our approach to business transformation

Thousands of words have been spread around to “say” how we should do this.  A lot of definitions are available.

Strictly we can say it’s all about alignment, reorganisation of  Processes, Organisations, Data, Applications and Services towards a new strategy, a vision.

Let’s call this PODAS.

As an initiator to a business transformation below I describe “my approach”.

Not that easy nowadays.  Bearing in mind a company (even an organisation or a department) has a “legacy” of  many years.

Now here’s our approach to business process management:

  • Get a vision
  • Perform an audit
  • Perform a Fit/Gap analysis
  • Implementation of the solution

 

Step 1: get a vision

Explain the reasons for undertaking the project. For example:

  • Business change.
  • Technological change.
  • Regulatory or statutory change.
  • Improvement programme.
  • Corporate strategy.

Collect the vision : how we see ourselves within 2 – 5 years (longer than 5 is not relevant any more).  Determine a short term strategy (reasonable on a timeframe of 2 years).

When starting with BPM you are invited to communicate structurally.  So everyone should come at the table (floor & management boarder).  All have  their thoughts, their ideas, their approaches to “improve” or … to not change.

If you are able to put on paper a vision, a strategy then you are able to determine your BPM mission

Instruments:

  • pencil & paper
  • casetools (see later)

Deliverables:

  • Business plan
  • Premature business case

Crucial in this step:

– motivate a staff (key-users and management) who are thrilled to move away from their “comfort zones”, getting rid of “business as usual”
– know what the customer really is looking for (listen, listen, listen)
– let the customer determine his needs, his benefits, his “what’s in it for me”
– let the customer determine … the operational excellence

Step 2: perform an audit

This step brings you an in depth knowledge of your business, whare are we know, where do we want to be in the near future.

So how to do this:

Collect a high level environmental view of:

1)  the Current State (CS) and

2)  the Future State (FS)

Use PODAS (processes, organisation, data, architecture, services) as a basis for analysis.

Some examples of transformations:

Current State Future State
using Windows XP Pro Windows 7
using a B2B and a B2C model to sell our products B2B2C as a third distribution channel
Proper Service Desk outsource our service desk
Have a heterogenous set of solutions to support our processes use as a solution SAP CRM or MS AIX
we will merge with company xyz …

To document this step of BPM I’m using case tools, spreadsheets, interviews, workshops in a very structure manner.

This analysis step delivers a clear picture of the Current State and the Future State.

Step 2.1: process analysis

The first step of this audit is to get an overview of the P (Processes of PODAS)

A process is composed of n activities generating deliverables

Document these objects as following:

For a process: a name, a description,

For an activity: the main actor (who will perform this, expressed as an owner), what to do, and the time it’s taking to get it done : processing time, wait time

For a deliverable: in general terms describe the output (example a bill of lading)
I here refer to the cost factor of an activity, and do come across of Lean Management, Lean Manufacturing and ABC cost models.

 

Step 2.2: organisational analysis

The next step is to get a grip on the O (organisation of PODAS)

Determine the staff who is working in the organisation, the department to drive and support the process, who is “consuming / burning” time ?

All these actors collaborate, perform activities, contribute to the processes.

Finally we get a picture of the collaborating actors (department chiefs, line managers, executives, floormanagers, ICT staff, CxOs …)

Step 2.3: data & architectural analysis

Next step is to represent the needed D & A (Data and Architecture of PODAS)

All the processes generate some outcome.  Precisely this outcome is to be generated using an ICT layer (IT , Telecom infrastructure).

This infrastructure is a set of data, software, hardware, authority, security, network, reports, communication devices

For each object you determine a technical description

Example:

To deliver a bill of lading from the process “manufacturing” you describe the necessary infrastructure (you need a PC, a screen, a network, a database, a sign on panel, and finally a program to administer your bill of lading).

Describe the change of status of each deliverable you are dealing with.  An order can be “new”, “modified”, “completed”, “ready for production”, …

What kind of statusses deliverables might encounter along the processes.

Step 2.4: services

Next step is to determine the S (Service level of PODAS, the performance indicators).

Describe to what kind of level you are able to service your customers (from your organisation).  Meaning: how quick must a process establish its deliverables bearing in mind all the aspects of PODAS.

Set-up an agreement of measuring this number, how to measure, how to collect, the frequency …

Negotiate with all impacted actors to deliver an acceptable level of service (in-bound, out-bound).  You are delivering service at a certain speed, certain quality to customers.  Determine the allowance of rework, redos, percentage of errors, percentage of failures, … at the end you get an understanding of the cost.

Express this audit using a report template.

Distribute the report to your audience and ask for review.

This communication is imperative and will support your BPM for accuracy and prepares the change.

Step 2.5: become lean

This is an additional step.

Collect all the ideas of the audience and determine (team work) how to improve the process life cycles, how to decrease the cost of operation, how to get rid of waste (of time, of energy).

Nowadays, merely all companies are starting to apply the concepts of Lean management & Lean manufacturing.

This provoques a lot of changes, not always wanted, but it pays, there’s a definite return.

An audit is supported by following:

Instruments:

  • Workshops
  • Interviews (face to face)
  • casetools (see later)

Deliverables:

  • business case (maturing)
  • business process work flow
    • current state
    • future state
    • value stream mapping
      • processing time
      • wait time
      • cost of processing
      • requirements
        • PODAS of currenst & future state
          • Processes + its deliverables
          • Operational model
          • Data (information, databases)
          • Architecure
          • Services
  • non-functional (COPAFITH)
    • commercial
    • organisational
    • personnel (staff)
    • administration
    • financial (smart, feasible)
    • information (communication vertical & horizontal)
    • technnique (architectural fit)
    • house (culture)

Step 3: Fit / Gap analysis

Altering the Current State of PODAS puts a change on the agenda.

Calculate the GAP between the Current State & Future State simply means: express the needed workload to run the business using a new PODAS enviroment, what is needed to operate in the Future State.

Example:

The workload should be expressed in terms of money, energy,

  • procurement of solutions
  • internal
  • external
  • what is needed to get the staff trained to use the new solutions
    does look end to end (not only IT)
  • set-up workshops
  • set-up coaching
  • set-up mentoring
  • development of IT projects
  • maturity training

Bearing in mind the complexity of a company its interfacing, its primary and secundary processes, its velocity, its (inter)dependencies, it is a very though excercise to steer.

We express the needs with an overall planning, an implementation plan (deadlines, business deliverables), an impact analysis, a risk management plan, an investment plan.

Step 4: implement the project

This part will deliver the new end to end solution.

As basis we use the deliverables of the previous steps, and now elaborate them.

As a governance project methodology I’m suggesting Prince2 because it is product based.

With the following steps:

  • Start-up
    • Assemble the team, the contributors
    • Write the project approach
      • Set-up the workstreams, phases, deliverable driven
      • When to do what and by whom (role based) (1)
      • What are the risks
        • Business wise
        • Project wise
      • What is the impact
        • Business wise
        • Project wise
      • Set-up a mitigation plan
    • Initial planning
    • Set-up a communication plan (2)
    • Communicate with a formal kick-off
  • Initiate
    • Assign your staff
    • Detail analysis of the requirements
    • Mapping the requirements onto the solutions
    • Design of the solutions
    • Implementation of the solutions
    • Prepare Q&A plan
    • Prepare training
    • Deliver the artifacts (sub parts of the solutions)
    • Execute testing (usage of V-model)
    • Iterate until done or stopped
  • Execution
    • Transition
    • Migration
    • Hand-over

1)  We herefore need a staff who will be dedicated to this project, We have in mind : business domain experts, end customers, key users, ICT domain experts, projects managers (suppliers & customers).

2)  Parallel we pay attention to communication (kick-off, progress meetings, information sharing) amongst all workstreams