Reviews

Business Process Reviews: How We Can Help

In today’s age of modern business, industry competition means that companies must continually strive to implement “best practice” solutions in each domain in order to keep pace within their marketplace and/or exploit their own natural advantages.

In some industries, this trend is being supported by the establishment of frameworks which divide industry operations into a series of standard processes. The individual processes provide a convenient framework for the study of organisational processes to provide a basis for best practice implementation.

So how can you get started and get going and take the operations of your business to the next level?


A Business Process Review

A simple way to achieve this, is to conduct a Business Process Review. Common Vision provides a process for performing a Process Review for a nominated business function and is something we would provide as part of our Accelerator Service.

The primary purpose of the Common Vision Business Process Review is to undertake a coarse level analysis of a business function in order to identify gaps or opportunities for major improvement rather than to conduct exhaustive documentation of an organisation’s existing processes.


How Long Does It Take?

While the duration depends upon the size and complexity of the area being investigated, the end-to-end activity typically takes in the order of 6-8 weeks from initial planning to delivery of the Process Mapping report.


What Does It Involve?

There are 4 key steps to delivering the review:

1. Initial Planning
Successful execution of a Business Process Review requires effective planning and Preparation (it also ensures the most effective use of time of the participants). Initial Planning involves a workshop with the Project Sponsor and nominated Stakeholders in which the scope of the Process Review is agreed along with the participants and Source Material.

2. Preparation
Preparation involves initial analysis of available material along with an investigation of available “best practice” references for the relevant domain. An output of the preparation phase is an interview schedule (and sometimes a questionnaire) to be completed by participants prior to interview. The interviewer will begin to compile an inventory of available material to be used as input to interview preparation.

3. Interviews & Workshops
A key element of the information gathering exercise is the in-person interviews with the nominated customer representatives with the greatest knowledge of the existing processes. Each interview will typically last in the order of 90 minutes. Follow-ups will be required with some individuals.

4. Business Process Mapping
The final stage in the Business Process Review is the creation of a Process Model describing the processes currently being performed. This activity necessarily involves the services of an individual with expertise in the problem domain under investigation. Apart from the inventory, there are three principal outputs from the business process review as follows:

CUSTOMER PROCESS MODEL SUMMARY – The Customer Process Model describes the processes currently being performed along with a mapping to an industry recognized Process Model.

PROCESS GAPS – The mapping exercise will identify any areas within the industry model which are currently not being managed within the organization (e.g. no formal process for addressing customer feedback).

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT – A summary of process gaps and identified departures from recognized best practice, which represent opportunities for improvement. Items may consist of both short and long-term suggestions for change and include both changes to process and/or the introduction of new IT systems or systems changes.


What Is Delivered?

Apart from the inventory, there are three principal outputs from the business process review as follows:

CUSTOMER PROCESS MODEL SUMMARY
The Customer Process Model describes the processes currently being performed along with a mapping to an industry recognized Process Model.

PROCESS GAPS
The mapping exercise will identify any areas within the industry model which are currently not being managed within the organization (e.g. no formal process for addressing customer feedback).

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
A summary of process gaps and identified departures from recognized best practice, which represent opportunities for improvement. Items may consist of both short and long-term suggestions for change and include both changes to process and/or the introduction of new IT systems or systems changes.


So if you’re looking to review your Business Processes, then contact us.



Book Review: Agile Project Management With Scrum

[amtap book:isbn=073561993X]

Over the last month, I had the opportunity to read “Agile Project Management With Scrum” as a follow up book to “Agile Software Development with Scrum”. Unlike “Agile Software Development with Scrum”, this book focuses more on the practice of project management using the Scrum Methodology, giving particular insight in terms of how to apply the Scrum principles in a concrete and useful manner. Here’s a quick summary of what I found useful…

Good Points

  • Useful templates and examples help highlight how to run the Scrum methodology.
  • Appendix on “Rules” is useful, providing concrete guidance on how to execute various Scrum PM practices including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums and Reviews.
  • Core principles are clearly spelt out and illustrated, giving a feeling of how Scrum works in reality.

Bad Points

  • I found the dummy company names examples annoying and detracting.
  • It does seem like it repeats a little from the initial “Agile Software Development with Scrum”.