Business Process Analysis – Pitfalls to avoid

Successful implementation of the BPA will mean you have successfully documented, standardized,harmonized, managed—as well as analyzed and improved—your business processes. Process improvements are aligned with optimization goals, such as cost savings,time savings and quality.
With BPA, you’ll be able to:
Understand the business environment
Identify the strategy and key objectives
Analyze critical success factors
Define and follow standards
Record an enterprise process landscape
Define end-to-end processes
Identify improvement opportunities
Develop to-be concept and processes
Transform the organization
Implement BPM governance model

So what are some of the pitfalls to avoid?

No standards
A variety of process modeling tools are available. Some use Visio®, others ARIS and some describe their processes in Microsoft® PowerPoint®. Process models are stored on the local hard disk; some are on file servers. Others cannot be found. Everyone uses different objects/shapes to describe the same thing. This is indeed the worst case.

Strategy is strategy and process is process
Management knows that a corporate strategy is important. It takes several meetings to agree on it but then it stays in the board room. If you ask employees what the corporate strategy looks like, you barely get ananswer. It’s even harder for employees to understand how they contribute to the strategy.

Modeling only the “happy path”
It’s tempting to model only the processes where everything runs smoothly. But if you do this you can’t find improvement potentials.

Keeping models secret
Processes are for everyone. Don’t keep them secret in your repository. Share them with your organization or even beyond. But don’t forget the Five Ws.

Why you are modeling? You must ensure the benefits of your model align with corporate objectives.
Who are the customers for the models? An IT designer will have different expectations than a business analyst.
What are you modeling? Is it a sales process, and where does it start and end? What products does it handle?
When will the models be relevant? Distinguish between as-is and to-be processes and consider the lifetime of models.
Where will the models be used? Models published on the intranet need to be visual and fully linked so that people can easily
navigate them. Models that will be used for documentation need to rely more on information defined in model/object attributes.

Forgetting input and output
A process consumes input and transfers it to an output—and hopefully adds value along the way. If you design a process or a process step, make sure you also document the input and the output.

Not differentiating between model designer and consumer
The person creating a process model should always keep in mind who the consumer will be. A business person has different requirements than an IT person. The best is to have one model with different views on it.

Everyone can model everything—no governance
Process transformation needs a process of process management. You need to set up a governance structure around rights and roles. Not everyone should have the right to model or change every process. Don’t underestimate the effort of developing and implementing governance. It is strongly recommended to use technology as governance support.

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