Developing An Enterprise Vision For Business Process Automation-ca1810

Enterprise-wide projects require clear vision and effective leadership. This is especially true if your company engages in business process management (BPM) with the goal of maximizing efficiency gains enterprise wide. Since your everyday processes are built around your mission-critical content, a thorough understanding of your data, routine processes, and the interrelationship of one business area to the next is crucial. Establishing a grand vision isnt necessary for a successful enterprise content management (ECM) and BPM implementation. Developing and communicating a clear vision based on an understanding of your companys long-range goals, prioritization of needs, and knowledge of constraints, however, is. Assemble the right team Establishing a vision for BPM requires a strong team comprised of executive-level and IT leadership, line-of-business managers, and a dedicated project leader. Since a detailed understanding of your companys content (data) and how it is used daily is vital, ground-level knowledge workers must also be represented on the team. Their involvement in day-to-day information gathering and processing brings critical knowledge and valuable insights into how your business operates, as well as potential improvements. As your team defines long- and short-term goals, understanding your current processes is as important as defining long-term business needs, technology capabilities, and budget constraints. BPM requires that you view your business as a series of intertwined processes driven by people, data, and events. The data that feeds and drives your processes may be found in legacy systems, line-of-business software applications, paper, voice mails, and other media. Wherever it resides, it must be accessed, controlled, and manipulated intelligently so you can leverage it wherever its needed to drive efficiency. Understanding the sources and function of data within your organization is vital. Understand the big picture Before you dig into the details, make sure the big picture is clear. Ask yourself: * What is your companys long-term vision? Will you be in the same line of business in 3-5 years? * Which processes will be obsolete in 3-5 years? What procedures will be added based on business model changes? * What routine processes exist today? How can they be improved? * What should these processes look like in the future? Documenting what you do today and how you want to conduct business tomorrow is tougher than implementing your chosen software solution. Many companies fail because they cant agree how their business processes are currently executed and what should be done differently. This discovery and agreement phase is critical and requires full managerial support. Consultants and vendors can help to provide an objective evaluation of well-worn routines, leading to a more effective overhaul. Identify and articulate clear goals Streamlining for efficiency is always a wise move, but automation of every business process isnt always possible or practical. Understand why each process is being considered for potential automation. Is your goal to: * Reduce costs? * Improve cash flow? * Shorten turnaround times? * Improve service? * Mitigate non-compliance penalties or other risks? * Grow faster, efficiently? The answers will help you establish appropriate expectations and clear, obtainable goals, resulting in meaningful changes that can be delivered on time and within budget. Tear down the walls One of the leading reasons for project failure is underestimating the time and effort required for thorough process analysis. Too often, processes are analyzed in isolation without consulting everyone involved. This results in costly errors in process automation design. To obtain the understanding you need, you must tear down the walls that separate workers and make your processes transparent. If the depth of processes is underestimated, or critical exceptions to process rules arent considered, automating them will deliver poor results. Automation only makes sense when processes are carefully analyzed and intelligently streamlined. Mechanizing poorly understood or incomplete processes wastes time, effort and resources. Examine your business holistically. Every organizations size, focus, customers, preferred methods of operation, and adaptability differs; yet each consists of processes driven by people, using structured and unstructured data in multiple applications and formats. Discovering, analyzing, and understanding the flow of work and the interrelationship of data and processes is the most challengingand most criticalcomponent of BPM success. Make project goals transparent Internal politics are another common reason for project failure. Since your companys corporate culture influences how your project will be perceived and adapted, you must ensure frequent and transparent communications of goals, timelines, expectations, and benefits from the start. Most people believe their familiar routines are fine as long as they still function, and this can make it challenging to initiate change. However, you can adjust peoples mindsets and prepare them to embrace change if your vision is transparent, users understand the benefits, and the plan is supported by clear project goals. Involve staff appropriately from the beginning. Youll need input from every level of staff, with appropriate communication about implementation strategies and adequate training to guarantee success. Words to the wise As stated earlier, not every process can or should be automated. Guard against having a grand, complicated vision that might not ever be accomplished. Analyze where the majority of your revenue, risk, and costs are. Work on processes related to those areas first, and expand outward gradually. Analyze the relative severity of your companys collective business challenges, the potential payback for improvement and automation, and the risks if improvement is ignored. Look where data can be re-used across the enterprise. Remain focused on core processes related to revenue, risk, and cost. Rank everything in terms of its relative importance. Successful automation results from making tough decisions. Enterprise-wide process improvement and automation projects are not designed for weak leaders or teams with half-hearted commitment. Remember: business process automation projects are never perfect, and never completely finished. Change is the only constant. As your business changes, your processes need to be continually adapted and improved. Technology and data can be used to distribute information and work across your enterprise efficiently so your people can work better, faster, and smarter. By tapping into the knowledge of your people, from the top down and from the bottom up, you can establish a clear vision with smart strategies that will lead to success. About the Author: Jim Thumma has over 20 years of experience working with industries that use document management software and has leveraged that experience to help businesses and organizations advance not only their technology, but their processes and, ultimately, to be more successful. Thumma is a frequent presenter and has authored numerous articles that can be read in Integrated Solutions magazine, ECM Connection, document, TEQ magazine, and other industry publications. Article Published On: ..articlesnatch.. – Software 相关的主题文章: