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Posted by James Kobielus on August 31, 2010
Rome was not reinvented in a day. Your enterprise business processes won’t turn around overnight either. You’ll need to re-engineer processes while you continue to run an ongoing business concern — albeit one with many buried layers, some splendid ruins, and many construction projects that cause never-ending traffic snarls.
Business process optimization is not a project you can deliver in a fortnight, nor is it a specific architecture or business model. Rather, it’s an ongoing program under which you implement various transformative technical projects in order to enable greater agility, efficiency, and effectiveness throughout key processes.
What are the key components of a business process optimization program? Forrester recommends that you establish an ongoing initiative that involves all business stakeholders, at all levels in the organization. Just as important, you will need to establish tight collaboration between business stakeholders and the myriad change agents, business architects, process architects, business analysts, data stewards, and analytics professionals upon which the success of your optimization efforts depends.
Enterprises should establish cross-functional programs under which to prioritize business process optimization projects around the following key pillars:
In your Agile business initiatives, you’ll find that data analytics provides the key ingredient that helps you define what optimization means at every step of every process. You will need to infuse a steady stream of insights from BI and advanced analytics into every process, driving both human and automated decisions. You will need to power processes from the trustworthy data that only a comprehensive DQ, MDM, and data governance program can provide.
Clearly, you need comprehensive data analytics to take your Agile process programs to the next step in maturity and pervasiveness throughout your enterprise and value chain. Fortunately, you don’t need to discard your investments in BI, EDW, or any other enabling infrastructure to realize this vision. What you will need to do is achieve consensus across stakeholders that this is a practical vision. You can indeed move in this direction if you structure it as a program of prioritized, incremental, tactical projects with clear payoffs.
In that way, you’ll be steering your process improvement programs away from the boil-the-ocean scenario, in which any effort to improve agility spins its wheels in eternal scope creep and integration gridlock.