Our quest for improving business processes begins with mapping of our client’s processes. At the start, we identify the processes that are critical for the success for our clients’ operations. Typically, these are processes that fall in the categories of Primary processes (following Porter value chain model).
We model the processes using industry standard notations that are easy to understand and effective. Typically, this process leads to identifying weak spots in the process flows and gives us ideas on how the processes can be improved. Perhaps by introducing automatization, removing certain unnecessary steps, better organizing of the work flow or reducing interdependencies between different process flows.
Only then comes the time to think of implementing a Solution. A solution is an IT system that exists for facilitating the process – that is: making the process possible. And easy to use.
Our standard method for implementing IT systems is agile Scrum. For most of the implementations we are running Scrum projects in one-week sprints. And we are transparent – our clients can see our progress almost real time – minimum once per week and they are warmly welcome to attend our sprint planning and retrospective meetings.
We have all seen IT systems that are anything but easy to use. Those systems are implemented to fulfil the requirements, but far too often fail to take the human factor in account. Therefore, our project implementation model always allocates time and effort for fine-tuning the user experience after the system fulfils the requirements.
We follow industry best practises when managing the project implementations. For each of our projects we nominate a Project manager from our side and expect the client to nominate one from their organization as well. Project managers are primary responsible for delivery of the project and both project managers must have sufficient authority for managing their own organization’s resources during the project delivery. (Yes, also the client organization has obligations and must respect the jointly agreed deadlines. The end result of the project is after all system for the client’s use, thus making the project much interest of the client).
For further controlling the project delivery we also prefer to follow the practise of nominating a Steering Group to control the project delivery. Steering group is an executive body whose main function is to support the project delivery. It does this by acting on the impediments the project team is not able to solve by itself and making the decisions that exceed the project managers’ joint authority (typically changes consisting of more than 10 % of the project budget or schedule).