We have referred to Lean BPM Implementation and how we have used this methodology to implement optimized BPM applications for our clients and offer competitive pricing compared to most low cost outsourcing vendors. Here I am going to discuss more about what exactly is Lean BPM Implementation.

Lean and Business Process Management are 2 distinct methodologies for process improvement. Business Process Management is about continuous process improvement and Lean is about identifying the value for customer and focusing on the steps that create value. In this blog I am going to share how we can apply the principles of Lean to BPM Implementation Life-cycle for cost effective process improvement and quicker ROI.

What is Lean?

Lean Thinking has been predominantly adopted in Manufacturing and Healthcare. Lean focuses on removal of waste, meaning anything that doesn’t add value to the customer. Here are the five steps that guide the lean implementation:

  1. Define value from customer’s viewpoint.
  2. Identify the steps that create value and eliminate (if possible) the steps that do not create value.
  3. Make the value creating steps flow in tight sequence. Shorter life-cycle translates into lower cost, reduced lead time and faster delivery of the end product.
  4. Respond to customer pull by listening to customer’s demands and creating process to respond to those.
  5. Keep refining the process to achieve perfection.
Lean Principles
Figure 1: Steps in LEAN

The BPM Implementation

A typical BPM Implementation Life Cycle is supposed to be different from traditional SDLC. BPM implementations follow agile approach, shorter development cycles and continuous improvement. But in real-world most Agile BPM implementation just break the project into smaller groups of features without much consideration to Lean.

How to: Lean BPM Implementation

The first step in Lean is to define value. This can be achieved by interviewing the business users to understand the objective of the process and defining the process goals.

Identify waste and eliminate those steps as explained here:

  • Capture requirements using Process Modeler instead of non-BPM tools and eliminate gaps.
  • Avoid too many handoffs, such as Business sharing requirement with the BA who works with the coordinator to pass the requirements to offsite team.
  • Setup an in-house Center of Excellence (CoE). For smaller teams, it can be just 1 person.
  • Use Frameworks and standards and avoid reinventing the wheels.
  • Avoid specialized experts for every skill. Instead use team members that can wear multiple hats (can do UI as well as Database Development)
  • Too many chiefs (managers) mean more time reporting statuses and less time to work.
  • Finally, keep the solution simple. Don’t over complicate things.

Keep the process flowing smooth by overlapping the steps. Say, start your design while the requirement gathering is still in progress or do early releases to QA so they can get familiarized with the process.

Listen to what the business priorities are and plan the releases accordingly.

And finally, document your Implementation process, let the CoE own the process and keep refining it based on lessons learnt.

About me, I am the CEO and Lead Architect at CGS (formerly Bizteon). I have a creative and talented team at CGS that has helped our clients implement cost effective SOA, BPM and ODM solutions using IBM WebSphere software. CGS is a Premier IBM Partner. Our mission is to help you build any solution using IBM tools. If you can think about something, we can build it.

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