The Forgotten Principles of Process Intelligence

When you look at the successful technology projects and initiatives you have been involved with, can you identify the common threads?  Innovations, vision, strategy, metrics, have all proven their way onto the map. But what about the people and processes involved on the road to success? So many times, these important elements are overlooked. This is why I found it important to summarize these three Process Intelligence best practices to help you down a smoother implementation path.

Identify Your Allies

I love technology and I would guess many of you do too. Technology allows us to do things faster, more conveniently and more transparently. With the hope in improving our organizational performance but technology is just one pillar for improving business performance. Let’s not forget the people and the processes.

Involving the right people early and often in your process intelligence  initiative will help provide better transparency. It is true transparency can be seen as a scary thing but involving the people who have the most to gain and the most to lose will limit those fears. Don’t limit yourself to organizational domains. Involve the stakeholders to jointly define the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) so it’s clear what processes will be measured. Be sure to align with IT to understand where the data’s coming from, and bring both business and IT together to ensure you’re all working towards a common goal.

Know Your Course

How do you measure what you don’t know? It’s like a doctor recommending a treatment before you have a diagnosis. Start by measuring the “as-is” state, watch how your processes behave over time, identify the weaknesses and then think about a solution. (don’t go at it alone) When you’ve taken the steps and gathered process KPIs over time, you can validate your next move and make a strong case for future investment.

Commit to a Strategy

I can’t talk about the importance of KPIs enough but I think I missed one important point. It’s critical to map your KPI’s and your process performance to your corporate strategy. It shouldn’t be too difficult since operational processes, support the tactical objectives and strategic goals defined in your corporate strategy. Right?

Don’t feel bad if you can’t make the connection quite yet, what might seem easy in theory, is quite difficult in practice. Not many organizations have been successful ensuring their corporate strategy directly impacts their process performance KPI’s. Which is what makes process intelligence so important, not to mention it’s a management’s dream.

Share your steps to Process Intelligence, we’re all looking for a smoother road to success.

About Joerg Klueckmann

Joerg Klueckmann has written 28 posts in this blog.

Joerg Klueckmann is head of Enterprise BPM at Software AG. He studied sociology, business administration and intercultural communication at FSU, Jena, Germany, and at Louisiana State University in the U.S., where he graduated with distinction. Prior to joining Software AG, Joerg was head of product marketing at Intershop and IDS Scheer. He has written numerous articles about business process management, business innovation and process intelligence.

2 Comments

  • Very important best practices to follow but I wonder why these couldn’t be used for Business Intelligence as well? Where does BI end and PI begin? How do they co-exist?

  • Very good point Brian. The same best practices apply also to Business Intelligence. To measure their performance, organizations typically use figures, such as revenues, profits, cash flow, etc., which are the result of the business processes executed. However, collecting key performance indicators (KPIs) on a data-driven basis without linking them to processes is of little benefit if the figures fail to match the defined objectives. After all, it’s hard to fix things without knowing the cause of the problem. Process Intelligence links KPIs (such as time, cost, quality, or risk) with processes. If you deviate from anticipated values, Process Intelligence helps to identify the causes directly within the business processes. With this you can fix the problem at its root cause.

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