Business Change Management
Business Management Change

Process Centric Management

Enterprise Architecture

Business Activity Monitoring

Process needs

Business Process Modeling




Lead the Change or Change the Leadership

Business Change Management requires either the Management to lead the change, either to change the Management.

If you look at the main Change Management Models and Change Management Tools oriented to competitiveness improvement (CMMI, SIX SIGMA, LEAN MANUFACTURING, BALANCED SCORECARD, SCOR...), the common factor is Process-centric Management.

In modern organizational structures, new Managers profiles appear in Human Resources, Quality or Information Systems Departments. Even a new position is created: called Chief Process Officer, depending from the Top Management. Its mission is to lead and to promote the change.

But what is the difference between a Process oriented organization and the others?
May be the more graphical response is given by the Common Maturity Model Integration: at CMMI level 1 (the lowest one), organizations are often said to be supported by Heroes. In this kind of enterprises, the results are obtained thanks to a big effort of some Persons who save periodically the Business from the collapse, like "Firefighters".

The Firefighters and the Others

Business Change Management

I remember when I was about 10 years old, I was living with my parents in the country. The chimney was lit all the winter, even when we left home. One day when we came back, we discovered a lot a people around a fire brigade. Some lack of maintenance had caused the fire to extend out the chimney at the upper floor.

The only two things I remember are:
- A lot of dark dust and water everywhere in the house
- During a lot of time, my brothers and myself wanted to be firefighters
But I don't remember none of us to say that he would like to be a chimney sweep.

In organizations that often requires heroic performances from employees, the firefighter become the model to imitate, that is very often the only way to enter in the "Hall of the Fame" of an enterprise. But what about whose who take care of the chimneys or keep clean the forests?

Why a Process - Centric Organization ?

A process centric organization rewards also the "chimney sweeps" and the "forest rangers", in order to promote prevention, anticipation, risks management and doing so minimizing the calls to the fire brigade. Why? because it saves costs ? Not only.

In a virtual world where Internet through web 2.0 gives the possibility to everybody to interact with the group on an easy way, Business Process Management is the response that the enterprises needs to make every process user collaborate to the improvement of the whole system. The benefit is double:
- High value information and initiatives - Motivation of your team to implement the change

Step one: Name a Chief Process Officer

- To give the Business Processes a representation in the management board.
- His/er mission is to coordinate the process workers, not to eclipse them. S/he fosters the process-centric business culture, including skills, systems, and behaviors.
- S/he has to have a global view of the Enterprise. People coming from Quality or Human Resources Department or any other horizontal one could be good candidates.
- In some organizations, the Chief Information Officer position is moving towards this CPO role. And the rest of the Information System organization will be go also in this direction.
- The CPO should also conduct a change management risk assessment to evaluate all the barriers s/he could find on the way

Step two: Build a network of Process Owners.

- Probably the more important role in Business Change Management. At least at the same level as the Customer Project Managers.
- The process owner is responsible for the process measurement and feedback systems, process documentation, and the training of the process performers. The process owner is also the person ultimately responsible for process improvement. (BPM Basics for dummies)

Step three: Work with Business Process specialists.

- Two kinds of specialists are required to support the Business Process Management
- In the definition & modeling phase, you will probably need Process Analysts (or Process Psychiatrists!).
- In the implementation phase, Process Engineers to make the integration of the Processes with the Information Systems. These IT specialists have to connect the Business Process Models to the legacy systems hosted in the business or outside through some Services Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Step four: Train & Motivate the Business Process Performers

- Any Employee is a Business Process Performer, as his/er job is to execute/use processes.
- Most of the change initiatives fail at this step. Why?
- If you put this step in the last position in your schedule, probably it will be also your last priority
- Take advantage of the new BPM suites to make your end users an active actor of the change
- Unlike the top-down approach of the first Business Process Reengineering initiatives, the new user-centric BPM solutions are a mix of top-down bottom-up methods. They not only make easier the knowledge transmission towards the end users, but also permit them to see the contribution of their own performance to the Business results (KPIs) and propose/implement corrective actions/projects.

Point-Dare-Coach-Award versus Plan-Do-Check-Act

The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) method made popular by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, was in fact proposed first by Shewhart and comes of the Scientific Method as developed by Francis Bacon (Novum Organum, 1620).
It is a useful Quality improvement method that can be used also in Business Process Management.

However, sometime a so structure method is not possible as the way to move the Business from on point to another is not so clear, even if you have a clear view of the final result you target. In these cases, try the alternative PDCA (Point-Dare-Coach-Award) method:
- Point: communicate to your organization the vision of where you want to go. Use indicators to target expected results. Define the main strategic objectives. Use Balanced Scorecard methodology to point the possible paths.
- Dare: encourage change initiatives from anybody in the organization. Everybody has a clear idea of what s/he would like to change, even if s/he has not a global view of the business. Let him/er enter in the change process.
- Coach: Permit your collaborators to acquire the skills to manage their improvement ideas. Identify the change barriers, whatever personal, professional or politics.
- Award: Show to your organization that you consider the "chimney sweeps" and the "forest rangers" at least so important as the firefighters for your enterprise. If not, take care not to generate business pyromaniacs!

Change your Mind to Mind the Change

For more advice on Business Change Management using Business Process Management, I recommend the paper "BPM Done right: 15 ways to succeed where others have failed", from Mike Lees, Senior Director, BPM Product Marketing, Software AG:

1 - Plan for Change
2 - Culture of Thinking Differently
3 - BPM is not an excuse to headcount reduction
4 - Focus on your customer
5 - Focus on your Process Workers
6 - Align Roles, Responsibilities and Remuneration
7 - Recognize and Analyze BPM Politics
8 - Secure executive Sponsorship
9 - Choose the right project
10 - Manage expectation
11 - Select a Process Methodology
12 - Implement a Balanced approach to technology
13 - Take a Broad view of Training
14 - Don't feel the need to do it all yourself
15 - Profit from experience

More Resources on Business Change Management

Selected Quotes for Business Change Management.

How-to-start with Business Change Management

Make your company a better place to work

Start with "BPM Basics for Dummies"