Empowering Business Process Management and Strategy – How to know if BPM is right for your organization?

Posted by Amy Dingle on 5/5/16 10:30 AM


Whether you were able to attend the webinar or not, learn a little bit more about BPM, Interfacing and how we can help you going forward!

Jeffory Elliott, Senior Consultant with Lewis Fowler, answered a few questions after the webinar below. 

With markets becoming increasingly more disruptive, timing becomes crucial when thinking about planning for an organization’s future. In reality, “agility” is no longer a buzz word - it is a standard way to operate a business. What’s more, executives are constantly relying on innovation to make game changing decisions and stay ahead of market pressure. While this fast pace is necessary, an implication is that circumstances within business environments are becoming more and more complex. In the wake of this fast-moving change and unyielding disruption, how does an organization deal with the emerging complexity and remain aligned at every level? Well, you might first ask yourself about the effectiveness of your Business Process Management (BPM) strategy, and how closely it ties to the overall strategy of your organization. BPM provides an opportunity to “double-click” into big organization-wide challenges and offers solutions which continuously seek to improve upon themselves.

So, when is the best time to start incorporating BPM into an organization?

The answer to this question will definitely vary depending on the organization and certain factors concerning its profile – size, profitability, maturity, strategy, etc. While every organization is different, there tend to be several industry agnostic drivers of BPM that span any industry or vertical. Some examples of those drivers might be operational efficiency, market pressure, Enterprise Risk Management, compliance and governance. When deciding on the best time to incorporate BPM within an organization, it is important to consider these drivers because they will ultimately assist in gauging the need to employ a sound BPM plan, and how to connect it to overall organizational goals and strategy.

How does an organization know which problems to tackle first?

This aspect can be difficult for organizations to discern, and seldom given much thought. While it might be possible to get a general “pulse” on the business, a deep dive into process analysis is where organizations typically find benefit.  Moreover, an effective BPM approach is paramount in order to delve into the many challenges an organization might face. No matter the methodology you use – Lean and/or Six Sigma, Total Quality Management (TQM), Agile, Waterfall, Deming Cycle/PDCA etc. – the goal is to reveal large and complex challenges, overcome them, and prevent them from reoccurring. Utilizing a BPM methodology, which considers the right information, is key - current challenges to the business, the ideal future state, and the gaps between the two. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for all levels of an organization to invest in the steps taken to examine challenges, and to ensure the right people are involved. Another important aspect to consider is how to prioritize the solutions created and plan accordingly. It is vital to note that a BPM approach is not effective if its solutions fail to be implemented successfully, or fail to be implemented at all.  

What if an organization does not have the time to incorporate a BPM strategy?

This is not an uncommon question at all – it’s actually really common. In reality, time is money and everyone seems to have less and less of it these days, especially at the leadership level of an organization. Unfortunately, implementing a sound BPM strategy does take time, and its development should be thoroughly executed. Careful attention to which BPM approach is used, who is involved in creating the strategy, how the approach is executed, and how it is tied to overall organization strategy is invaluably critical. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available to help organizations with undertaking this huge task.

In the end, when applied correctly and tied well to overall strategy, a sound BPM approach provides leadership with a clear and realistic look at the landscape of their business. In addition, it continuously equips leadership with critical information concerning the direction in which their business should head, naturally making an organization more dynamic and agile. BPM also affords any organization the opportunity to align its business units, leverage data in making critical strategy decisions, achieve “next-level maturation,” increase ROI and profitability, and, most importantly, improve on its customer experience. So, how will you empower BPM to realize the future success of your organization?

--Jeffory Elliott, Senior Consultant at Lewis Fowler


Lianne Hurtubise, Account Executive at Interfacing Technologies, also had a few questions at the end of the webinar. Keep reading to learn more.

How have organizations leveraged your solution in setting up a process initiative? From where to begin?

Business process analysis helps an organization improve how it conducts its functions and activities in order to reduce overall costs, provide more efficient use of resources and better support customers.  It introduces the notion of process orientation, of concentrating on and rethinking end-to-end activities that create value for customers, while removing unnecessary, non-value added work.

When setting up a process analysis initiative, there are core elements that are looked at, such as:

  • As Is Model
  • To be Model
  • Process ownership and governance
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Process Impact
  • Organization Impact
  • Risk
  • Expected Outcome

The Enterprise Process Center (EPC) allows you to capture and store all the process information in one central repository to easily have a total view of the business architecture.  Many of our customers have also leveraged our process frameworks such as the APQC, ITIL, SCOR and eTOM as a good starting point for their own organizations process structure.

How does your solution manage the lifecycle of a process? Example change requests, improvement requests?

When inefficiencies or redundancies are discovered in a process, the users needs a way to collaborate with the other people involved in the process to suggest changes or improvements. We have provided a discussion / improvement forum to address the continuous improvement and lifecycle management.

 Here's how process improvement requests are created, approved and implemented.

  • Ideas for process changes are first shared in the discussion page of processes. In the discussion page, users create posts and more specifically, improvement requests. Improvement requests may pertain to any part of the process, for example they might be about an inefficient or redundant task, or about an obtuse procedure which requires clarification.
  • Once an improvement request is created, users can engage in discussions about the proposed change. All users will receive an email notification of the post. They can then reply to the request with all involved in the processes being updated. Users may also vote to indicate their agreement or disagreement toward the change.
  • The accountable user of the process must then review open requests and approve them. Before approving, accountable users may also edit the original request, as the final change proposition might be different from its original description.
  • Once a request is approved, modeler users are able to access its detail and information through an improvement log accessible from within the modeler.

 Modeler users apply the changes to the process and publish it when done.

 An improvement request has been created by a portal user, approved by the accountable user and implemented by the modeler user.

Can you import Visio files?

Yes, in addition to importing Visio files, Interfacing provides a Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) converter which allows you to convert the Visio annotations to the Standard BPMN annotations, which would then be imported into the EPC.  In addition to Visio, you can also import and export bi-directionally from Excel.

--Lianne Hurtubise, Account Executive at Interfacing Technologies


Miss the webinar? Watch the recording here!


Topics: Webinar Follow Up