Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Expanding Process Scopes Presents Challenges (Part 2)

While the process movement, under the BPM moniker, has been successful in terms of financial returns, agility, collaboration, and innovation, more will be expected from processes. Organizations are showing confidence by expanding the impact and scope of processes. This may be as wide as value and supply chains or aggregating end to end processes that leverage tactical processes in aggregate. These wider scopes present challenges of technological and political interactions that have not been tested to date for most organizations. This article will help with the political side where just being aware of the issues can defuse problems and sometime accelerate business outcomes. I posted an article on the technical challenges on July 22, 2013 and an article on people change issues on June 19, 2013. These issues can create mystery and challenge.

See http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2013/07/expanding-process-scopes-presents.html &
       http://jimsinur.blogspot.com/2013/06/people-change-is-bpms-roadblock.html



There are many ways to get hung up in political issues besides individuals not liking each other. Quite often there are clashes that are created by roles and goals of individuals in organizations and seven political issues that I have seen play a role in process success or failure. They are as follows:


Organizational Culture:

Quite often organizational cultures can inhibit or enhance process efforts. If an organization has a planning culture, it helps in considering all alternatives, but this kind of organization can get hung up in "analysis paralysis". If an organization has a "run and gun" culture, it can get something up and running quickly, but it may sub-optimize on near term results and miss big issues. The ideal is a blend of both, but will take a powerful coalition to push against cultural tendencies.

Industry Influences:

Some industries are progressive by nature and others are comfortable with the status-quot. Understanding the trends in your industry can make help in outlining a strategy that leverages the leaders within your specific industry. Just like people behave in a herding manner, organizations can follow the heard instead of striking out for better pastures. Create a view for the new pastures.

Nature of  the Competition:

Almost all executives have competitors that they admire or hate. Playing on those tendencies can help a business process owner or director. Doing a quick competitive benchmark inside or outside of an organizations industry can help in business outcome design. This is particularly effective when admired organizations are targeted.

Leadership Vision & Commitment:

Often one hears about a lack of leadership vision and commitment as a reason not to attempt large scoped processes. This can be defused by showing success in other organizations or smaller scopes. The other approach to waiting to a visionary is to gather a collation of business progressive participants and create a vision. This can be assisted leveraging business scenario planning with simulation assists.

Organizational Stove Pipes:

A goodly number of organizations are driven by operational goals that are designed to be conflicting. In addition, rewards are often crafted to mirror these artificial functional separations. With great care, these stove pipes can be brought together by showing that there is a "win - win" not a "zero sum" opportunity for these organizational or departmental leaders. This is very crucial for cross organizational value and supply chains leveraging shared processes.

Organizational Velocity:

It is important to know the kind of reaction times that are burned into organizational behaviors. These behaviors can be gleaned form published goals and observed behaviors. Almost all organizations are being faced with an acceleration challenge these days. This pressure can be used a lever for change and has been successful in many process efforts.

History & Decision Tendencies:

Understanding how decisions have been made in the past will be crucial to understand and exploit. It is equally important to understand how decision enabled processes can accelerate decisions while increasing collaboration (usually considered a luxury). Today's smart and social processes can assist here.


Net; Net:

Understanding the mysteries of these seven issues and making a plan to exploit these issues will be important for any process owner or process director. There are many subtleties that can also enable or entrap the creation of process innovation and excellence. This should give one a good starting point, I hope :)