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“In class when I mapped the freight process, I discovered that the operational process was not the main issue; instead we had some key decisions at the strategic level to consider. Back at work, I have already shared the maps I developed with others and I am developing some dashboards to collect data to focus our improvement efforts. Shelley asked some insightful questions that influenced my thinking and put me in a stronger position to demonstrate what needed to be done.”

Theresa Quinn Accurso
Director of Finance
Shure Inc.


Top Ten Rules for Redesign of BPM Processes

Well, this is the really fun part!  After doing the charter, modeling current state process diagrams, collecting customer and internal quantitative data, and applying the critical analytical techniques, it is time to shift to the right side of the brain and creatively build the new redesigned process.

It’s helpful to begin with a one page document which summarizes the critical elements of the process analysis so far:

  • The process owner’s improvement targets,
  • Baseline and goal metrics
  • Customer scorecard input
  • Analytical quantitative data

Then move to looking at a case example of the “before and after” for a BPM process and reviewing what I call the rules for redesign.  Rules for Redesign are guidelines for concepts or principles that you want to be part of the new process design.  They are positive statements describing the actions that will be part of your new design. 

Here are a few examples of the ones I always explain: 

  1. Design the process around value-adding activities.  Put the value-adding activities front and center when you do your redesign.  Eliminate wastes, add in additional steps for where the customer told you they want value, and put the current value added steps in the direct path to the outcome.
  2. Ensure a continuous flow of the “main sequence.”  Do what it takes to keep the process moving, such as putting the value-added steps in the critical path, reducing wait time between steps, and substituting parallel for sequential processes. (If you want a copy of all my Rules for Redesign, write me at 

In the spirit of the New Year, I want to provide some Rules for Redesign the have been developed by students in my classes.  Consider adding these to your own Rules for Redesign as you begin the Redesign phase of your BPM project.

  1. Eliminate redundant and minimally used processes.  Yes, there may be whole sub-processes that can be eliminated.
  2. Repurpose and integrate successful existing process to the redesign. See if there are sub-processes that are working well in other processes that could be utilized in your process.  Also certain sub-processes may be used more than once in your process.
  3. Use a transition-in plan for new key stakeholders and transition-out plan for old Stakeholders.  Clearly this is part of change management for the employees (stakeholders) involved.  It will involve communication, understanding the changes and why they are important, and training.
  4. Put access to information where it is needed the most.  Information is critical to the accuracy and flow of a process.  Make iti available to the needed people—that could be employees doing the process and others that need to know the information.  This is about use of the information in the process and transparency of information.
  5. Ensure everybody has the right information from the start.  This rule links with the former rule.  Get the information needed from the start so there is not a lot of rework collecting it.
  6. Listen to your data.  Do not use “selective data” to sell your suggestions; listen to the data and follow the trail!  The value of data is the objective picture it presents.  Use it fairly.
  7. Give resources (people involved in the process) most of the decision making authority.  The correlate of this rule is remove excess approvals, but this rules says it better.  Give the decision making power to the person doing the job whenever possible.
  8. Minimize the number of departments, groups and persons involved in a business process.  By keeping the roles in the process to a minimum you enlarge employee’s span of work, reduce hand offs, streamline the process and reduce cycle time.
  9. Collect accurate data required for the proper functioning of the process. Plan for data integrity and data validation beforehand.  This rule is about planning for what data is need to make the new process work.  In other words what data gathering will the process do to identify possible problems early, to produce the right number of quality outputs—all to ensure it is working well.
  10. Think Big, Start Small and Scale Fast—Always try to achieve redesign success with simpler processes first before tackling the complex ones.  What I love about this one is its vision, realism, and plan.  Think Big is the vision, but you can’t start there (or you will never get there).  Start Small means pick a process that is smaller to start with, or have different phases of improvements as you implement the redesign.  Scale Fast is the plan; when you start small for success be thinking about how the design will scale. 
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1 comment to Top Ten Rules for Redesign of BPM Processes

  • “Eliminate redundant and minimally used processes.”

    This can be hard to do when you’re trying to break free from “the way it’s been done” but times change and so do processes! Don’t want time when you don’t have to.

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