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How to create successful IT projects with value-driven BPM

Mathias Kirchmer | Feb. 28, 2013
Successful IT projects can help generate large returns for organizations, but they can also be fraught with risk.

Successful IT projects can help generate large returns for organizations, but they can also be fraught with risk. Those who convert strategy into execution using business process management (BPM) capabilities will get the most benefit from their IT projects. In fact, many companies can realize immediate and lasting improvements in IT and people-based initiatives when they use a management discipline called value-driven BPM.

The most relevant IT projects for many organizations are those that have a direct business impact and support business processes. With that in mind, it is often beneficial to align resulting projects with each other and the required business outcomes. Value-driven BPM can provide the overall framework to help achieve those outcomes [1].

Initially, value-driven BPM can help focus efforts on the right processes. That includes optimizing and innovating the processes that can have the greatest impact on the execution of a business strategy while implementing commodity processes (about 80 percent of an organization's business processes [2]) using industry common and best practices. This approach can be advantageous in today's volatile and oftentimes uncertain business environment. It can help organizations get the most value from their IT projects and the required resources.

Technological innovations, such as cloud computing, software-as-a-service and other specialized devices, can give businesses more technological capability and flexibility than ever, but when managed properly the increased flexibility can foster an environment in which real business value can be achieved. Value-driven BPM can provide the necessary transparency to achieve that result.

Value-driven BPM can provide the structure to make IT projects work. The BPM strategy can help identify high impact, low maturity processes that may be the best targets for creating value. A process impact matrix can link processes to strategic imperatives, while capability assessment models can identify the maturity level of best-in-class competitors.

The subsequent segmentation--which is integral to the roadmap for value-driven BPM --can be used to evaluate how to "touch" a process. For instance: Which processes should be standardized or outsourced? Which processes should be optimized or automated? What should be centralized? And, most importantly, what is the high-level business case for the effort? The answers to these questions can set the foundation for successful IT projects.

After establishing priorities, value-driven BPM can deliver the methods, tools, and approaches, including the systematic use of process and other information models in a repository that may be applied to keep projects on track [3]. BPM can also define the usage scenarios for process repositories as well as other methods and tools to maximize the value that can be derived from them.

BPM transformation capabilities such as change management or the establishment of process communities can help enable adoption of resulting process improvements, including new or upgraded applications. And, IT initiatives can benefit from taking this people-focused approach from BPM.


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