Process Improvement: Informed & Lean

I could call this post “Removing the Risk from Lean Process Improvement” because it starts with the assumption that you want to improve your processes using Lean principles, but you want guidance on how to apply those principles most effectively.

Soooo much discussion of Lean last week at the Forrester Forum and the Gartner BPM Summit.  Who can argue against Lean?  It is after all a focus on providing more value with less waste.  Lean is a focus on eliminating waste, the original sevens wastes identified by Toyota, as well as elimination of anything that does not provide value to the customer.  We all want to get rid of waste and inefficiency.

How do you identify the waste in your business process? This is harder than you might think.  Continue reading

Process Discovery & Mass Personalization

At dinner with Forrester analyst Clay Richardson he mentioned that process support should be less like mass transit trains and buses, and more like a Zipcar.   Both approaches can be seen as a way to solve metropolitan transportation problems; both are more efficient in energey use; both save the consumer money over owning and maintaining (including parking) a private vehicle.  This fits well with ideas I have been trying to communicate Continue reading

Process Confabulation

I just love that term: “Process Confabulation“. It sounds like something that WC Fields or Mark Twain might say. I saw it used in a slide share presentation from Michael zur Muehlen. What does it mean? It refers to an interesting problem in uncovering the process that a business organization is currently doing. Before any BPM project, you must first answer the question: “What is the current business process?” Continue reading

The Wrong Question for Process Discovery

There are some tips in the field of BPM that you don’t want to find out by trial and error. If you have done a business process improvement initiative, you already know that the first step is to model the process. In order to model the process, you must uncover what the process is, and this step is called process discovery. How to you discover the process? You ask the people who work there, of course. Continue reading