disconnect between departments reducing the company’s effectiveness.

These problems arise when the company grows. As long as the founder is in charge, and the number of employees is limited, the mutual understanding and motivation among managers is sufficient to limit “friction” to a minimum. Then, e.g. a new ambitious sales director comes onboard to reorganize the sales department.  The changes might be positive overall, but the former mutual understanding with the director of Manufacturing is no longer there, leading to tensions, that evolve in a search for a “scapegoat” in meetings with the CEO.

Another case: a business owner (who is also the CEO) decides that the business is finally standing firmly on its feet, and he can withdraw from the operational management and devote his life to surfing. In few months, the company plunges into a feudal disarray.

What options does the executive have in dealing with the coming disorder? » read the rest

02/03/15 | Articles | ,     Comments: closed

How the Division of Labor Lowers Productivity

It’s all because of Adam Smith! Wasn’t he the one who introduced the division of labor? What, he didn’t invent it but simply described it? Anyway, it’s the phenomenon that we are going to talk about, not the person.

It happens all the time: as soon as we find a solution for a problem, the solution becomes a problem itself. The division of labor is not an exception: it increases the productivity indeed, but it also decreases in other cases. » read the rest

01/31/15 | Articles | ,     Comments: closed

Where Is The Beginning and The End of Processes?

No, it’s not about processes start and end event, it’s about what should be named as process and what shouldn’t.

A few quotes showing the range of opinions -

Paul Harmon comments the “Process and Capabilities” discussion at LinkedIn BPTrends group:

One of the major differences in the field is between people who use “process” to refer to a diagram, or even more narrowly to the pattern of activities and flows, and those who use “process” to refer to everything that is involved in producing specified outputs. I am definitely in the latter camp… for me, the idea of separating “recourses” or “people” or “managers” from “process” is simply to take a very narrow view of process… The “capabilities” the Army cites are small processes - activities if you would - that get assembled into larger processes when necessity requires. One capability is landing by rubber raft. Another is hiking 10 miles very quickly, etc. Once a specific hostage situation arises a process (project?) is assembled of many discrete activities and executed.

As we can see, Paul tend to name “process” literally everything - activities and combinations of activities of any scale, and makes no difference between processes and projects. » read the rest

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