Project or Program?
Most companies approach BPM as a project – improve/automate a business process. Once an appropriate process to improve/automate has been selected, most companies will follow a process similar to the following:
1) Define the process
2) Confirm that you have correctly defined the process
3) Measure the defined process
4) Improve/automate the process where possible
5) Measure the new process
A BPM project can be defined as a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a specific one-time objective – shorten the process time. But, this process includes a ‘round trip’. Once you have measured the new process, you may or may not have achieved your objective. Therefore, you must come up with new ways to improve/automate the process. Then, you will implement and measure again.
And, it doesn’t stop there. Over time your company will have changes in people, circumstances and environment requiring you to revisit the improve/automate step. Realistically this is an ongoing process – maybe it should it be called a program.
Program seems more accurate. A program manager may not care about an individual project, but is concerned with the aggregate result. We take on business process management to make our companies more efficient thereby increasing revenues, lowering costs and improving customer relationships.
The point – it is not realistic to look at business process management as a project, it is really an ongoing undertaking [a program]. You won’t just implement a BPM project and not visit it again. You will revisit existing processes and you will improve/automate others. This is an ongoing activity [a program], plan accordingly.
More efficient business processes lead to increased revenues, lower costs and improved customer relationships. It can differentiate you from your competitors. It can be the key that allows your company to break out as the market leader.
What steps has your company taken to be a market leader?
Keeping it Real!