BPM: Alignment is the word
Process excellence all comes down to alignment – of business and IT and process, learning and communication.
Over the last four weeks I have found myself involved in seemingly unrelated topics, all of these in the business process management (BPM) universe of course, because this is where I operate.
When talking to our customers about:
- Alignment between business processes and IT application management practices
- Managing change
- Deep-diving into application lifecycle management (a “pressure-cooker” session!)
- Communication on business process management
I realized that, by connecting the dots, there is a central theme – alignment.
No IT portfolio management without business processes
Very often BPM practices within organization start or have started within the IT function. This is mostly because an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation project and a business process structure and scoping were all needed to be able to configure the ERP system properly.
Once live, the business process content was typically forgotten, let alone updated. The applications, however, are normally updated (if only from a security perspective, right?) and this is where the tension often starts. Applications are being changed without looking at the processes they are supporting in the first place, and vice versa.
Read my blog here to understand how to look at IT application lifecycle management from end-to-end.
Separate change processes for IT and business? Oops…
Management of change (MOC) is perhaps one of the most underrated subjects in many organizations. Once you have set up a repository of processes on one hand and applications on the other hand, how are you going to make sure that they stay:
(a) up to date
Imagine what could happen if you made changes to a business process without changing (if necessary) the supporting application? The people executing this process would start complaining right away (and rightfully so) and the same applies the other way around.
Read my article here to learn more about how to integrate your management of change processes for applications and business processes into one MOC.
Diving deep is fun and scary at the same time…
Having an opinion about something is easy, having an informed opinion is quite difficult. If you want to experience the difference read a medical journal and then Twitter on the same topic. I had an opinion about risk and compliance management and due to a deep dive into the subject that I had to do based on a customer request I found myself looking back at it in amazement.
My opinion on the way risks and controls could be managed might not have fundamentally changed, but it has become much more substantiated. Read about it here and tell me what YOU think.
You can never communicate perfectly, and that’s ok
But you can communicate too little, and that is not ok. When consulting on how to implement a BPM practice, there is always one topic that remains uncovered by the customer: Communication. When I give a default definition of the roles in a typical BPM Center of Excellence/Expertise I always include a communications specialist.
It does not need to be full time, it can be contracted from corporate if need be, but you need somebody that can effectively translate techie BPM language into normal business language.
Read this to see more.
So, there you go, the drumbeat of my most recent month in BPM. And it all comes down to alignment – of business and IT and process, learning and communication.
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