The Life Cycle of BPM Centers of Excellence - Part 2

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In Part 1, I discussed how one BPM Center of Excellence (COE) started as a centralized organization and then after 2 years moved some of the BPM Practitioners into specific operational units and disbanded the centralized group.  Part 2 continues with the life cycle of this use case in its second stage, ‘decentralization’ and then continues to a third stage.

At this stage the BPM practitioners focused on specific initiatives in the divisions.  Under the former centralized method, different divisions only had BPM practitioners for specific projects and some coaching.  Now with a full time resources the two operational divisions began to build greater ‘process’ expertise.  The BPM practitioners helped the BU determine where to focus, ran the business process improvement (BPI) projects, and were around full time to help implement the recommended changes and improvements.  Certain employees and managers participated in several BPI efforts and gained process skills, data skills, and leadership skills.

But the process focus was strong only in the BU’s with the dedicated BPM employees.  The former BPM COE employees stayed in touch informally at an organizational level, but the enterprise focus diminished.

Key elements supported by the BPM Practitioners, during stage 2, in two BU’s

1.Helped leaders prioritize BPI projects related to their strategy

2.Conducted BPI projects with employees and managers for the BU

3.Helped implement projects into the regular work

4.Used data in core work to measure results and trigger corrective action

5.Built continuous improvement into daily core work

6.Provided process care and feeding for these BU’s 

Then there was a change.  The organization realized that its strategy called for more enterprise initiatives, and these initiatives needed to model, analyze and improve cross-functional processes.  It decided it needed a centralized approach again with a centralized COE.  And they did some other things as well, to strengthen the enterprise focus.  They used Business Architecture to provide an overall picture of the organization, showing the organizational structure, strategy, processes, technology and data.  They initiated Activity Based Costing which enabled costing calculations by processes. They established an annual budget for process work.  And they built a consistent organizational change management framework to determine the case for change, conduct stakeholder analysis, and build a communication plan for the different audiences. 

The COE members were key consultants to the Executive Sponsors and Process Owners of these cross-functional processes. Each of the cross-functional processes had a much bigger scope than the BU processes.  They ran the BPI teams that tackled these process improvement efforts.  And the company put budget and IT resources behind the improvements when needed.  BPM skilled contractors were hired to help with BU efforts so some of these could happen as well. 

Key elements supported by BPM Practitioners in this ‘Centralized’ stage 3

  • Business Architecture laid out a framework for the company as a whole, which included process, but more than process
  • The company focused on a few enterprise processes
  • BPM COE employees facilitated and coached the enterprise processes
  • Activity Based Costing added new data for measurement of processes
  • BPM COE helped implement projects into the regular work
  • Work continued in individual BU’s supported mostly by BPM contractor hires.

In addition some of the BPM practitioners in the BU (from the decentralized stage 2) got different jobs in the BU as Operational managers, and carried their BPM expertise into their operating role.  

Clearly this most recent stage 3 is building on former stages and helping the company move to a higher process maturity level.  The enterprise executives are now taking a role as a team which is more than their initial roles as Process Owners for individual processes.  Data is more specific to processes and being used for monitoring, noting leading indicators, and taking corrective action. 

Your life cycle may not go exactly as this example, but make sure to determine if it is building on past experiences which lead to strong employee and leadership development and higher levels of company process maturity. 


Ankit Tara
posted 6 years 26 weeks ago

Katy is right. Great article.

Katy is right. Great article. Gonna share it on my blog
Ankit Tara
posted 7 years 2 days ago

Looking for insight into

Looking for insight into developing a strategy for business process management for a multi functional organization, centered around information technology. What are the components that make up BPM.

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