Creating your Business Process Management Toolbox

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Business Process Management Tools

The landscape for business process management (BPM) can be confusing. There seems to be so many different frameworks, techniques, methods and tools that make up a part of this discipline that it can be very hard to know where to start to build your own toolbox for BPM.

It is clear why new entrants to BPM suffer from this confusion, just look at the methods that could be used in your organization:

Business Process

  • Six Sigma
  • Lean
  • Kaizen
  • ITIL
  • Rummler-Brache
  • ToGaf
  • Rational Unified Process

System Development

  • Scrum
  • RAD
  • FDD (Feature Driven Development
  • XP
  • Rational Unified Process

Project Management

  • Prince2

Change Management

  • Kotter

Where to start?

All these methodologies have a place in BPM, so how do you know just where you should start and which tools are relevant for your organization?

What I suggest is that you look at the methods you already know and understand, then build your own BPM toolbox. Your toolbox will contain techniques that describe what to develop, methods showing how to approach the techniques, frameworks to create technique deliverables, and the tools that you will use to produce deliverables.

One thing I would stress is that you do not focus on tools, instead focus your efforts on processes and agree on the standards and frameworks you will be using. With these understood and agreed you can discuss tools later.

Test out your selections on a real life initiative – using a simple process change to try out techniques and frameworks will give you a good idea whether or not you are on the right track. Spending too much time in theoretical discussions at this point may be counterproductive – try it out and see if it works for you.

Focus on business value

Be selective and look at what actually brings you business value. If you are utilising a particular framework or template that instructs you to do things in a certain way and it just doesn’t work for your organization, then change or remove it. Rigid adherence to frameworks is not effective – every organization is different.

Remember not to overcomplicate your BPM. It is, after all, simply a managing technique. Focus on the business value that it provides, rather than the theory behind it. As with all frameworks and techniques that are out there  adopt and adapt it to your way of working.

When you are starting out in BPM use simple tools – there is nothing wrong with paper and sticky notes as a starting point, as your maturity and understanding increases so will the complexity of the tools that you use.

David Mainville

David Mainville, CEO and co-founder of Navvia, is a passionate advocate of Service Management and a frequent presenter, blogger and well known member of the ITSM community. With over 35 years of experience, David has held progressively senior technical and management roles allowing him to "connect the dots" between the Business and IT. At Navvia, David leads the charge to bring innovative ITSM solutions to market focusing on Product Development, Marketing and Operations.

• Posted by David Mainville on Jan 24, 2017
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