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1/22/2009
09:45 AM
Sandy Kemsley
Sandy Kemsley
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The First 100 Days: Set the Tone, Get Results

In keeping with other recently installed change agents, Elise Olding of Gartner offers this advice on your first 100 days as a business process (BP) director. She breaks it down into what you should be doing and delivering in each of the first three months:

In keeping with other recently installed change agents, Elise Olding of Gartner offers this Webinar on your first 100 days as a business process (BP) director. As she points out, you have 100 days to make some key first impressions and get things rolling, and although you may not necessarily deliver very much in that time, it sets the tone for the ongoing BPM efforts.

She breaks this down into what you should be doing and delivering in each of the first three months:

  • The first month is about planning and getting a number of activities kicked off. If you're new to the business area (often, the BP director is coming in from another part of the organization or from outside), then learn about the organization and the business. Start an assessment of how BPM will impact the business, interview key executives, and make sure that you understand the key drivers for BPM to ensure that the project actually has a long-term vision and goals. By the end of that first month, you should have delivered a high-level plan, figured out who's going to be on the team and how it will be staffed (internal, external consultants, new hires), and create a "what is BPM" presentation to use for eduction within the organization.
  • The second month is about getting the strategy in place. The team should be mostly in place, with roles and responsibilities defined, and you should have ties established with complementary groups such as enterprise architecture and strategic planning. Some amount of documentation needs to be created by this point, including the BPM charter, methodology for BPM projects and the BPM governance structure (including a competency center) that dovetails with other governance within your organization. At this point, you should also have a first draft of your BPM strategic plan and a communication plan.
  • The third month is about starting to deliver results. With the internal team fully in place and some new hires likely still ongoing, you'll need to determine training needs both for the team and to roll out on a larger scale. The actual process improvement work should be started, looking at the details of processes in the business areas and considering the application of BPM practices (we're not talking technology implementations here) to start understanding and improving processes, and try to complete two "quick win" projects where you're showing value in the organization. The business process competency center should be kicked off and the charter drafted, and governance bodies such as steering committees in place, and you should finish your final strategic plan.

In some organizations, this will seem a wildly optimistic schedule for all of these activities, and Olding admitted that she has seen many cases of this stretching to around 18 months. I'm sure that hiring Gartner to help you out will speed things along, however. 

She ended up with some recommendations that are pretty good advice on any type of project: understand the organization and have a plan that is flexible enough to accommodate their specific needs; communicate, particularly showing BPM in the context of business imperatives; and advocates within the business to help with the adoption process. Gartner has published quite a bit of research on getting started with your BPM initiatives, including governance and competency centers, but she recommends actions such as getting a collaboration site (e.g., SharePoint, or a hosted solution such as Google Sites if you have external participants) set up early to gather ideas and information about BPM.

Elise went into quite a bit of detail on each of these; definitely worth checking out the replay of the webinar in full (the BPM registration is here, so the replay will likely show up there somewhere). Also, they have two BPM conferences coming up: February 23-25 in London, and March 23-25 in San Diego, and there's a discount code given at the end of the webinar for $300 off the San Diego conference.In keeping with other recently installed change agents, Elise Olding of Gartner offers this advice on your first 100 days as a business process (BP) director. She breaks it down into what you should be doing and delivering in each of the first three months:

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