A Model Driven Approach to Process Analysis and Improvement
This process improvement strategy has three primary objectives:
Match Core Capabilities to the Processes – Ensure that the organization’s core capabilities are fully understood and documented relative to goals, governing rules, organizations and supporting technologies. These core capabilities are then mapped to the business processes that support them (see figure 1)
Quantify Operational Effectiveness - The operational effectiveness of these business processes should be quantified as a baseline for future process improvements. It also enables analysts to focus on those process elements areas that have the most potential. Modeling processes is not just drawing diagrams; it enables time, cost, quality, and resource availability to be part of the equation. Modeling and simulation reduce the complexity of multitude of variables required to quantify operational effectiveness.
Enable the Enterprise to Make Better IT Automation Choices – The use of IT technology often is a primary consideration in many process improvement initiatives. BPM analysts must be able to translate process improvements to functional requirements that can be used by IT people. This includes business object analysis, use case modeling, sequence diagrams and other related UML methodologies.
Aligning Goals and Business Capabilities
The mission of an enterprise states its direction. To accomplish the mission, the enterprise must achieve its goals. Strategic analysis maps goals to aspects of the enterprise that help achieve the goals. One such aspect is the capability. The typical enterprise is armed with dozens of relatively stable high-level capabilities.
Capabilities depict, at the highest level, what an enterprise can do. Common capabilities are mapped to factors such as related organizational areas, measures, governing rules, data, and supporting technology. The most extensive mapping is focused on the business processes that comprise the capability. To improve a capability in support of business goals, an enterprise will first turn to its processes.
A Model Driven Approach to Process Improvement
This strategy presents a model-driven approach for improving business processes in order to meet business goals. Model driven process analysis utilizes multiple disciplines (e.g., Six Sigma, Lean, ABC) to deliver quantifiable metrics. The following are included:
- Process Modeling – Process models provide the most effective method for visualizing the business processes performed in the organization. They provide a picture of how work is accomplished and who is responsible. The following (Figure 1) is an example of a call center that processes calls from customers seeking information. This particular service was losing money, Why?
- Work Measurement Tools for Improved Operational Effectiveness – work measurement has become a knowledge centered activity providing complete knowledge of the human-process interface.
- Process Timing – The durational aspects of a process’s activities are modeled to identify bottlenecks and reduce the overall duration of a business process.
- Activity-based Costing – A truer picture of the costs incurred by an organization is given by attributing expenses to the activities that utilize resources and consume commodities. Activity-Based Costing (ABC) provides a state-of-the-art approach for analyzing the actual points in a business process where costs are incurred.
It is very easy to see where cost was being incurred in this process. Sounds like a time to call in the Six Sigma team. This example is very similar to some real process improvement projects; the ABC portion of the cost resulted in a multi-million dollar cost savings and was better for customers.
- Process Scenarios – Business processes by nature do not follow the same path each time they are performed. Differing paths through a process are identified to compare alternatives.
- Simulation – Once a process is modeled, the individual process scenarios can be “run”. This dynamic view of a process provides true-to-life data from a model.
- Process Analysis – Simulation results are examined to identify opportunities to improve productivity, decrease response time, lower costs, etc. Because the analysis is model based, parameters can be changed and the process rerun.
The process modeling and simulation tool used in this article is the Metastorm ProVsion BPA – modeling tool.
Process modeling is an extremely effective tool in the BPM professional’s toolbox. It provides tremendous insights into how resources are being consumed but; it has to be used by well trained and experienced practitioners. It is just one tool that can also include Six Sigma and Lean. The most effective programs utilize this and other tools, Six Sigma, Lean, Automation Technology, KPI Metrics Definition, Change Management etc. Could this work for your organization?Tags: ABC, Automation Technology, BPM, Process Analysis Simulation, Six Sigma