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“We achieved phenomenal results leading to an extremely efficient organization. The time required to process commissions with accurate results was reduced by more than 50% with the new process implemented. The capacity gained eliminated the need for additional resources to accommodate Cisco's growing sales force and transaction volume.”

JuneAn Lanigan
Director (former)
Cisco Systems


Sustaining BPM – Crawl, Walk and Run

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.11.19 PMA financial department of a large technology company had employees working long hours and even staying overnight every quarter when financial information was due. The SVP realized this could not go on. He provided his leadership, selected a team of internal subject matter experts, and chose an internal project lead and external BPM practitioner to concentrate on the project. The initiative had many quick wins and a long term plan that involved automation of the global process. Here the company was in the EXPERIMENT stage, the first stage of a successful BPM Project.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.11.19 PM


To read more about these three stages and how to bring them to life in your company, go to the full white paper, Why Improvements Evaporate: How to Take 3 Steps Forward Without 2 Steps Back.

As they entered the EXTEND stage, they added some critical components to foster additional success. They hired a full time BPM practitioner to spearhead transformation and build leader and employee skills; they selected larger cross-functional projects and piloted the methodology they would use; and they created a definition for success: each improved process would improve operational clarity, impact metrics, and impact key decisions.

All along, the SVP maintained his role as a catalytic sponsor. The BPM practitioner set stretch goals but understood that the organization needed time to crawl, then walk, then run. In the “crawl” stage, she supported each process improvement effort with a change management plan that enabled the business function to Transition from recommendations to implementation and then do ongoing maintenance in the regular work. In the “walk” stage, she added Stabilization, which meant she helped the business owner maintain operations on their own by defining a responsibility matrix, service level agreements and more. In the “run” phase, she added Optimization, which meant that the group’s leader maintained his own continuous improvement cycle, and brought new improvement ideas from the regular work to the senior leadership team. Here, these ideas are evaluated for relevance, potential return, and current resource availability. Clearly this “run” stage is part of Make It the Way We Do Business Every Day. This crawl, walk and run process was set up to support movement through the stages, and to enable leaders and employees to embed improvements in the daily work.

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2 comments to Sustaining BPM – Crawl, Walk and Run

  • It is critical to take some initiative on change in an organization. The tendency to maintain the status quo is great. At some point a group or even an individual steps up and says enough is enough and change starts to happen. As referenced in this post, the support of the process along the way is critical. I would like to see an article on how nonprofits and religious organizations can utilize BPM modeling and methods to pin down their existing funding and operations processes and how using these models can at very low cost provide large benefit to operations and fundraising activity. I have worked with nonprofits for many years and many just do not have the resources to hire these roles but I think there could even be a series of BPM books tailored to nonprofits.

    • shelley

      Nonprofits often do not have the resources for BPM roles, and I also think that they do not have the inclination. They are so focused on their mission, and may not see that process improvement can support the mission.

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