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Given that companies tend to remain loyal to the unique styles of strategic planning that have already made them successful, the following guidelines serve as points of consideration for the initial assimilation of BPM methods and technologies into the organization. Each company can provide its own elaboration of the guidelines to place them in its own specific context, but for now think of these steps as Col. Sanders’ secret recipe for prize-winning business processes:

1. Build a learning organization around process management: inform, educate and train.

2. Start with process discovery and design proof-of-concept pilot projects.

3. Seed the BPM platform and integrate tools into existing projects.

4. Implement BPM program management to spread BPM competencies.

5. Design new business processes from the outside in, starting with the customer and the customer’s customer.

6. Take on initial BPM projects in parallel with current projects in order to manage risk and discover opportunities for accelerating current “laggard projects” or re-vitalizing “failures” using BPM.

7. Look for modest, but mission-critical, projects that will yield a large business-relevant payback. Alternatively, try to solve a big problem, such as total value-chain management, that other approaches have so far failed to address and whose “return on investment” would be unclear if it had been attempted with a more traditional implementation approach.

8. Take on projects containing elements of application integration, workflow, service-oriented-architecture, application component orchestration, Web services and value-chain integration to gain a broad base of experience. BPM substitutes for many of these, and the advantages of BPM over past methods will be startling.

9. Seek opportunities to test the promised benefits of BPM. For example, focus on process designs oriented toward achieving any one of the key goals such as process customization, end-to-end process design, reduced cost of process ownership, full leveraging of existing systems, self-aware and self-metering processes, business-level transactions, continuous process change, unified enterprise process modeling and collaborative process design.

10. Experiment to find out what distinguishes BPM from existing preconceptions of quality management or traditional re-engineering.

11. Use BPM to amplify what the company is already doing. Don’t stovepipe BPM as the latest new initiative or killer-app. When people say, “Why should I replace my XYZ program with BPM?” reply, “Keep right on with XYZ. BPM can help.”


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