Who Is Working On Improving Your Processes?

When we started working on ARISalign, we spent a lot of time thinking about who can potentially contribute value to a process improvement project and who should be involved as a result.

Business & Tech analysts, Process Modelling experts, developers and IT architects are certainly involved in most, if not all, BPM projects today – especially when it comes to process automation. But what about the people who participate in a process as part of their day-to-day job? They are the ones that know exactly on a detailed level how a specific part of a process works. Mr. Jones who reviews incoming orders can tell you the review criteria that are important and he can tell you what needs to happen next with the order. Ms. Smith who works at the airline desk at the airport knows what needs to be done when a customer wants to change a flight or upgrade their booking from economy to business class. This information is vital as you need to understand the detailed specifics of the as-is process if you want to be able to improve it.

How do you collect this information today? Is it all done by a business analyst or process expert that performs interviews with folks that work in the context of a process as described above?

Who, in your opinion, is this process participant persona? How would you describe it and what do you think are the biggest challenges in terms of involving that persona in the journey of process improvement?

Let me kick this off by sharing some of my thoughts. The typical process participant is:

* A business user, not a technical expert

* Not a process expert and as such not interested in BPM notations or process modelling

* Someone with subject-matter knowledge

* Typically tied up in day-to-day work that is directly relevant to the business and doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on BPM or process improvement

* Interested in what the outcome of this process improvement initiative is and how it is going to impact the current working routine

I am curious to see what others add to this list. Why am I even asking these questions? Because I think it is critical to understand who you are working with if you want to get more out of it than misunderstandings and frustration

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3 responses to “Who Is Working On Improving Your Processes?

  1. Allow me to add a slight slant to the question, "Who is working on improving your processes?", to "Who should be working on improving your processes?"Who SHOULD:(1) The Job/Task Performer – the knowledge worker whose everyday life is going to be CHANGED by the improved process for BETTER or WORST.(2) The Process Owner – the knowledge worker responsible for delivering an end-to-end process that MUST cross organizational boundaries to bring VALUE.(3) The Process Executive – the knowledge worker who must make strategic decisions HOPING that the organization is AGILE enough to achieve GOAL REALIZATION.As the previously written these essential professionals hold many different titles and/or roles. However, at the end of the day they all will fall into the above categories.

  2. I like to think about motivations in business process improvement – building an ecosystem where things become self-maintaining because there’s a reason for that to happen.I’m building the Social BPM vision at salesforce.com and a big focus is getting the business process definition, through to automation, in the hands of the people the process impacts. It’s about making the process readily available so changes are not seen as phases of delivery – but rather day-to-day routine. If it’s not working, change it.Another way I think about it is integration vs process. The integration plumbing and systems management should be abstracted away from the author. Otherwise, BPM software just ends up being another thing in the developers toolkit – rather than an enabler for business process owners to make business process improvements. This is a huge challenge. BPM is beset with complicated concepts that are simply meaningless to the untrained – we need to change that while retaining the value.Like the post!Steve

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