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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.

 

BPM Practices: Differences in Large Companies vs. Middle Market Companies?

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 1.09.32 PMWant to Participate?

Are there really any differences between business process management (BPM) practices, success factors and derailers between large companies and middle market companies?  I have worked on business process improvement (BPI) projects in both but am just now researching the similarities and differences. 

If you would like to participate in the study, just write me an email to shelleysweet@i4process.com and tell me your company name, what size company it is (revenues and employee population), your role in the company, and your contact info.  Then I will set up a time to do a phone interview and send you the questions ahead of time.  I am looking for more middle market companies, but larger companies are important as well. Of course, your company name will be kept confidential

Middle market companies can be defined as companies of $50 million to $1 Billion in revenues and 250 – 2000 employees.  Larger companies are above that.  Both can be private or public, but more are private in the middle market area, and ownership may or may not be important to this research.

After I did some initial study of middle market companies (with two good sources being the National Center for the Middle Market and Ohio State University Fisher College of Business) here are some characteristics that in each size group that have an impact on and business results, employee behaviors, and work processes. 

Middle Market companies

  • Have better practices for ongoing problem solving
  • Have stronger alignment between strategy and daily operational activities
  • Measure process improvement results by cost savings and increases in customer satisfaction

Large companies

  • Use more formal improvement methodologies
  • Measure process improvement results more often by cost savings

Both

  • Have difficulty sustaining operational improvements over time
  • Need to have leaders that are visible in the workplace

 But what else?

I think that the roadmap for each type of company is important, so I have formulated questions around where a company is on the process continuum (early stage, middle, or more mature.)

Other questions include

  • Alignment of processes with strategy
  • Results from process improvement
  • Leadership behaviors at the executive and middle management level
  • Input from the customers
  • Data gathered and metrics applied
  • Size and breadth of process improvement projects

What have you seen that is important in BPM projects and how has that been the same or different in middle market companies from larger companies? Again, write me an email to shelleysweet@i4process.com if you would like to participate in the research.

 

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