BPM Think Tank Day 3: Nancy Craft keynote

Following this morning’s panel, Nancy Craft of Volvo gave a keynote on Process Integration in the Supply Chain. She works for the IT department that supports three different truck brand divisions (Volvo, Mack and Renault), and they initiated a business process innovation project for sharing and optimizing their Order to Delivery processes while still maintaining separate identities for the brands.

They used Proforma‘s ProVision as a modelling tool, but found that it was complex and they struggled with the tool especially when they tried to use it interactively during meetings. She recommends having a trained modeller in the room if you’re going to try to do this while gathering the information, and not letting the documentation get behind.

They made use of SCOR from the Supply Chain Council in order to drive their modelling, starting with the identification of 50 best practices before the study even started as a comparison. They modelled their processes to level 3:

  • Level 1 = process types = the scope and content within each business domain
  • Level 2 = process categories = strategy or capability for level 1 process types
  • Level 3 = decomposed processes = process elements layer, used by companies to fine-tune their operations strategy

It appears that SCOR was a big part of their success in these modelling efforts by providing a framework for the information to be captured, standard language, and best practices. I don’t typically work in supply chain or manufacturing, so the SCOR details were new to me, but there’s obvious benefits from such a framework in terms of analyzing and optimizing processes. She later highlighted it as a “significant accelerator”.

She covered off their analysis and design techniques, and gave some fascinating insights into how to get people from these three competing brands to collaborate on improving business processes: more than just working with different business cultures between divisions, but the harder task of overcoming the desire for secrecy between competitors.

They’ve also put together a six-year roadmap for improving the Sales to Order, Order to Delivery, and Delivery to Repurchase processes (which is essentially all the processes in the organization), which had a very enterprise architecture-like view of mapping from the strategic direction and business drivers to business processes, then used that to push through to IT requirements. Their initial take on this turned out to be much too complex (what she referred to as a “horrible methodology”), and they ended up with a simpler model to map busines objectives through to specific IT application implementation projects. Not quite so EA-like, but at least providing some alignment between business and IT.

The rest of today will be the remaining to roundtables — XPDL and BPDM for me — and ongoing discussions, so the rest of my posts about the conference may be delayed until tomorrow.

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