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Are There Requirements for BPS? Some questions about the value of Business Process Support. Ian Alexander REBPS Workshop, Austria, June 2003. Why Support Business Processes?. It’s expensive (a whole industry, in fact) What does it consist of ? What do people get for their money ?

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are there requirements for bps some questions about the value of business process support

Are There Requirements for BPS?Some questions about the value of Business Process Support

Ian Alexander

REBPS Workshop, Austria, June 2003

why support business processes
Why Support Business Processes?
  • It’s expensive (a whole industry, in fact)
  • What does it consist of ?
  • What do people get for their money ?
  • Is it worth it ?
what does it consist of
What does it consist of ?
  • Business asks for improvement
  • BPS industry responds with analysis, modelling … with a view to automated support …with a view to improvement:

1) Interviews, observations, workshops, and AS-IS Model making … BPM (a whole belief system)

2) Optimisation by Analysis and creative modification (suggested AS-SHOULD-BE re-engineerings) … BPR (another bandwagon)

3) Identify what to Support, and build whatever ‘improved’ support mechanisms are needed (… BPI projects & their Requirements)

4) Provide that Support using the new mechanisms (… BPS), and operating and maintaining them

what do people get for their bps money
What do people get for their BPS money ?
  • Claim is the Blairite ‘joined-up thinking’
    • counters the risk of ‘silo-ism’ by departments
    • this is either empty propaganda ...
    • … or it means that defensive silo walls are breached, end-to-end process thinking takes over, and is successfully put into practice throughout the organisation
    • local optimisation doesn’t make much sense
why is it hard to make business processes better
Why is it hard to make Business Processes Better?
  • Harder to do than to say!
  • Real BPR is limited or prevented by
    • perceived threat to careers & jobs (often justified)
    • limits of individual knowledge & competence,
    • fear of change & the unknown,
    • power politics,
    • trades union power & labour agreements,
    • personal rivalries,
    • empire-building
  • Isn’t that enough?
what does it cost

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one-off costs

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recurring costs

What does it Cost ?

1) BPM

  • initial elicitation & modelling

2) BPR

  • second phase of modelling

3) BPI

  • software development,
  • computers, networks

4) BPS

  • parallel running/trials,
  • maintenance,
  • operations,
  • helpdesk,
  • user & maintenance training,
  • hardware spares/repairs
is bps worth its salt
Is BPS worth its salt ?
  • A simple (and narrow view) – yes, iff cost/benefit ratio is acceptable
  • But risk is a large part of the equation:
    • risk of BPM * BPR * BPI * BPS (failing somewhere along the chain) is large
    • risk of just doing smaller, simpler, projects (less cosmic, less end-to-end) is much less
  • So is change
    • businesses evolve rapidly (with competition and changing regulatory environment - trade rules, laws)
    • the longer you take on BPM, the bigger the risk that your BPI will be out of date – so, more BPM is worse
instead of bpm bpr bpi bps
Instead of BPM - BPR - BPI - BPS
  • Smaller, faster, cheaper, less risky projects
  • Local knowledge, local optimisation
  • Ability to react to changes, in time
  • Less culture shock, less resistance
  • Iteration – shorter projects, each building on the success of the last one
  • No need to assume that things are fixed and can be modelled in great detail – they aren’t and they can’t
  • No guarantee of optimal solutions - that’s life