14.2.09

ProcessStep - how it “fits” in Business Process Management

V několika zprávách se zmiňuji o metodickém rámci označovaném jako ProcessStep. V levém sloupci najdete živý odkaz na stránku věnovanou tomuto tématu.  Dovolím si zopakovat charakteristiku místa ProcesStepu v architektuře organizace .
"People often ask us where we position ourselves in the Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Management world. On the one hand, there is the definitive Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Reengineering (BPR) elements of Enterprise Architecture, causing process to be the stringent deliverer of usually massive, people unfriendly change with the focus on process outcomes, regardless of who loses their job or who supports the process, or not. This side of the environment, as in left hand side of the diagram below, impacts heavily on people. On the other hand there is Business Process Management, which “umbrellas” aspects like Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and all the supporting IT applications. This side is IT focused. Then there are all the tools and techniques: Six Sigma: which is about re-engineering (throw out the old, make new!), Lean, which is about improvement of the current and Theory of Constraints, another set of rules to “remake” process. At the same time, the environment is divided between Business and IT. IT is much more progressed in process thinking and BPM (compared to Business), hence the fantastic IT applications that are available in the marketplace from a variety of software vendors.. Business has been slow on the uptake. So IT kind of says to business, “you don’t know what you need, we are cleverer, let’s create a solution then you don’t need to know your problem”. Business says: ”I have no idea what IT is trying to do but I know that what they are doing is not what I want”. The result of this: business blames IT for all that goes wrong and IT blames business for their incompetence. The story unfolds on this picture. Here is the wow moment: ProcessStep sits “nicely” in the middle.

- how it “fits” in Business Process Managemen 
The link between people and IT is process. ProcessStep delivers process that speaks equally well to business and IT. ProcessStep enables knowledge to be captured as related by the master of knowledge: business, i.e. the people who work in the process in a format which business understands and relate to. This comes from the space of TQM and BPR, but with full people involvement, therefore, the outcome is less harsh on the people element. ProcessStep provides the knowledge and masses of information to IT who now can do all the cool applications that will deliver powerful Business Process Management - IT takes the info, (which is informed by business on a business level), puts it into applications and generates management information. Put differently; it can be described with this analogy, linked to the diagram below: An Enterprise is like a truck that needs to deliver goods and services. What the truck should look like, depends on what services and goods it needs to deliver and what the Enterprise’s Strategy and Goals are – i.e. what type of road it will travel. If it is a tar road, the truck can be built to travel fast and zoom around bends. If it needs to travel cross country along winding, mountain roads, it needs to be built robustly and have the ability to steer around tight bends on mountain roads. This is what Enterprise Architecture does: it creates the right vehicle to deliver the stuff given the road it needs to travel. The executive board sits in the cab and drives the vehicle, making sure that the necessary support (day to day management) is there to ensure that there is air in the GoodYears, and oil in where oil must be and the right diesel for the engine.

Process is the gearbox of the vehicle. One does not see the gearbox, it is embedded deep somewhere in the vehicle, but without it, the wheels won’t turn. If there gears are good, the vehicle runs. If not, it makes noises, it stalls, it stops, it jerks. All the effort of people will not drive the vehicle if the gears seize. The high tech Garmin will mean little if the gearbox does not work. The fuel injection computer will not work if the gears are not gearing. Need we say more? ProcessStep is the Castrol of gearboxing: it uses people knowledge to make sure the gears turn and gives IT the goodies to make sure the journey is slick and managed and dashboarded. "