Connecting Process With Real Work

I admit to a little whooo when the APQC announced last month that it was leading a study on Best Practices for Using Process Frameworks to Get Real Work Done.

It has to be a central issue in Business Process Management. And APQC has impeccable credentials to lead this study.

It’s a central issue because, outside of what’s automated [and what’s automated might typically be just 20% of the total activities of the enterprise], all too often there is a real disconnect between process and real work.

It’s amazingly rare that an organization has a single source of truth about process that is delivered to the user’s desktop as something useful, as well as providing the framework that is leveraged by all the process stakeholders.

Ashley Cook, a director of Best Buy Europe, described it perfectly at last year’s Inspiring Performance conference as the move from being ‘a teenage business’ into maturity.

Last year, Ashley told the story of how Carphone Warehouse (a core brand of Best Buy Europe) delivers process to its people across 800 stores in a way that gets real work done. At this year’s conference, he spoke again – about how Best Buy Europe is now passionate about process.

But Best Buy Europe’s story is all too rare. Most often, process and real work don’t connect well and it’s a huge issue for productivity. So the timing is absolutely right for this study, as is its scope. This isn’t just about the value of process frameworks, it’s about how to drive adoption and make them real, and how to leverage them to drive sustainable continuous improvement.

And APQC is superbly qualified to lead because it’s non-partisan and has the heritage, resources and global reach to do it well.

Mike Gammage is VP and Principal Consultant at Nimbus Partners. Mike has worked in performance improvement consulting, and more recently the BPM space, for more than two decades. He is particularly interested in the overlap between two very dynamic worlds: BPM and perfomance improvement (the drive across all industries to standardise, improve and automate) and sourcing and the virtualisation of the enterprise (the drive to create more flexible and lower-cost service solutions through outsourcing, offshoring and shared services). In either case, Mike believes the enterprise needs a single source of truth about its end-to-end business processes, as well as a framework for the design and implementation of change. It also needs to connect the end-user and all other stakeholders to ensure the adoption of change. These are the keys to sustainable transformation and continuous improvement.