How to achieve quick wins with BPM

Quick Wins definitely are the preferred business development approach for consultants compared to wasting time responding to RFPs.

 Here is the pitch we have perfected over the past two decades..

How to Quick Start BPM in your organization

Let’s face it.

BPM and its direct antecedents (flowgraphs) have been around for a long time.

  • The methodology is not well known because we encounter business people daily who have never heard of BPM.
  • Another subset has heard of BPM but feel what they are doing presently (or not doing) is sufficient.
  • A third group has tried to implement BPM only to end up as members of a not-so-elite group that, according to some, experience failure rates of 70%.

We need to break out of this mold.

Technology alone is not going to help, so this leaves leadership and user onboarding to master.

If an organization wants BPM and users cooperate, it should be able to achieve liftoff and here is how to fast track your BPM initiative.

Businessman at the entrance of a labyrinth

Pilot Phase

1. Go for low-hanging fruit – pick an initiative with not too long a timeframe, not too high a risk, with the potential to demonstrate quantifiable benefits.

2. Pick a pilot project process that is confined to one or two silos.

3. Go to the trouble of preparing an ROI (you will want to document before/after to get support for other initiatives).

Make sure you document the “before” (i.e. how long it takes to do work, how consistent the outcomes are).

Desired State of Affairs: e.g. The new process reduces the time to analyze a claim by 30%, the level of customer satisfaction increased from 2.5 to 4.5.

4. Bring in a facilitator to graphically map out the process in real-time.

Forget notations and UMLs – most processes only need nodes, directional arcs, branching decision boxes, imposed delays, loopbacks, exit points.

Facilitators lose much of their “magic” when they force a group of ordinary users to watch them build processes with notations, languages.

5. Park images of data collection forms needed at process steps on your mapping canvas so you can drag and drop form images at steps as you build your process.

Make sure the images post to forms that include a memo field – you will want at run time to be able to take quick note of complaints from stakeholders that the process logic is wrong, the forms in use are wrong, the performing roles are wrong, etc..

6. Do not slow down the project by programming rule sets during the first cycle.

Instead, describe rules in narrative terms only and make the branching decision boxes manual.

You can build rule sets and convert decision boxes to auto off-line.

7. Assign actual imposed delays to process steps that need these, but use a run-time environment that allows a temporary override down to 1-2 minutes for testing purposes.

8. Encode process steps with their correct Routings but allow a temporary override of the parent Routing of all Routings so that one person can run through the entire process without having to log out/in under different user accounts.

9. Compile your mapped process, roll it out, get a small group of stakeholders to piano-play the process, incorporate their suggestions/comments/corrections, re-map, roll out again etc.

If you cannot get through all of the listed steps in 1 ½ hours, your SOW for today is larger/more complex than it should be.

Only map in one session what you can roll out and test, update, roll out and test again. You can advance the process next session. Your users want/expect “instant gratification”.

Production Phase

1. Replace the imaged forms with real forms, build rule sets, put branching at decision boxes to auto, reset imposed delays to their plan-side values.

2. Collect run-time data (should be automatic in the environment you are using) for statistical analysis/machine analysis to improve your process.

3. Blend in FOMM (Figure of Merit Matrix) constructs at Cases so you can more easily track progress toward meeting Case objectives.

The overall objective for your “Quick Results” BPM project is on-time/on-budget completion, before/after documentation, user testimonials that it is easier to do their work with the system than without it.

Overall, you should be able to see increased productivity, increased throughput (be it in the area of processing patients, settling insurance claims, or completing MRO on a Blackhawk helicopter), reduction in processing errors, increased compliance with internal and external rules/regulations, all of which contribute to better outcomes and increased competitive advantage.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Business Process Management, Competitive Advantage, Process Mapping, Productivity Improvement and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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