I attended a panel with two Lombardi customers, Kim Hearn of PHH Arval and Gene Rawls of Wells Fargo, speaking about their experiences with building a cross-functional BPM capability. As it turned out, it wasn’t really a panel, it was two mini-presentations on the same topic with a joint Q&A.
Hearn started out with a list of critical success factors for BPM projects which were not fundamentally different from any project, e.g., strategic alignment, getting the team right, culture, governance. Her slides were dense with text and moved very quickly, so a bit hard to capture many of the specifics while following along, but much of this wasn’t particularly innovative in terms of best practices. By following good practices, however, they were able to reduce their cycle time of their core business process from several days to under a day, redeploy 15% of their headcount, reduce penalties and have a better workforce utilization.
Rawls was up next to discuss Wells Fargo’s experiences. I spoke to some of the Wells Fargo team yesterday, although haven’t had time to document our discussions, but this promises to be a higher-level view of how they’ve worked with BPM. They had a long time frame from their original process improvement initiatives to the acquisition of Teamworks, but eventually developed a set of roles involved in BPM projects: process leader, SWAT (their acronym for BPM initiatives) developer, BI developer, and business process owner. He walked through their process, starting with with the business identifying the need and defining the opportunity. They use an iterative lifecycle and the agile playback technique to engage the end users in the development process, building collaboration and producing new processes faster.
There was a question about production support; Hearn said that they rotate people out of the agile development team into production support in order to train the support people. Someone in the audience said that they pulled in their support people during testing, then cycled back to support when the system deploys, which sounds like it would work well, too.
Like the other sessions, there was a lot of great audience participation: everyone realizes that they’re amongst friends and talks quite openly about their issues and solutions.