Processes by stealth - Gartner recommends it!

In a recent comment about how to set up organisational supports for BPM initiatives, Gartner's Jim Sinur remarked:

Establishing a process competency center is first prize, but you might have to sneak up on it by getting a small group of skilled process folks to work on a number of small projects before you put together a process program with clearly defined roles

I almost jumped for joy when I read this as it, basically, aligns with a concept I tried about 7 years ago known as 'Processes implementation by stealth'. The basic issue was that the company I was working for at the time had very little knowledge and understanding of how to start a process management capability. As a result they were reluctant to move forward with creating this in light of other, more pressing, business issues. To try and move things forward I became involved with a number of projects where we 'insinuated ourselves' into the project and started to define process type activities as part of this. For example I worked with a department that was looking to outsource a large part of the work they were doing to a third party organisation. I managed to convince them that if they had a neatly defined (and agreed) process map of what their department did, they would be able to take that to a prospective third party and easily identify the hand off points and the deliverables. As an added bonus we were able to remove a number of non-value-added activities as part of the process discovery exercise.

Over the course of a number of months we took this concept of process discovery by stealth and enlarged it to some more important projects. What this gave us a chance to do was to identify a business case for including process work in all projects. Once that case was approved the organisation mandated this across all IT projects and the capability was started from there.
The end result is that a little bit of 'process management by stealth' led to a global process organisation being created where a direct approach to create that would not have happened. Ultimately the CIO took responsibility for the process capability and this gave us the senior management ownership that we needed to make this happen.

Processes by stealth - it can happen and it does happen. Where is it happening in your organisation? Or alternatively - where should it be happening in your organisation?

Reminder: 'The Perfect Process Project' is still available. Don't miss the chance to get this valuable insight into how to make business processes work for you.

Click this link and follow the instructions to get this book.

All information is Copyright (C) G Comerford

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