When an organization is ready to adapt to a new way of doing business and accept and embrace change, a business process redesign initiative is poised for success.
When the current state is well understood and documented, it is potentially enlightening for an organization to compare its business to its industry peers. Since a process improvement initiative is generally time sensitive, it's important for enterprises to focus on making sure activities are captured in the proper sequence - and all involved in the process redesign are managing appropriate tasks.
To create and maintain a progressive business process redesign initiative, the following three cores of business process redesign methodology play a vital role in realizing success.
Once the current state is complete it is time put your hard work to use and formulate your re-engineering priorities. When selecting the scope and the sequencing of the redesign, use the business vision as the overarching selection criteria. With that in mind, the primary decision is which processes must be addressed, nice to address, and not worth the effort.
The ‘High Impact’ approach is the most prolific guide to make scoping and sequencing decisions. To apply the ‘High Impact’ approach you look at the potential processes, and select those that are the most important, generate the most revenue, or that best fit with the business vision.
As an alternative, the ‘Exhaustive’ approach may be used. To apply the ‘Exhaustive’ approach all the processes in an organization are identified, and then ranked by priority or urgency with the expectation that all processes will be addressed to some degree over the life of the program.
Depending on the thoroughness of the current state assessment, a ‘Pseudo-Exhaustive’ approach may be performed by informally noting which processes need to be taken care of first, and then triage that list using a ‘High Impact’ approach.
Once the scope is established it is time to create an execution plan. The execution plan should address all the processes that are to be remediated and in what order. The plan should be created outlining key milestones and toll gates that must be accomplished for each step in the plan including project level goals and dependencies as well as other initiatives in flight that require integration or, at minimum, coordination.
After an execution plan is created, project timelines, cost and resource demand forecasting can begin. The scope of the project, the time to complete, and the cost all must be examined concurrently in accordance with the ‘Triple Constraint Theory’.
The ‘Triple Constraint Theory’ states that a project’s scope, schedule, and budget are interrelated and changing one constraint must impact at least one of the others. To make these decisions digestible, it is recommended that the most important component of the triple constraint (cost, scope, or schedule) be identified, and that constraint held near constant. Then the other two variables can be adjusted to maximize the success of the project with respect to your business goals. The planning exercise will help solidify where you want to be, to understand how to get there, an implementation road map is the next step.
The implementation “Roadmap” should be a high level Gantt chart that depicts the activities that need to be accomplished to successfully complete each phase of the initiative. It should depict the order in which tasks, projects or groups of projects (i.e. programs) should be accomplished, how long they should last, and general resource requirements.
The Road Map must take the business vision and objectives into account, as well as the decisions made in the scoping and planning activities, but should also incorporate quick wins not only to enable (if possible) a self-sustaining funding mechanism or ROI, but also provide the fuel for enabling a sustainable transformation program.
Often the most difficult task in any multi-year initiative is not simply maintaining the original scope and budget, but in sustaining the energy created. The initial hope generated by the mere thought of change through the inevitable ebb and flow of the program must be capitalized on by continued successful execution.
Vision To Succeed
Whether creating the current state assessment, or engaged in planning and road mapping activities, reasons for failure should be identified, documented, and managed as early in the project as possible.
The foundation of a successful initiative is a complete understanding of your current state.
Arrive at a solution that solves a business problem by analyzing the people, processes and tools that are impacted. After the solution is defined, plan the approach based on a tested methodology, and implement the plan with discipline to make sure momentum is maintained and expected gains are realized quickly and maintained to sustain momentum.