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How important is identifying the right metrics in order to continuously improve processes?

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From this blog by Jaisundar V, how important is identifying the right metrics in order to continuously improve processes?

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  • Very. Ultra. Supremely.

    Can't know how well you're doing, or where to focus your energies, without them.

  • Very important. It's like a GPS.

    So the first thing is to make your process result very clear (I wanna go to New york) Then you define your goals for that result (I wanna be there fast/short/cheap)

    Then the GPS has to tell you how you are progressing (you'll be there at 9:35), BUT

    What is a GPS without a throttle or a brake; useless!

    So the right metrics are very important to know how your processes are on track (You see I think executing and managing a process is more important than locker room improvements)

    But if you can't act on the metrics; why measure them?

    So then it comes to empowered people, flexible systems and guts; adapting the process while it still matters; not afterwards.

    • Agree Emiel

      If you are not going to act on it so why put the effort. We have some situations like this. In some instances we have people implementing a change in a process and they have not measures the old process!!! So what will you compare too?? That is even worse

  • It's all about Metrics. Once Management sees the right metrics, they will become addicted to those metrics and they not understand how they lived without them before. The metrics tell management when something in the business is going wrong or when something in the business and/or process can be improved.

    Right now we are implementing ProcessMaker for a large specialty insurance underwriter, and as soon as we put their KPIs up on the dashboard, management's satisfaction with the overall system skyrocketed. Every day they can look at KPIs related to Total Premium, Quoted vs. Bound, Declined vs. Received, Total Limits, Average Limits per product line, and Average Retentions per product line. This is the life blood of an insurance underwriter. So, once the company sets up these metrics, as long as they can keep their numbers above their minimum levels, they know at a glance that the business is going well.

    It's all about metrics :)

  • If you don't get the metrics right the whole project will fail. The metrics have to be measuring the information that is relevant to what you are achieving. It sounds obvious but vital to the success of any change programme. Also the correct metrics will engage employees in achieving the organisational goals.

  • Very very important, how do you measure the success of the process or the problems without measurements??? One of the most important things I look for when implementing a process is how I will measure it after implementing it

    Metrics also help with creating the sense of urgency. Which is important for the continues improvement and change

  • OK, look, I'm not going to quarrel with folks who feel that metrics are important. Of course they are. But not all benefits are easy to quantify, and some of these can be quite important as well.

    Hard to measure BPM benefits can include, for example:

    •  Employee engagement
    •  Customer satisfaction
    •  Risk avoidance

    No, it's not impossible to put a number to each of these, but such assessments are at best estimates and at worst self-serving garbage-in-gospel-out hogwash.

    As always, the main thing is not to mess about with metrics forever as a precursor to automation. Automate, then leverage the BPMS to produce real-life metrics that you can then use to improve your process.

    • Scott, I do not agree or disagree with you, it's always beneficial when creating a process that KPIs and KPM are taking into consideration. That your controles are there and if automation is available that would be best.
      But direct surveys to the customer will help and be a good indications of customer satisfaction and error rate margins, financial matracies ...etc will be a good indication of risk aversion and employee engagement will lead (in most cases) to employee satisfaction and that can be measures with a survey too

      Something is better then nothing, would you agree?? :)

  • Measurement and empowerment of people go hand in hand. I think we are agreed that once people at all levels see real time activity displayed in meaningful way it contributes to good decision making and a motivated workforce requiring less “management”. One word of caution is not to confuse measurement with the culture of "targets" which drives the old "command and control" management style which can be so destructive.....

  • Interesting discussion.
    Continuous Improvement Processes(CIP) are actually problem solving approaches raised by anyone or everyone in the organization and it also refers to an integrated system, that analyses, recovers, improves and tweaks the current state of the process in making it better and most importantly, setting the right thing in place.
    From a Continuous Improvement Process perspective, the metrics will differ based on the role I play and how exactly different and better i want to see the end system. Every Team, the operations, executives, developers, testers, analysts have their own set of metrics and opinions. For some quality and revenue while for others performance and consistency might be important considerations and benchmarks for differentiating the end system.
    A lot of discipline is involved on the ground, in streamlining all these metrics and honoring every party's viewpoints for defining a continuously improving process.
    So, in a nut-shell, its not just about identifying the metrices but also implementing the right metric and the right time with the right set of audiance to get the right set of output and conclude it as a right continuous improvement process

  • You can only manage what you measure, that's why the right set of metrics is very critical, so the tricky part is how to define the "RIGHT" set of metrics? As now BPM projects go beyond process automation, so efficiency-driven metrics may not be right enough, for many process optimization or process innovation effort, how to reflect business value such as delighting customers, improving employee productivity, enhancing unique business capabilities or enforcing business agility., etc are more crucial. thanks.

  • My colleagues have just about summed it up - the right metrics are crucial. You can not manage what you can not measure.

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