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10 lessons we could take away from 2009 – and probably won’t

(taken from our december newsletter)

End of year and as usual everyone seems to try to outdo everyone else with predictions for 2010. What strikes me is that many of the predicted ‘hot topics’ either do not seem to have any link to the present year and situation (and now for something completely different) or are based on the assumption of lessons learned – which quite clearly is wishful thinking.

The latter point came to mind when I re-read an entry on the Process Café blog from our BPM Nexus collegue Gary Comerford from january 2008: “…This survey indicated that 52% of the directors interviewed admitted that more than half of their current strategic business processes could not be easily shared across the organisation. [...] There is no doubt in my mind that any company which is not focusing on understanding, managing, and improving it’s business processes is missing a huge opportunity to improve itself.” Ring a bell?

So instead of upcoming hot topics here is our list of 10 lessons process managers could take from 2009:

  1. Come up with process reaction plans – which buttons can you press to variate process costs and performance without damaging the overall process architecture?
  2. Document and communicate process interfaces – which processes influence your process and how does your process influence other processes?
  3. Develop process scenarios – put your processes in a sandbox and play around with all the different parameters to identify process risks
  4. Explain the link between your process strategy and your companys business strategy – or lack thereof
  5. Evaluate the level of agility of your processes – classify which types of changes require short medium and longterm initiatives
  6. Keep your process documentation current – an average of 40% of project time spent on process discovery is something few companies can shoulder
  7. Increase process awareness among staff – it’s not only the folks using a new system that are involved with processes
  8. Define how to assess process quality – do your process workers understand what makes for a “good” processes and how their daily work ties into it?
  9. Define for yourself how you would like to be able to manage your processes – what is the potential for you, the process and the company and what are the causes of your current limitations?
  10. Ensure that the next process initiative is not only focussed on process readiness but also ensures that the business is ready to take up project results (business readiness)

With this in mind the usual “hot topic” charts would probably look very different to what they currently are – or would they?

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