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To help executives avoid the pitfalls of business process management, Accenture's Mathias Kirchmer, author of High Performance Through Process Excellence, has penned a top 10 list of tips to help companies improve their business process excellence. Helpfully, he has also identified 10 mistakes that companies make that hinder their process management.
Top 10 Tips for Success
1. Focus on achieving quick creation of value in early pilot projects to establish credibility for BPM
2. Create a Business Process Factory with an appropriate repository of process knowledge to enable an efficient "process of process management"
3. Keep process design methods and other standards simple-as much formal structure as necessary, as little as possible
4. Pay attention to the degree of freedom appropriate to a process during design-some processes must be tightly structured; others may need to be flexible and allow individual creativity
5. Design simple BPM governance processes, communicate them, and add detail as problems arise
6. Start process design with reference models, and then adapt them to your business
7. Build in flexibility by adjusting business architecture and software infrastructure improvements to increase service levels
8. Encourage suggestions from business (as opposed to IT) about process improvements and follow up to make sure everyone knows their ideas have been heard, e.g., using a repository-based approach
9. Set specific goals for innovation and the related processes, so people have a target for their initial efforts
10. Use collaboration and social media technology, aka Enterprise 2.0, to support process steps that have a large degree of freedom supporting the overall agility of an organization
Top 10 Mistakes
1. Local optimization of one processor function without regard for the end-result for the customer
2. Treating BPM as a technical exercise instead of the adoption of a new management approach
3. Ignoring management and continuous improvement of the "process of process management"
4. Failing to plan for and assist the change management processes that help people prepare for their roles in a process-centric business
5. Treating BPM as a project, not as an ongoing exercise in continuous improvement
6. Focusing on the aspects of BPM that are easiest for an organization to adapt to, instead of setting the priorities based on the delivered value
7. Designing KPIs solely in operational terms instead of metrics that reflect value delivered to the customers
8. Failing to adapt the organization and incentives to new process designs
9. Punishing failure in early efforts instead of embracing creativity and innovation and making it safe to take risks and learn from mistakes
10. Expecting that an organization can stay rigidly structured-successful process-oriented companies are collaborative, like a jazz band
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