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Is one of the keys to BPM getting processes live as quickly as possible?

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In this article at IT Web, No big bang approach to BPM, the author states: "The key to business improvement is getting a process live in the shortest time, so that it is real, and can be seen and understood, and more importantly, improved." Would you agree with this, and if so, how is this best achieved?


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  • Processes are always live, so I think you mean "getting the systems that support the processes live".

    So BPM is made technique again. In that case I would say no.

    But if a process is seen as all the factors (people, systems, steering, information etc) I would say yes.

    Staying in models too long will not help. It's about the execution. And implementing the first time right, is an illusion I think. So get everything up and running
    and experience a process.

  • Quick wins are the key to success.

    A big meeting and a year of deliberation and development in a backroom loses the project momentum at best and instills fear, uncertainty and doubt at worst.

    Demonstrate measurable victories early and often, show incremental progress publicly, ensure there is rapid resolution of problems, keep the users closely engaged and collaborate on all things.

  • Wow, utter nonsense and an extremely dangerous assumption, especially from a vendor.

    So, for example, I'm going to rush through an analysis phase of a large IT programme and quickly knock up a set of business requirements and hope that anything I've missed gets caught in user acceptance testing....

    In the same context, I'm going to design a flawed process, implement it, harm my business model and potentially my reputation with customers and end users, and destroy the credibility of BPM at the same time....before I improve it.

    By all means avoid the 'Big Bang' approach to BPM as it'll take too long, find projects and processes to prove the ROI and benefits but in no way rush for the finish line to claim a wooden spoon.

    Plan for BPM, be as agile and flexible as possible, but understand the process first and foremost before making it actually live.

  • I wouldn't have expressed it that way.

    I'd suggest that one of the keys is having something that can achieve a measurable and meaningful result quickly, to demonstrate success. It doesn't need to be perfect, or even complete. Which is what I think the author might mean.

    Of course, part of the initial exercise is determining the key measurements that define meaningful success.

  • Reading the article that includes the quote, it is clear he means get the process live in software. As in, automate it ASAP. I'm with Theo on this one - it's a dangerously broad and somewhat misguided generalization.

  • Maybe "live" is a misnomer here. I'd agree in the sense that "live" means a process that captures what the business had articulated and can be iterated upon to refine and improved between business and IT before going to "production" with live users.

  • I partially agree with the assumption that getting in and getting a quick win can be significanly beneficial. It not only shows progress on an effort (BPM) that often times makes people uneasy. But it also

    1. helps get some lessons learned under your belt
    2. Gains some level of ogranizational confidence
    3. Allows you to start to get experience evaluating, measuing and improving a process straight away.

    now with this being said i agree with some of the others, that this should not come at the expense of quality, and doing the right things for the right reasons. Rather it is about getting a process automated that is "low hanging fruit" and more easy to get live quicker that some of the other larger more complex farther reaching processes. I have seen this approach work very well. Verse tacking the biggest most impactful processes first.

  • The headline question is alittle flippant. The article holds alittle more weight than is implied here. Maybe lets pick up on the premise in the article “The key to business improvement is getting a process live in the shortest time, so that it is real, and can be seen and understood, and more importantly, improved”

    I think there is a balancing act here; so many times do I find that digitising a process exposes the real opportunity for improvement. In fact it’s like two main waves and then improvement ripples. One wave is almost a wire frame process providing visibility, enabling insight into what is happening. The second wave is a refinement process that settles the process in a more permanent way; baselines it. The ripples are the refinement a good BPMS should support to keep it relevant. The balancing act is weighing up what knowledge is required either side of a deployment to get the right outcome. I am progressive on this front but not to detriment of quality. I see many hold back big improvements to go into a holding pattern of analysis paralysis.

    This question is also very dependent on the nature of the process tackled and what the objectives are. Is it about providing visibility, traceability, capturing metrics, operational data that underpins moving an improvement forward? Or is it about a process that manages critical business risk that has zero margin of tolerance? So let’s not take a blanket approach.

    I also think it comes down to the technology you are familiar with; some BPMS move like snails, the ability to really expose and refine without creating significant business disruption in complex to say the least. Interesting there is definite move from ‘doing by design’ to design by doing’ in the BPMS world, I think some platforms talk straight to this while others have too much legacy weight behind them to be genuine contenders.

    One area which I think should take centre stage in getting a BPMS process in place is qualifying its goal and objectives, determining what KPIs it impacts, defining its own performance measures and outputs it is needed to support. I.e. if you deploy a process without this then it cannot “be seen and understood, and more importantly, improved”.

    On a separate but related note several have referenced quick wins as the entry point for BPMS. If it’s simple, a quick win, but has a massive organisational impact, question why has it not been done to date? It may be due to new insight, new direction, refocus of strategic goals, business incompetence! Generally small things usually make small impacts, if you address enough simple that the impact is not deep but wide, touches many, and then it may still have an impact. I would always suggest to take on all comers if the business benefit is large enough, just because it’s big doesn’t mean you avoid it; these often are the difference that can compel a business into another orbit. You just mix quick wins with the first steps to addressing these to get the best sense of movement.

  • The author interprets one message and uses that as the big bang first paragraph but it does not fully reflect the message passed back by Carl Townsend.

    The most important part of the article for me is the quote:

    "Tangible BPM is what's required; this enables natural progression to improve processes within organisations with ease"

    I completely agree with this statement and we prove this concept to our new clients.

    It's not about getting unproven processes out into the world as quick as possible but when processes do require change, to improve or include necessary additional elements, this should be easily achievable. The most important aspects of this is that BPM can then change with the business, provide much greater business effectiveness and engage many parts of the business to help drive improvements.

  • Reading through the article I get the impression that a process is a process only when it's supported by BPM. If you share that particular view, the article makes sense in a twisted sort of way.

    If instead you think that processes are not the result of BPM but have always been out there, doing a BPM quicky comes under the heading of business suicide.

    Let's forget this 'quick-win' and 'low-hanging-fruit' nonsense, the lower branches of that particular tree have all been cut off. While putting up exhibits in science museums that let kids press buttons to see something happening is fine and maybe even of educational value, it's not something that should be attempted in real life.

  • It surprises some fans to learn that this group of transplanted Midwesterners, which plays Sunday at the Cinema Bar in Culver City, was formed seven years ago in a Mission District garage.

    "People have said they thought it was strange that we didn't move to Nashville or Texas, but we kind of like it here," said singer Smelley Kelley, 43. "I've lived here for 20 years now, and it's home. It's an open place, one that's accepting of weirdos. . . . And you're definitely a weirdo if you're a hillbilly living in San Francisco.

    "But when you move to a larger city, you can lose some of your identity. Sometimes you even become something that isn't quite as good as what you came from . . . and in my case, I had to get back in touch with who I was. Forming Red Meat was the perfect way for me to do that."

    Raw but promising, the group's 1997 debut, "Meet Red Meat," reached No. 18 on Gavin's Americana chart and launched the sextet on its first national tour.

    The album also caught the ear of roots music guru Dave Alvin, who agreed to produce Red Meat's sophomore effort, "13," in 1998. The group earned praise while opening for Owens, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys,Sac Hermes 2011 New, the Derailers, Asleep at the Wheel and the Blasters, among other roots-music notables.

    With Alvin returning to the production chair, Red Meat's "Alameda County Line," which came out this week on Ranchero Records, not only fine-tunes the band's classic country sound, but also adds a new wrinkle or two.

    *

    Singer-guitarist Scott Young has emerged as the main songwriter among four in the band, and often sprinkles color and humor in with unusual rhyming schemes, as in "Nashville Fantasy": "I want to walk down the street where Hank Williams staggered / Maybe I'll even get to meet Merle Haggard."

    "What struck me the most at first about the band was Scott Young," Alvin said. "I thought, 'Here's a guy who's a great songwriter, but he doesn't even know it yet.' I rarely made any suggestions, but when I felt a song could be better if we had a different verse, Scott--whether it was his song or another band member's--would leave the studio and return five minutes later with an amazing new verse."

    With the exception of Steve Cornell--the band's pedal steel guitarist from New York--each member's roots touch small-town America. Kelley (born David Kelley) and Young come from Keokuk, Iowa, bassist Jill Olson is from nearby Ottumwa, electric guitarist Michael Montalto is from Ohio, and drummer Les James is an Oklahoma native.

    They all grew up immersed in classic country music. Olson, Kelley and Young made separate treks to San Francisco in search of adventure, and in the early '90s, Young and Kelley were singing in an a cappella group while Olson and Montalto were members of a folk-pop band.

  • Oh yeah, couldn't agree more.

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