Best Practices of Process Management: The Top Ten Principles (Part 7)

Roger T.  Burlton
Roger T. Burlton President and Managing Partner, Process Renewal Group Read Author Bio || Read All Articles by Roger T. Burlton

Years of successful and not-so-successful process management experience have led to a set of best practices -- a number of fundamental principles that must be honored in order to optimize returns to the company, the delivery of business results to customers, and to satisfy the needs of the organization's other stakeholders.  

In this series, I outline the ten principles that underlie the methods of business process operation and change.  In this column, I discuss the seventh principle.

Principle 7:  Process Renewal Initiatives Must Be Conducted from the Outside In

In any change initiative, it's easy to become overwhelmed with the daunting task to be accomplished.  If we try to deal with too much at once, we will never finish; instead, we will fall prey to "analysis paralysis."

Managing multiple levels of detail or going to an overly complex level is the biggest risk.  Everything we do should be understood and validated at its own level, starting at the top and then working down.  At each level, the objects we are analyzing must be looked at only with regard to their own context before any decomposition occurs.

Processes and organizations should employ the black-box approach.  For example, we will examine each chosen process in turn to see how it works with regard to its external stakeholders and other related, internal processes.  We will break down each process into its next level of activities, and each of those will be examined.

In this way, we'll keep analysis and design at an appropriate level of detail.  We won't spend unnecessary time analyzing work that won't even exist later.  We will focus on the key aspects, not all aspects.  We will understand the drivers and have the insight needed before moving on.  The context will provide meaning at each and every level of detail or decomposition.  The details will come if and when they are needed.

References

[1]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 1)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b269.html  

[2]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 2)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Feb. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b273.html  

[3]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 3)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 3 (Mar. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b278.html  

[4]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 4)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4 (Apr. 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b285.html  

[5]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 5)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 5 (May 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b291.html  

[6]  Roger T. Burlton, "Best Practices of Process Management:   The Top Ten Principles (Part 6)," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 6 (June 2006), URL:  http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b296.html  

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Standard citation for this article:


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Roger T. Burlton , "Best Practices of Process Management: The Top Ten Principles (Part 7)" Business Rules Journal Vol. 7, No. 7, (Jul. 2006)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2006/b302.html

About our Contributor:


Roger  T. Burlton
Roger T. Burlton President and Managing Partner, Process Renewal Group

Roger is a respected pioneer in the introduction of innovative approaches for Business Management. He is a world leader in the field of Business Process Management, having authored one of the most read and followed books on the topic early in BPM's growth as well as the Business Process Manifesto. Roger's leadership is also witnessed by his position as chair of several of the most influential conferences each year on BPM and Business Architecture and by his role as chair of the BPTrends.com Advisory Board. The insights he brings to PRG's consulting clients are thoughtful and pragmatic.

Read All Articles by Roger T. Burlton

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