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“This method not only provided excellent tools, it also helped us build the habit of criticizing our own process so we can make it better.”

David Scronce,
Director Strategic Initiatives
University of California, Berkeley


BPM Tips for the Road #1

All of us like practical tips that we can read quickly, use easily, and produce results. Since I began writing this blog two years ago my focus has always been on writing about my experience with clients in the process improvement and BPM field.  A colleague of mine calls this providing, “Notes From the Front.”

I have a new book, The BPI Blueprint: A Step-By-Step Guide to Make Your Business Process Improvement Projects Simple, Structured, and Successful. It will be published in February, and in   two weeks you will soon be able to pre-order it on Amazon, or get a free chapter on my website, Here are two tips from the concepts in the book.  More will be coming in this series of blogs over several weeks. (If you want me to notify you when the book is in print and on Amazon, just email me at with the Subject: Notify me about The BPI Blueprint and your first and last name and I will do that.)

1.    Team participation builds success; the Team Facilitator encourages the full involvement that underlies team participation.

 There are three key aspects of this tip that I want to comment on.

 Team participation – I highly recommend that you build a specific team with key stakeholders for the BPI project.  If you are a Business Analyst, Process Improvement Expert, or Black Belt and you currently interview subject matter experts to develop the process diagram, find key problems and identify root causes, you are working with one hand tied behind your back.  Instead bring these people together and form an ongoing team to do the process modeling, analysis and design together.  You get them talking to one another, seeing different points of view, and building synergy. 

  Team Facilitator – The Team Facilitator is  one of four key leadership roles for the team.  It is a person with two important skills—BPM methodology knowledge and group process skills.

 Full involvement – It is the Team Facilitator that makes the team’s full involvement happen, by determining what is next in the BPM methodology for the project, and by making sure all the team members are participating. This involvement contributes to the team’s synergy.

 2.    Set the agenda for core workshops and team meetings to accomplish specific items; try not to start items and leave them unfinished.

 Two kinds of sessions, both critical to a successful BPI project are mentioned here – core workshops and team meetings.  Core workshops are half day or full day sessions with an experienced BPM instructor/coach, the team and their Project Lead and Team Facilitator.  These sessions provide content and the team works on aspects of their business process improvement project applying the content or technique to real work.

 Team Meetings are 90 minute meetings that happen weekly where the team works on specific projects from the core workshops that are important to their project. These are attended by the BPI team and led by the Team Facilitator, the Project Lead.  The experienced BPM instructor/coach is not there.

 Both of these sessions need to cover just a few topics, with time to complete them.  Often work is brought in to the meeting to discuss or summarize. These sessions produce completed outputs as well.


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