Getting — and keeping — your BPM project on track

Derek Miers, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the BPMG conference in London last May, has a recent white paper on the Keys to BPM Project Success on BPTrends. Much of the paper is focussed on a repeatable BPM delivery methodology that is not fundamentally different from the delivery methodology for any IT project, but there are some key BPM-specific points to consider:

Step 5, “Form the BPM Project Team”, highlights the need for a process architect. Not an IT architect, more of business analyst or a hybrid business-systems analyst that will “provide the analytical rigor and techniques” and guide the business users and subject matter experts when identifying improvement opportunities.

Step 6, “Understand the Process”, discusses the need to model the as-is process as a baseline, but not get stuck with the notion that the new process is just the old process with some automated bits. This ties in with (the first) step 7, “Identify Breakthrough Opportunities”, which lists techniques for analyzing a process in order to achieve some degree of process innovation. I use Tom Davenport’s nine areas of process innovation (automational, informational, sequential, tracking, analytical, geographical, integrative, intellectual, disintermediating) as a framework for discussing this topic in my BPM course, and Derek’s list covers some of the same territory.

Overall, some good pointers and a lot of IT project common sense.

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