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Akino’s BPM Initiative Strategy

Hi everyone and welcome back.

Picking up from the first topic,  the Akino Fishing Company now has a team of consultants helping to setup the BPM initiative.

After some consulting sessions, 4 areas of work are identified and sorted by starting date:

  1. Infrastructure availability and BPM Suite instalation/configuration
  2. BPM pilot project
  3. BPM governance model
  4. BPM Enterprise-wide adoption

We’ll keep our focus on the second point for now, as it is the most critical of the lot. We’ll address the remaining points in future articles.

Defining a pilot project strategy

Because the company is still tied up to manual ways of doing work and because change will always find resistance, not a lot of departments realize the potential benefit of using a platform as Oracle BPM Suite. Changing the way people work will always find deterrents.

Resistance to Change

To be able to ensure a wider base of supporters, the best approach is to build a set of pilot projects that would prove not only the concept, but also show the potential improvement and leveraging of the existing tools and systems. Every BPM initiative should start like this.

Now, one can always argue that if you choose a very simple process to pilot, the end result may not have enough impact to prove value and to get people on-board the BPM initiative. It’s a fair point.However, the use of pilots is nothing more than risk management. It’ll always be easier to do several pilots with increasing importance and complexity, building confidence at each step, than doing a larger more complex project that needs to deal with all the setup of the BPM initiative, which has a much larger probability of failure.

Risk - Accept, Avoid, Reduce, Transfer

With a couple of success stories you should be able to get the necessary support to start implementing larger, more complex processes. Remember, don’t go for the moon!

So, the Akino Fishing Co. decides, with the help of the consulting team, to develop 2 pilot projects.

  • Very simple process (support process) – Focus on testing the concept, validating the infrastructure, setting up all the necessary control, support and monitoring mechanisms (and there are quite a few) so that future projects don’t have to worry as much about these. It’ll also set the basis for BPM Governance, Training, UI definition.
  • Medium process (management process) – Make a wider use of the platform’s features and set the target to deliver reasonable value to the management. Main purpose is to get deciders on-board.

Because we’ll be starting with some very simple processes, try to use as most Oracle product features as possible. This may sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but if you don’t try the features with a small, contained project, you’ll end up trying them for the first time in a large complex project. Again, this is just risk management.

Also, because the process itself is simple, adding features and capabilities, like building a mobile app to use it, may help people realize the potential value of using Oracle BPM Suite.

A side note on Process Classification

You’ll see us referring to processes as support, management or core processes. This is a way to classify business processes, following some of the best practices and process classification frameworks available in the market. It’s also the suggested classification from Oracle, as can be seen if you create an Enterprise Process Map in BPM Process Composer 12c. If you create a new Enterprise Process Map, three lanes, corresponding to Core, Management and Support, will be created by default.

Process Classification in Enterprise Process Maps

Process Classification in Enterprise Process Maps

  • Core processes – These are the ones related to the core business. In Akino’s case, any process related with the fishing activity itself
  • Management Processes – These are the ones related to the management of the company. For instance, any process related with the company’s financial management is an example.
  • Support Processes – Anything outside the previous 2 types will typically fall on this category.

If you want to learn more about the process classification framework, you can check APQC website or this video.

Getting ready to change

Getting back to point, one of the most overlooked aspects in implementing a BPM initiative is Change Management.

Change Management plays a big role in the successful adoption of a BPM Enterprise-wide program as it will be the biggest weapon against change resistance. There are a few things that you should do, namely:

  • Key Stakeholders and Users Profiling – Build the profile and personas of the most important stakeholders and users. This will help you build a mindset that focus on the best ways to communicate with them. Remember, these will be the pilots’ judges, so address them carefully and with a purpose.
  • Communication Plan – Develop a communication plan that goes side-by-side with your implementation project. Communicate frequently and effectively. You have to market the pilots inside the organization.
  • Training Material and Classes – Create clear and easy to use training material. Choose the medium wisely.
    • Don’t forget to train both the end-users and the support teams.

The First Pilot

The choice for the Akino Fishing Company’s first pilot project is a “Request a parking space” process. Basically, everytime a customer comes to visit any of Akino’s offices, he may request a parking space for him. When not in use by customers, employees can also request access to available parking spaces in the parking space pool. It was chosen because of its simplicity and low importance, but it will have some external visibility, with the possibility of mobile interaction.

We’ll start detailing the pilot project in the 3rd article of this series. Until then…

Header image by Birgerking

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  1. […] Anyway, today we’re going to describe our pilot project, the famous “Request a parking space” process. You can read about how and why we chose this process in last week’s article. […]

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