Leveraging Low Hanging BPM Fruit

Business analysts are an integral part of any organization. They’re entrusted with bridging the communication gap between business owners and developers, defining needs and recommending solutions that provide value to stakeholders. They’re also important for business project management (BPM) as they’re responsible for planning strategically, analyzing business models, defining and designing processes, and carrying out IT/Technical business analysis. However, to be successful, business analysts need to deeply understand how to work with stakeholders and use consistent BPM methodology.

Addressing the following five areas will help you achieve these goals as well as ensure your success during BPM project management.

#1) Business Requirements
Business owners will come to you with a problem and demand a particular technology solution. However, you need to determine what the underlying problem is, how important it is compared to overall goals, and how the problem aligns with the organization’s strategies. While conversing with stakeholders, you should also identify what they aim to achieve through the new process. As a result, you can decide which processes offer the biggest opportunities in the market or which processes can negatively impact business goals. You also need to develop Business Architecture for the organization to divide and ultimately prioritize its processes.

To start, consider the following BPM project management techniques at the beginning of your improvement efforts:

1. Create a Micro Map for Processes – A micro map for core and support processes is very helpful as it allows business analysts to identify the best processes to work on.
2. Build a Charter – A charter is crucial at the initial stages of a BPM project as it helps you highlight the stakeholders’ improvement targets.

Based on these documents, you can determine whether the issue at hand requires a small improvement or a new functionality altogether. However, you need to go beyond the present to see the bigger picture and add value to the organization.

#2) BPM Methodology
Embracing a consistent BPM methodology makes your process improvement efforts efficient. It also allows the creation of shareable and replicable process assets while empowering leaders with process improvement skills. However, rather than purchasing a methodology from a consulting firm, consider creating your own by addressing the following stages:

  1. Process Discovery
  2. Process Modeling
  3. Process Analysis
  4. Process Redesign
  5. Constant Improvement

Through these, you can create a methodology that allows you to know which techniques are necessary for each phase and which are optional. However, remember to keep your BPM methodology consistent and customize rarely by adding optional techniques. The latter is essential to avoid analysis paralysis and diminishing ROI to stakeholders.

#3) Operational and Technical Analysis
To succeed during BPM project management, you should successfully identify and conduct operational and technical analysis. You’ve been compromising on the efficiency of the process by moving from a current state process diagram to solutions. The same applies to documenting the current process, suggesting automated solutions for the process and then using technology to automate an already poor process. Since you need to delve deeper during analysis to make your efforts worthwhile, you should try the following techniques:

  • Conducting a customer scorecard
  • Gathering baseline and analytical data
  • Identifying inefficiencies
  • Standardizing all the company’s process modules

#4) Management Conversations and Team Sessions
Having a facilitator is important to teach BPM process improvement skills to leaders and their teams. However, rather than an external consultant, entrusting this task to an internal business analyst will be more beneficial. By training internal facilitators who are well aware of the BPM methodology, the organization will successfully build its own capability.

To be successful in this aspect, you need to develop a project charter by sitting down with all the stakeholders of the BPM project management process, i.e. the executive sponsor, process owner and project lead. Your role is to help these three understand their responsibilities by explaining what you expect from them during observations, tasks, input, and review meetings. You can also be part of the work sessions conducted by project leads to guide the business process improvement team. However, you should remain neutral and keep the BPM methodology in front of your eyes as you consult with the team lead and engage with the team.

#5) Solution Discovery
A business analyst can help business owners find the best solutions to achieve their goals. For instance, you can position their request differently to ensure that it’s more strategic and ultimately higher in priority. Another way you can help is by suggesting quick wins that ensure immediate returns. This strategy is most beneficial if the business owner’s request isn’t strategic or if it will take time to be fulfilled.

By focusing on these five areas, you can effectively serve the organization in a strategic way. However, remember to hone your BPM methodology, group process skills and communication skills to develop a personal style that allows you to win over key players.

This post is sponsored by JobTraQ, the lean BPM software pioneer.


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