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“Great combination of hands-on exercises and simulation software to analyze how to make improvements in the work place”

AMR Elsersy,
Consolidated Contractors Co.


A “Pickle” with My BPM Recommendations and Implementation

Dear i4Process,

Our fund development programs which are run through two different operational methods, accounted for differently, and are based on policies in two different organizations.  Once we created one consolidated model and optimized the process we wanted to recommend it to the two sponsors with an implementation plan.  But we couldn’t finalize the implementation plan until we got approvals from the sponsors on some ticklish issues. What would you suggest?

Sincerely, Recommendations Pickle

Dear Recommendations Pickle,

There are several things I would recommend; you may have already done some of them.

Charter discussion: First, part of addressing this pickle with the two sponsors is discussing it early and ‘sniffing out’ their level of agreement or disagreement.  So start with creating a charter for the business process improvement project and identifying the sponsors’ improvement targets and what’s in scope and out of scope.  If your idea about having one consolidated process and the policy implications are not acceptable at this early stage, you will have to pull back the scope of your process and level of improvements.

Current State discussion:  Keep the sponsors informed as the process improvement effort progresses.  Review the challenges on the current state process diagrams with the sponsors and point out the key ones.  Discuss initial improvement ideas with them, some of which will be specifics for how to consolidate the operations or what are the best practices in one operation or the other.  Again practices and policies that are different will be raised.  Hear from the sponsors what they think.

Quantitative Data discussion:  Gather quantitative data, and review this with the sponsors – showing how long one process takes vs. the other, where errors or duplication cause problems in one process vs. the other.  Hear again what their thoughts and ideas are.

Optimized new consolidated process discussion:  Here start with the team energy.  Show them the common themes that the team created for criteria to build their consolidated diagram.  Have the high level consolidated diagram to show them.  No discussion of difficult points yet.  Get the sponsors’ reactions.   (I would not show a  swim lane of the new process at this time.  It is too detailed.) 

Recommendations and Issues:  I recommend this as a precursor to the implementation plan.  It lays out clearly the recommendations that are implied in the redesigned process with more specifics about roles, operationalizing the new model, and the issues associated with each recommendation.  The Recommendations may be in phases too, depending on timing, money and capacity.  Now again the sponsors will have their input.  At this point they can tell you which recommendations make sense, and how they as sponsors might help with the issues. The issues get the difficulties out on the table.

Let me give you a few examples that might be possible in your case for the Recommendations and Issues. 



  1. Drive gifts to the Silver Fund (not Gold Fund) irrespective of ultimate fund designation.
  2. Assign unique identifier to each transaction and transmit it to Accounting A system and Accounting B system simultaneously.
  3. Automate distribution of funds from Silver Fund to Gold Fund and do so daily net of all fees


  4. Install dual or split-screen monitors at the workstations of those who need to view documents while working in Accounting A system or Accounting B system
  5. Ensure that staff have appropriate access to both Accounting A system and Accounting B system
  • Communication with and education of staff units and donors
  • Policy change needed
  • Interfaces need to be rewritten.


  • Interfaces need to be rewritten.
  • This is a significant cultural shift and communication with staff units will be key.


  • Operating cost of initial installation and ongoing replacement.


  • An access guideline is needed.

Your specifics will be different from the ones above and you will probably have more.  To create this list, go through your swim lane consolidated redesigned map step by step and list the recommendations and issues that come up.  Depending on the complexity of the process you will probably have 10-20 issues.  If you have more, you will need to summarize some or take out the more detailed ones for your discussion with the sponsors.

I have found that this approach allows for good discussion, keeping most of the recommendations, and creating plans for dealing with the issues.  You may not get all the recommendations, but you will get many of them.  The issues foretell what will go in your more detailed implementation plan once you have agreement on the new consolidated process and the recommendations. 


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