Lately, I have been diving a lot in a number of very interesting area's:
- Service Design
- Positive Psychology
What does this have to do with BPM?
In my view, we might be looking at something that is going to converge towards a new view on organizations, processes and workplaces.
Let's start with Service Design: a growing field of insights in how to create services. Service that deliver value for the customer and the organization. Services that create the optimal customer experience, personalized where possible. Service designs that are co-created, tested, improved. Service designs that are based on really investigating people behaviour and dialogue, to understand reasons, cause and effect. Service design bringing key concepts of Experience, Moments of Truth, Customer Journey, etc.
My big discovery was that Service Design focus is not only on customer and value for the organization. It is also focuses on employees. And that's strong. Employee experience, employee motivation and engagement are key to drive customer experience and people's happiness in general. Employees have moments of truth as well. And within bad systems, employees can have a lot of bad moments of truth. This not only creates unhappiness (and potential exits, illness, etc) but leads in general to unhappy customers. We all have had our share of service delivered by grumpy people.
Now, would it be possible to create happiness in organizations? Based on a growing set of research on positive psychology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology) I think yes. Many books have been published, and check out Ted.com and the internet for great findings in this area (Seligman, Achor, Fredrikson, Boyatzis). Positive psychology, as the evidence based sequel to humanistic psychology, delivers quite some insights in what can make us happy. According to Seligman: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and purpose, and Accomplishments.
I think it is time for incorperating these new views in our toolbox as process designers. BPM as a discipline for process design and innovation has typically had its focus on factors as efficiency, compliance, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction. Nodding? Well, where is the employee?
I think it's time to link BPM back to Organisational Development. Helping employees to create positive, engaging, meaningful workplaces. Using service design and positive psychology.
And to conclude, don't do it for them, do it for yourself: The typical process designer comes in and tries to find bottlenecks, issues, problems. Literally every day we train our brain to see what's bad, what's missing. Well, that does not help you to become happy....
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Lately, I have been diving a lot in a number of very interesting area's:
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 20:46
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Recently I followed a training at my employer to get certified (through two exams) for the APMG (Organizational) Change Management practioner-role. More information on the training here (Dutch).
For more information on the certification, check the official site. APMG is also the institute for other well known certifications such as PrinceII and MSP.
(Note: this training of Change Management is not related to ITIL change stuff, or processes that deal with scope change in projects. This is oriented at changing people in organisations - Organization Change Management/OCM, or "Veranderkunde" in Dutch)
The course and exam is primarily based on the book "Making Sense of Change Management" (link here).
The strength is that it is a eclectic exploration of different views, schools and approaches. So not a simple "follow these 10 steps", but much more contingency oriented, with a broad view on approaches, and (mostly) honest discussions on applicability, strengths and weaknesses.
- Views/approaches on individual change (each organization change requires individual people change)
- Team development
- Metaphores of organizations
- Organization change
- Styles of leadership for change
- Change readiness assessments
In my opinion, a very relevant training and certification for BPM specialists. Why?
From some distance, most what we do as consultants is influence behavior:
- To make people aware
- To help people (power) to decide change
- To help people adapt to changes
In that light, BPM can be seen as a set of interventions to help decide, direct and change behavior.
Because in the end, most processes in my opinion, can be defined not so much as "a series of activities transforming input to output", but much more as "the behaviour that a set of people show, after a certain trigger". If you want to improve processes, you (hope to) change behavior in real people, not diagrams or (just) BPM engines.
Seeing the enormous amounts of failed innovation, IT and process improvement projects, knowledge of the change part is essential for a BPM specialist. Any BPM project is a change project. This training will broaden your view, make you aware of various approaches and will fill your toolbox!
Did I miss things - sure. The book and the course did not go into (for instance):
- Various types of interventions in more detail
- Process centric change
- Typical BPM interventions
- Motivational theory
- More modern approaches on team & artifact development (service design, SCRUM, etc)
- More modern approaches on personal development (ACT, Mindfullness, Appreciative Inquiry)
And the book is UK/US focused. In the Netherlands (and likely in other countries too) there is a wealth of research, views and approaches that were not covered in the exam (but were, high level, provided in the course by Capgemini).
Eye opener for me: many of the modern approaches are simple repeats and refinements of ideas that have been around for ages. We are (often unaware) standing on the shoulder of giants!
A good course and good exam. Recommended.
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 23:38
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Prayer? No, I am not religious. But in the coming months there will be the lot of BPM prediction lists from the various blogs. Always fun to read. Take a basket, throw in the current buzzwords (social, big data, cloud), mix with some insights and publish.
I wanted to take another approach this year. Not so much what I expect to happen, but more what I really hope to happen. Comments welcome! And an early: happy holidays.
Design for experience
I do processes, because for me it's one of the core interventions to focus on value. And I love that value is getting a broader sense in BPM. Nut just the end product, or efficiency, speed. But the realization that people that want a service are complete whole people, that experience interactions. And that hope that these experiences are positive, helpful. So, I pray that we design for positive experience. Because there are still quite some bad experiences out there.
And I hope that we don't pidgeonhole people in "customer", "user" or worse "some abstract entity that submits data, and is send the product", but as whole people.
I would love to see more psychology and antropologhy enter the field of BPM.
Design for meaning and motivation
I also do processes, because for me it's one of the core interventions to create meaningful workplaces. Workplaces should be rewarding, educating, fun, places for growth. Often they are not. Face it, we all spent major parts of our lives in workplaces. Valuable life time that we can spent only once. And the deeper needs that we have are often not well understood or addressed.
The machine-like concepts behind many of the BPM-thinking stiffle our ability to design for meaning and motivation. KPI's motivating? Come on. Process models that thrill us to all change? Come on.
I would love to see new language appear on concepts in BPM around motivation, inspiration. How to design processes, that support people to do the things they like.
Co-create, on staying out of the silo
Be honest, ever found yourself in an office, cubicle, some remote place, far away from the complexity of the workplace? In front of your screen, with the assignment to "improve the process". And busy clicking in some tool, making a beautiful process-diagram, that is just going to awe the manager to the max? Stop. You are living in a dream. It's never going to fly.
Go to the complexity. Dive in. Be shy, scared, but still go on. Talk to the people. Involve. Ask. And let them decide on what the improved process is. Be the facilitator. Influence. Help them to see new possibilities. Even better: let them see you even better possibilities. Be confused. Learn.
I am reading a beautiful book on Organization Development (and it's history). This is not new - this co-creation stuff has been there for decades. But we all, personally, have to give up the illusion that we can sit there, in our silo, and create perfect solutions.
Real working software, as opposed to ACM/BPM battles
A lot of discussions the last years on ACM/BPM. Don't get me wrong, I learn a lot of the likes of Max Pucher et al. Insights in complexity of work. Of people interaction. And let's make things simple: things are never simple. Any piece of software will be based on an abstraction of the complexity of work & interaction. Thus will have it's limits. And while the discussions on the views and concepts behind this abstraction are valuable, let's not forget that in the end, the value is in the eye of the beholder: the actual users. And the typical manager/user I speak, does not really care for these abstract discussions. They want software that supports their work. Not perfect, but good enough. Real working software that is, not abstractions. So let's go out there, make it work, and share the lessons on what (not) worked, not the rants.
On economic crisis, carreer perspective and ethics
In the BPM automation projects I am involved in, the patterns are quite simple: use BPM automation to cut cost, cut cost, cut cost, and add some quality and flexibility please. In the labour-intensive service processes I am involved in, this means cutting work. Using straight through processing and performance optimizing tools to make people more productive, and thus more people redundant.
Technology might be neutral, applying it is not. BPM automation projects have real effects on real people: typically, I see major cuts in lower educated administrative workers. And it worries me. Sure, from a business case perspective we understand. From a public services perspective also: we all want to have lower prices, and more effect from our taxpay. But the cause-effect is simple: apply BPM automation, fire people. And I wonder: if all organizations will be doing BPM automation, what work will be left for these people? What can society offer? Are we growing towards a society in which we have highly oiled, well functioning small units of service delivery, with highly paid managers, knowledge workers and IT-staff? The upper class? And the rest trying hard to make ends meet?
We need a vision on future work. On the ethics of BPM automation. And on meaning & dignity & perspective of the "lower" workforce.
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 03:20
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
To start - I am not a fan of "old school" ERP. The massive, late 90's, ERP implementations with dozens of eager Accenture consultants, and endless "customize or standardize" never impressed me much. And the control and agility promisses were highly overrated. So when anyone comes with a tool that can replace ERP, I am much interested.
However, if I read blogs stating that ERP is being replaced by BPM technology, I shiffer.
Don't get me wrong, I love BPM technology, and the changes that it's bringing in Business-IT alignment.
But a simple comparison of functional features of a BPMS versus an ERP shows that there are many ERP components that are not, or not well covered by BPMS. Of course, there as BPMS vendors that have BPMS solutions with larger featuresets and smaller. But on average, there is still a gap.
In that light we have been working at Capgemini at defining what could replace ERP. Our first focus was the services industry (and even more specific: Public administration). Based on our own experiences in platform renewals, and by studying many tenders, we were able to define a quite complete set of functionalities required to support public administrative service processes in a complete, yet agile way.
The combined set we call our "Model Service Delivery Platform". I can't go into all details at this stage, but here are a number of typical functionalities required in public service delivery:
- Customer portal - submitting requests, track & trace
- Customer contact center portal - answering questions, track & trace
- Knowledge worker portal - allow workers to access cases and perform tasks, manage performance
- Process engine - for straight through processing and human tasks coordination
- Decision management engine
- Case management - services for gathering and presenting case information, and coordinating processes and adhoc tasks
- Scan & indexing facility - for paperbased request
- Document management solution - for storing digital documents/cases, to support service delivery and comply with records regulations
- Document generation - to generate documents (and also technical messages)
- Value chain integration - to request information from other parties, or update other parties in the value chain
- Operational management information - for workers and supervisors to manage service delivery
- Improvement management information - for analysing and improving process performance
- Data storage, query and management services for storing customer, request/product data, decisions
- Identity & Access Management
Interesting to see is that there are quite a number of technical implementation scenario's possible to support these functionalities. And that's what we see and do for clients. Examples: CRM centric, ECM centric, BPMS centric, Bespoke parts.
But the key conclusion: we do not see any BPMS covering all these area's well.
It leads of course to a discussion: what is a BPMS? What are it's boundaries? My point: If I buy a BPMS, that also contains a well integrated Java development environment, and I implement the functionalities above with 10% process automation, and 90% Java, be honest: I can't say BPMS replaces ERP.
So for now, BPMS is not replacing ERP in my opinion. It's bringing very strong components that are very powerful and play a central role in our service delivery platforms. But most service delivery platforms are still a larger set of technical components, and BPMS is just one of them.
It's the reason why many isolated point solutions, based on BPMS centric implementations, stay small, or in the end get eaten by a larger architecture, with other technologies.
What the future will bring?
I see three directions:
- BPMS as platform for strong, but small point solutions (which needs integrations)
- BPMS vendors growing towards completer service delivery platforms (as we see in the Oracle Fusion approach)
- ERP vendors that innovate, and adopt these strong business technology components (ACM, BPM, BRM)
If scenario 2 and 3 do not happen, the larger IT-transformations/innovations at service organizations will stay complex programs with quite some integration work. This may seem of benefit for system integrators, but believe me, we rather see integrated platforms in which we can only focus on value for the business. Hence, our "model service delivery platform". (or in my language "Model Uitvoeringsplatform").
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 22:16
Sunday, September 23, 2012
For a number of years, a lot of new language and concepts have been developed covering something we now call "Customer Experience".
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 22:34
Friday, September 14, 2012
I am currently quite busy guiding the implementation of a Case Management Solution for a public sector client. My focus is the Organizational Change Management (OCM). And I have been working with this client to prepare them on the business & IT side for all consequences of introducing BPMS/ACM based solutions for various processes, realized on a generic shared platform. This OCM approach is vital, as many BPM/ACM projects tend to focus most attention to IT-aspects, and forgetting the business & IT-support side.
The last weeks we have simply been identifying and discussing consequences and critical succes factors that need to be taken into account when introducing BPMS/ACM solutions. Note that the implementation we are doing, includes digital documents (ECM, scanning solutions).
Here is a list of consequences and CSF's that we have identified. It serves in my opinion as a good checklist for most BPMS/ACM implementations.
1. The daily routine of workers and managers will change a lot.
Most organizations come from a situation, where they work with a mix of paperfiles and data entry IT-systems. The switch to full digital documents and a process guiding system is quite a change for people, and requires the right change approach, with various interventions (from involving the users in Agile/Scrum to training and other enablement activities)
For coordination and management things also change considerably. Typically management information is collected using various meetings, spreadsheets and IT-queries. The modern BPMS/ACM solution has near-realtime dashboards.
The best practice: have a OCM-stream in your BPMS/ACM project/programme.
2. The possible service concepts and customer facing processes can be innovated
Many organizations are working with modern eBusiness/eGovernment channels (web, mobile), as well as Customer Contact Centers (phone, email). With the right linking, case handling can be linked to these channels, creating more possibilities - for instance for customers to digitally submit requests, track & trace cases and get automated alerts when status changes (through SMS, email, etc). And for customer contact centers, these BPMS/ACM platforms are great to quickly determine status or to fire questions to the back office employee handling a certain case. In the silo-based architecture, this was all often quite difficult to achieve.
Best practice: review your service concept, and if needed, apply service design / service innovation.
3. Capacity demand for various competences will change
Many organizations have people dealing with administrative tasks around paperfile handling. Storing, searching, finding, distributing, adding documents, archiving. All this work can be reduced significantly, using ACM solutions with digital documents. This leads to cost saving opportunities, reducing FTE's. But to actually realize these savings/business case, FTE reduction needs to be started.
Best practice: have a clear business case and FTE-reduction plan
4. A lot of operational management data will be available. But correctly used as well?
As said, BPMS/ACM solutions can provide quite some insight into the operations: cycletime, workload, utilization. This requires a good steering model: what do we want to measure and why, and what do we do if measures signal potential issues. It also requires competences on the management level to handle this data and act correctly, and a clear responsibility model.
Best practice: improve the maturity of measuring & steering
5. Have a clear scope for process analysis and improvement
To implement processes in the BPMS/ACM solution, process analysis is mandatory. But this analysis can also be done to identify improvements. It is important to have a clear, and shared understanding of the process scope:
- 1 on 1 transfer to the BPMS/ACM solution
- Standaardize / harmonize only
- Improve minor things
- Redesign, with innovations such as straight trough processing, business rules
- Redesign, with co-creation, Lean and outside in Service Design approaches
Best practice: have a clear scope
6. Standardization versus TCO
When using a shared platform, re-use can potentionally bring a lot of value to the BPMS/ACM efforts. This can be standardisation for processes, for management info/steering model and for IT-components. However, harmonizing and standardizing these items require strong governance, and requires negotations. If this is not management, variation and complexity will drive up cost of the solution (TCO)
Best practice: standardize where possible, local variation where needed
7. Process management maturity will facilitate the BPMS/ACM efforts
When introducing an BPMS/ACM solution, the more mature processes and process management is, the better. Process management maturity is linked to items such as:
- Processes are identified and have been documented
- Documentation is being kept up to date, and compliance is checked regularly
- KPI's have been identified, and are measured
- There is clear ownership of the operational management of processes
- There is clear ownership for the tactical / strategic management of processes (strategy alignment, reactive and pro-active process improvement)
- A PDCD cycle has been implemented
- A process culture has been established
Best practice: implement BPMS/ACM solutions as part of BPM as a discipline, or try to start a linked effort
8. Using a shared BPMS/ACM platform for multiple processes requires different IT-governance model
In most silo based organizations, IT governance is also silo based. When a company switches to a central platform for (in the future) all processes, another type of IT governance (demand-supply) needs to be implemented.
9. BPMS/ACM solutions bring agily - but only with agile people and processes
BPMS/ACM solutions make use of business technology: what you model is what you execute. Part of the solution becomes maintainable by people that have a combination of business & IT-skills (instead of the hardcore techies). By making sure that the most changing aspects are implemented in agile business technology and by placing these people close to the business, surrounded by fast processes, agility can be achieved.
10. A shared solution creates depencies and risks
As a company moves from silo IT-solutions to a shared BPMS/ACM solution, the dependency of single point of failure/frustration is created. This requires a strong focus on non-functional technical aspects - availability, recovery and performance, as well as focus on useability (advice: add an interaction designer to any BPMS/ACM effort).
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 23:33
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
There must be 50 ways to support the transparency, management and improvement of processes…..
I have tweeted it before: getting tired of the many people I meet that still associate process management first and most of all with documenting processes. Almost like a reflex "Ah, we will work with processes, so… we need to model and document this/all processes".
Sure it can help, but first of all it's not the only action a business can take. And second it may definitely not be the right action – other actions might add much more value.
Therefore, here are fifty (ok, some more) other possible interventions that can support the transparency, management and improvement of processes. Did I miss something? Let me know!
(Note, I concentrate on interventions focused on a specific process, and have left out the many interventions one can do to support implementation of process management and BPM within a company on a larger scale…)
The key activity
1. Understand all possible interventions, understand the context, and select, based on best practices, budget and requirements, a good set of interventions for the process, in close cooperation with key stakeholders and in line with your process management strategy (do you have one?)
High level understanding
2. Identify the process (and more important: the service/product that it delivers) and place it in a Product Catalogue
3. Identify the process (name it) and place it in a process architecture/decomposition
4. Identify all stakeholders in the process and understand their goals and high level role in the process
5. Identify all external stakeholders to a process (suppliers, partners, customers) and identify the primary interactions with the process (flows of information, physical goods)
6. Establish SIPOC – Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer, but only one a very high level
7. Understand how this process is related to other processes (input/output/supporting/managing) and the fit
8. Classify the process using certain classification criteria: high/low volume, routine – ad hoc, high/low cost, high/low strategic relevance
9. Understand how this process relates to your core competencies. Discuss and decide on sourcing strategies
10. Define the products and services that are output and that are input to the process, and establish quality criteria
11. Understand what IT-systems are supporting the process, with what functionality
12. Understand the relation between the process and core business objects (data) : Create, Read, Update, Delete.
Measurement & Governance
13. Establish goals, associated key performance indicators & targets for a process and start measuring
14. Define a Service Level Agreement with the key customers (internal/external)
15. Discuss and understand the control model: what can we do if all KPI's are in red?
16. Plan the process execution. Create a simple plan, that estimates demand, defines required capabilities and needed resources (per month, quarter, …)
17. Assign someone / people to be accountable for certain aspects of a process (execution, quality, performance measurement, improvement, improving maturity). Make sure there are clear lines of responsible for process vs. line management
18. Implement reporting lines and procedures for these accountable people
19. Set up a "quality circle" of process experts, that discuss and propose improvements
20. Establish a evaluation cycle that follows a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle for the process
21. Implement a cross-function process governance board (strategic and tactical level) in which functional departments govern process performance and improvement activities
22. Implement procedures and supporting roles/resources for participant support (helpdesk), process incidents, problems and change requests/change management
23. Implement a regular customer satisfaction measurement/evaluation – outside in
24. Make sure all your process KPI measurements are stored safely, so that in time, you can do trend analysis and inline simulation
25. Audit compliance and report on findings
Analysis & Improvement
26. Determine the voice of the business: how this process needs to operate to execute the strategy
27. Adopt a best practice process framework (such as APQC, SCOR, eTOM, …) and assess the process
28. Understand all applicable regulations and policies and understand compliance requirements
29. Perform an outside in analysis of the customer: who is the customer and what is important for them (voice of the customer)
30. Determine the "voice of the employee": what do the process participants find important in terms of roles, development, employee happiness and fulfillment?
31. Assess the performance of the process (specific measurements, such as cycle time, throughput, cost, quality, compliance)
32. Perform a value added/waste analysis, and remove waste & non-value added activities
33. Perform a bottleneck analysis (ToC)
34. Understand process breakdowns, using a Rootcause analysis
35. Assess the capability of the process, based on the current resources: what are the limits & regular operating levels?
36. Identify the risks in the process and come up with/implement controls
37. Identity quality aspects and implement first time right / error proof interventions and checks where required + audits to proof adherence
38. Measure a certain aspect and it’s variance, and attempt to understand natural and special causes for the variation
39. Define a process improvement plan, including key indicators, and make someone / people responsible for executing it in a certain time frame
40. Assess the maturity of a process and define the required maturity
41. Define a maturity improvement plan (based on a maturity model), including key indicators, and make someone / people responsible for executing it in a certain time frame
42. Implement PDCA cycle, roles and responsibilities focused on Maturity
Culture, awareness and HR
43. Train the process participants and managers in the process. Create a RACI matrix.
44. Understand the roles and come up with clear functions, with clear business rules around mandate and separation of duties
45. Understand the roles in a process (and the activities they execute and/or manage) and define required competencies
46. Organize awareness sessions to make people understand their role in a process and the impact of their behavior on customer, other people and process performance
47. Train relevant stakeholders in process thinking
48. Organize a BPM-game, where participants learn about the concepts of process, process improvement and process management through an engaging game
49. Organize a BPM day for various departments involved in a process, and use it to build (social) cohesion and alignment
50. Build awareness and capability at the management level in process thinking, process improvement and process stewardship
51. Implement incentives for process improvements (as opposed to rewarding repeated fire fighting behavior)
52. Go and buy a BPM Suite and automate the process and the BAM
53. Go and buy a BRM suite and support business rules and knowledge support
And finally: document your process(es) (are you really sure??)
54. Understand the stakeholders, goals, life expectation and required detail for documentation
55. Create a process model with supporting documentation, containing a detailed analysis of activities, events, business rules, roles, data flow, physical flow
56. Publish the process model & documentation to relevant stakeholders
57. Place the process model & documentation under configuration management and implement processes to signal updates/deviations and keeping documentation updated
Posted by Roeland Loggen at 23:03