Articles Category RSS Feed 

Process Improvement: Integrating Process Management

In this, the second Column of a series on how to integrate process management into an existing management system, Alan Ramias provides an example of how it can be done on a larger scale—by extensively integrating tools, roles and practices of process management into an organization.

Making Process Management a Reality

In their Column this month, Alan Ramias and Cherie Wilkins begin a series on how to succeed at integrating process management into an organization. Their initial discussion of this topic logically focuses on some of the barriers to installing effective process management. We look forward to future Columns when they will propose ways of doing this work that minimizes those barriers.

Remembering Geary Rummler

This month, Alan Ramias and Cherie Wilkins warmly remember Geary Rummler, a BPM thought leader and founder of Performance Design Labs, on the fifth anniversary of his death. They recall humorous and engaging anecdotes regarding some of his most memorable traits–his love for modeling, his troubled relationship with technology, his wicked sense of humor, and his generosity. Be sure to read this Column to gain insight into the character of one of BPM’s most influential leaders.

Modeling Processes involving Knowledge Workers

This month, Rick Rummler weighs in on the subject of modeling processes involving knowledge workers. While much of the literature holds that knowledge work precludes process modeling, Rick and his colleague Cherie Wilkins argue otherwise. In this Column, he and Cherie provide an example from an investment banking client to illustrate their belief that mapping such processes is both possible and valuable.

Location, Location, Location: Does It Matter Where Your Performance Improvement Department Reports?

Image for Location, Location, Location: Does It Matter Where Your Performance Improvement Department Reports?

Alan Ramias and Cheri Wilkins draw on their long experience in working in process improvement to answer this question. Their conclusion—it’s not so much a matter of where the Performance Improvement Group is located as it is how the group is structured. In their Column this month, they offer three potential structures that are client-focused and results-focused that have worked in a variety of organizations to provide performance improvement.

Seeing a Process: The Power of Visual Analysis

This month Alan Ramias and Cherie Wilkins have invited Chris Ramias, a colleague at Performance Design Labs to describe a technique he calls “visual analysis.” This technique goes beyond simply identifying the problem in a process to actually determining its root cause. Chris identifies a list of issues you may encounter when reviewing a process model and provides visual diagrams to analyze each one.

Who Does What? Role Responsibility Charting in Improvement Efforts

Alan Ramias and Cherie Wilkins have been using the role-responsibility matrix (RRM) for decades in their work as consultants for Performance Design Labs. Over the years, they’ve developed a number of refinements to the standard tool and its use, which they describe and illustrate in their Column. They have included a simple chart for analysis and design work which they have found makes improvement work more thorough and effective.

Uses of the 3-Dimensional Enterprise Model

In their position as consultants to organizations seeking assistance in undertaking process improvement projects, alan ramias and Cherie Wilkins developed the 3 Dimensional Enterprise Model to help them position work system processes in the context of the larger enterprise. They had observed that managers often focus most of their attention on the resource and infrastructure dimension, which is more tangible, visible, and quantifiable and their model explained the need for a balance between the two dimensions. More recently they discovered that some clients are applying their model to explain the importance of analysis and design as a means to addressing performance issues. Read more about this simple but powerful tool.

Reference Models: The Long, Long Shortcut

Drawing on their extensive experience as consultants at the Performance Design Lab, Alan Ramias and Cherie Wilkins describe the many difficulties their clients have encountered when attempting to use reference models. They identify five “traps” they have repeatedly observed and illustrate them with actual examples from their work within organizations. Not wishing to completely discourage you, the authors also offer three sound principles to consider when using reference models and end their discussion with an example of a company where reference models were effectively used as a result of applying these principles.

The Process-Centered Organization: In From Left Field

Image for The Process-Centered Organization: In From Left Field

In the first three Columns of their series on the Process Centered Organization, Alan ramias and Cherie Wilkins presented examples that started in the “core of the business” and that were initiated and driven by line of business executives. In this, the final Column of the series, they discuss an example of a PCO journey driven by IT. As in the three previous Columns, they evaluate the pros and cons of the IT driven approach and conclude the Column by ranking the four journeys in terms of their potential for success.