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Comparing Definitions Before the class gets into business process management, you need to understand what a “business process” is. For this Discussion topic, do the following: First, research and cite two different definitions for “business process.” Do not cite two definitions that are very similar. Then, compare these definitions and answer the following: What different elements do they cover? How are their approaches different? Which one do you think is better? Business Process Examples For this Discussion topic, do the following: Based on your understanding from the definitions you researched in Discussion topic 1, describe two examples of a business process from your professional experience. For each process, clearly state: the objective, the scope (where the process begins and ends) and a brief description of those involved (is this a one person process, or do multiple people get involved?). In your research, you will find that some definitions of “business process” are not very specific. Some sources will suggest that “marketing” or “accounting” are processes, but these are too vague and large in scope for your purposes. Some other examples will be too specific or limited in their scope, such as preparing a tax form or ordering office supplies. In this course, the process you select for the Unit 1 Assignment will need to be detailed enough to provide you with a basis for analysis over 10 weeks. As you progress through the course, you will need to look at elements such as the connection of this process to company strategy, metrics and goals of the process, stakeholders and team members involved, etc. Since you are using this Discussion topic as a preparation for the Unit 1 Assignment, try to pick two examples that will provide you with enough information without being too general. Your instructor will provide you with additional guidelines and feedback. If you have found a good example in this Discussion, you will be ready for completing the Assignment. unit 2 Organizational Strategy Phase This unit will help you understand how the organization’s strategy, process management, and the individual processes relate and interact. In Chapter 12, you will get an overview of the BPM framework suggested by the book and discover the various motivations for engaging in a BPM project. The chapter suggests that there are three different possible reasons for starting a BPM effort. 1. Strategy-driven project; 2. Business issue-driven project; and 3. Process-driven project. These projects tend to have significant differences with respect to their scale, support, and impact on the business. For this Discussion topic, pick any two of the three motivations and give an example of a BPM project that fits each category. For each example, clearly state the following (use this template): Type 1: Strategy-driven project; Business issue-driven project; or Process-driven project: 1. Briefly describe the project. 2. Explain why the motivation falls into this category and not the others. 3. Discuss how the execution of this project will be different than the others. Type 2: Strategy-driven project; Business issue-driven project; or Process-driven project: 1. Briefly describe the project. 2. Explain why the motivation falls into this category and not the others. 3. Discuss how the execution of this project will be different than the others. Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help). Strategy Alignment Using BPM to change a process (or processes) or to development new processes must first begin with a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s “strategy.” If the proposed new process does not align with the organization’s strategy, the entire modeling process may be doomed to failure. Using information from the Kaplan virtual library or the internet, answer the following question: Different business strategies require different approaches, which means the business processes must be aligned to accomplish the goals set by the strategy. A business process may appear to be working fine, but if does not support the strategy of the company, it will have a negative impact on the business. For this Discussion, give an example where a process, although itself not broken, does not match a company’s strategy. Then, describe the problems that arise because of this. Chapter 13 has a discussion of various business strategies and table 13.1 shows how various processes match up with various strategies. You will also find a lot of information on various business strategies through your own research. Your examples can come from this research or your observations, but your arguments must be well supported using sources. Please note that the point here is to explore a fit between strategy and process. You are not trying to identify bad or broken processes. You are looking for processes that are fine in and of themselves, but do not fit what the company is trying to accomplish and, hence, are an obstacle. Giving examples of process that are clearly broken will not satisfy this question. Use the following template: Example 1: 1. Briefly describe a company and their business strategy. 2. Briefly identify a business process used by the company that does not match their strategy. 3. Explain how this causes problems. 4. Why/how do you think this mismatch has occurred and why is it continuing to take place? This section lists options that can be used to view responses. unit 3 Process Risks and Methodology Table 14.1 lists various risks that exist in the process architecture phase and then offers ways of mitigating those risks. It does not, however, describe what specific problems may be caused by those risks. For this Discussion topic, pick one of those risks and give an example of how that risk may manifest itself in an organization. For example, Risk 2 is “architecture is too detailed.” How might this be experienced in an organization? What difficulties would having a too detailed architecture cause? In what way would its effects impact the business? Real examples from research are great, but because it will be difficult to find these, you may also provide a hypothetical scenario that fits the situation, as long as you demonstrate an understanding of process architecture and its impact. Business Process Modeling Example Step 2 of the process architecture phase involves selecting a process modeling methodology to be used in a subsequent phase to map out the selected business process. Many business process modeling methods exist. Each one focuses on, and highlights, a different attribute of the business process. Some are focused on the sequential steps of a process where others may map out interactions between people or the IT elements that support the process. For this Discussion topic, research and describe one business process modeling methodology that you might use in the future. Make sure to also discuss what its advantages and disadvantages are and provide some sort of an example. This could be a link, an image, or a reference that shows the methodology being applied. unit 4 Launch Pad Phase Now that the foundation has been set for the BPM project it is time to launch. The launch pad phase is where the project is scoped, established, and launched. According to your book, the first two results that should be expected from the launch Pad Phase will include: 1. Definition of stakeholders involved or associated with the project. 2. Stakeholder engagement and commitment, and documented and agreed upon expectations. The first five steps in this phase are all about ensuring this is done properly. Even though the project team is engaged and working hard, it is possible to fail in a project when the stakeholders or executive management is not properly engaged. In fact, this is one of the most commonly cited reasons for failed projects and an often discussed as a cause of frustration for all involved. For this Discussion topic, search for and discuss a news article or a case study in which a company has failed in a project due this very reason. 1. Describe what the project/situation was. 2. Describe why stakeholders/executives were not properly engaged. 3. Describe how this impacted the outcome of the project. Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help). Success Factors Table 15.1 lists few of the likely critical success factors within a BPM project and who is responsible. These success factors are important because they give direction to a project and assign specific responsibilities to participants. For this Discussion topic, order the provided success factors from most important to least important and then: 1. Describe your reasoning for why you picked your most important factor. 2. Describe your reasoning for why you picked your least important factor. 3. Provide one additional success factor that is not in this list, but you would want to achieve in your own project. unit 5 Understand Phase A key outcome of the understand phase is where choices are made about what will happen to processes (step 8), in order to provide direction for the next phase. For this Discussion describe an experience where a decision was made to improve, redesign, outsource, or eliminate a process. 1. Describe the problems with the process that led to the decision. 2. Describe what the decision was. 3. Describe how that decision was made (Who made it? Who was consulted? How data was collected, if at all). 4. Describe the outcome. Did things get better? 5. Was the process handled well? Why, or why not? Follow the numbered format and clearly lay out your answers instead of putting them all together in a few paragraphs. Be specific with each element you discuss. Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help). Root Cause Analysis Root cause analysis is another key component of the understand phase (step 5). It is very important at this point to identify what is causing the problems with a process, so as not to treat only the symptoms. If the root causes are not resolved, the problems will manifest themselves in different ways even after the BPM project. For this Discussion topic, first explain, in your own words, what the difference is between root-cause analysis and simply identifying issues in a process. Then, research and describe an article or a case study where a company has performed a successful root-cause analysis. This means they went deeper than identifying just the symptoms. Explain what the symptoms were and what root causes they identified as the culprits. Make sure to describe how they accomplished this—there are various specific methodologies beyond sitting and talking in a room that can be used for this purpose. For example, root-cause analysis is part of Six Sigma, which has specific tools for carrying this out. If you cannot clearly show the distinction between the root causes and symptoms in the case, then you do not have the right case. You are not looking for cases where someone just identified problems by talking to people—root-cause analysis is a very specific term that describes going beyond what issues are first identified—your example should demonstrate this in depth analysis. unit 6 Innovate Phase Our book suggests that the purpose of the innovate phase is to make the process(es) within the scope of the project as efficient and effective as possible. Further, it says that the best way to develop the new process options and alternatives is through the use of workshops. The practice of using workshops and group input to examine processes and identify potential avenues for improvement has been well researched (see step 5 for some discussion). There are various potential obstacles in this effort and many methods have been suggested to handle them. For this topic, do the following: Research and describe one methodology suggested for improving the efficiency of workshops or brainstorming sessions in evaluating processes and recommending improvements. Describe your experience with such a process where you were part of a process improvement effort. What kinds of difficulties did you experience and how were these resolved, if at all? Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help). Benchmarking Against Best Practices In the effort to identify ways to improve a process, a commonly recommended method is to benchmark against “best practices.” While the idea of looking at the best is attractive, this approach is not without its potential problems. For this Discussion, do the following: 1. Describe one pro and one con of benchmarking against best practices. 2. Give one example where this approach is recommended and one example where it is not. unit 7 Implementation Failure Many IT implementations fail due to various reasons, such as poor planning, poor design or poor execution. Two risks given by your book in the develop phase are: 1) Developed solution does not meet business requirements and 2) Some applications work however the overall solution does not. For this Discussion topic, research news articles and give an example where an IT implementation had failed due to one of these two reasons. Describe the situation and explain what the causes of failure were. What should the organization have done differently to avoid the problems that occurred? Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help). Implement Phase Strategies Table 20.1 lists four strategies for implementing projects. As with other strategies, each approach may work or fail depending on the specific situation. For this Discussion topic, select two of the four strategies. Then, find two examples of real-world implementations that used these strategies (one example for each strategy you selected for discussion). After you describe the example, analyze why you think they went with the strategy they selected and provide your assessment whether they made the right selection. unit 8 Realize Value Phase The chapter on the realize value phase describes the steps that must be taken to ensure targeted business benefits are realized. These steps, while they are all listed in this chapter, are meant to be carried out during the earlier phases. On page 229, the authors also provide some statistics on projects failing to provide benefits. For this Discussion, research news articles and give an example where a BPM project failed to provide the expected benefits. Describe the situation and identify which of the steps listed in the chapter appear not to have been carried out properly. Organizational Communication In your opinion how can effective/ineffective communication within the organization impact the following two elements: 1. The determination of targets of the BPM project 2. The realization of benefits during and after the BPM project Support your answer by citing evidence from your research on the topic. Citing only from your textbook is not sufficient. This section lists options that can be used to view responses. unit 9 Sustainable Performance Phase One of the most commonly used practices for sustaining performance is the establishment of feedback loops. In feedback, the actual end results of the process will be compared with the process targets or objectives and the process will be adjusted accordingly. Your book mentions three applications of feedback—at the personal level, at the management level, and at a process level. In this last category, various metrics are measured at the conclusion of a process and if they do not meet the goals, some specific, pre-determined element about the process is adjusted. For this Discussion, give a real life example of a process feedback system from either your work experience or through research. In your discussion: 1. Describe the metric that is being measured to determine if the process is performing as designed. 2. Describe what the goal is. 3. Describe the elements (pieces of the process) that are adjusted based on the feedback results. 4) Evaluate the feedback system. Do you think it is working well? Why, or why not? You first may need to do some research on feedback systems in business processes to ensure you understand the concept properly. You are looking for established, formalized feedback systems and not just a manager looking at results and taking ad hoc actions to correct problems. Information that is fed back, but does not have an established mechanism for action to be taken, also does not qualify This would be something such as customer survey results that are just handed to employees. Balanced Score Card In step 3 of the sustainable performance phase, balanced score card (BSC) is discussed as one way of embedding performance measurement into management. BSC is used quite a bit in organizations that want to ensure their strategies are reflected in the performance metrics. For this Discussion: 1. Research and describe a real-world implementation of balanced score card. 2. Discuss how it is used for sustaining performance as described in this chapter. This connection between the BSC implementation and sustainable performance is the key to this Discussion, so make sure your example demonstrates this connection.

Comparing Definitions

Before the class gets into business process management, you need to understand what a “business process” is. For this Discussion topic, do the following:

First, research and cite two different definitions for “business process.” Do not cite two definitions that are very similar. Then, compare these definitions and answer the following:

  • What different elements do they cover?
  • How are their approaches different? Which one do you think is better?

Business Process Examples

For this Discussion topic, do the following:

Based on your understanding from the definitions you researched in Discussion topic 1, describe two examples of a business process from your professional experience. For each process, clearly state: the objective, the scope (where the process begins and ends) and a brief description of those involved (is this a one person process, or do multiple people get involved?).

In your research, you will find that some definitions of “business process” are not very specific. Some sources will suggest that “marketing” or “accounting” are processes, but these are too vague and large in scope for your purposes. Some other examples will be too specific or limited in their scope, such as preparing a tax form or ordering office supplies.

In this course, the process you select for the Unit 1 Assignment will need to be detailed enough to provide you with a basis for analysis over 10 weeks. As you progress through the course, you will need to look at elements such as the connection of this process to company strategy, metrics and goals of the process, stakeholders and team members involved, etc. Since you are using this Discussion topic as a preparation for the Unit 1 Assignment, try to pick two examples that will provide you with enough information without being too general. Your instructor will provide you with additional guidelines and feedback. If you have found a good example in this Discussion, you will be ready for completing the Assignment.

unit 2

Organizational Strategy Phase

This unit will help you understand how the organization’s strategy, process management, and the individual processes relate and interact.

In Chapter 12, you will get an overview of the BPM framework suggested by the book and discover the various motivations for engaging in a BPM project. The chapter suggests that there are three different possible reasons for starting a BPM effort.

1. Strategy-driven project;
2. Business issue-driven project; and
3. Process-driven project.

These projects tend to have significant differences with respect to their scale, support, and impact on the business.

For this Discussion topic, pick any two of the three motivations and give an example of a BPM project that fits each category. For each example, clearly state the following (use this template):

Type 1: Strategy-driven project; Business issue-driven project; or Process-driven project:

1. Briefly describe the project.
2. Explain why the motivation falls into this category and not the others.
3. Discuss how the execution of this project will be different than the others.

Type 2: Strategy-driven project; Business issue-driven project; or Process-driven project:

1. Briefly describe the project.
2. Explain why the motivation falls into this category and not the others.
3. Discuss how the execution of this project will be different than the others.

Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help).


Strategy Alignment

Using BPM to change a process (or processes) or to development new processes must first begin with a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s “strategy.” If the proposed new process does not align with the organization’s strategy, the entire modeling process may be doomed to failure.

Using information from the Kaplan virtual library or the internet, answer the following question:

Different business strategies require different approaches, which means the business processes must be aligned to accomplish the goals set by the strategy. A business process may appear to be working fine, but if does not support the strategy of the company, it will have a negative impact on the business.

For this Discussion, give an example where a process, although itself not broken, does not match a company’s strategy. Then, describe the problems that arise because of this. Chapter 13 has a discussion of various business strategies and table 13.1 shows how various processes match up with various strategies. You will also find a lot of information on various business strategies through your own research. Your examples can come from this research or your observations, but your arguments must be well supported using sources.

Please note that the point here is to explore a fit between strategy and process. You are not trying to identify bad or broken processes. You are looking for processes that are fine in and of themselves, but do not fit what the company is trying to accomplish and, hence, are an obstacle. Giving examples of process that are clearly broken will not satisfy this question.

Use the following template:

Example 1:
1. Briefly describe a company and their business strategy.
2. Briefly identify a business process used by the company that does not match their strategy.
3. Explain how this causes problems.
4. Why/how do you think this mismatch has occurred and why is it continuing to take place?

This section lists options that can be used to view responses.

unit 3

Process Risks and Methodology

Table 14.1 lists various risks that exist in the process architecture phase and then offers ways of mitigating those risks. It does not, however, describe what specific problems may be caused by those risks.

For this Discussion topic, pick one of those risks and give an example of how that risk may manifest itself in an organization.

For example, Risk 2 is “architecture is too detailed.” How might this be experienced in an organization? What difficulties would having a too detailed architecture cause? In what way would its effects impact the business?

Real examples from research are great, but because it will be difficult to find these, you may also provide a hypothetical scenario that fits the situation, as long as you demonstrate an understanding of process architecture and its impact.

 

Business Process Modeling Example

Step 2 of the process architecture phase involves selecting a process modeling methodology to be used in a subsequent phase to map out the selected business process. Many business process modeling methods exist. Each one focuses on, and highlights, a different attribute of the business process. Some are focused on the sequential steps of a process where others may map out interactions between people or the IT elements that support the process.

For this Discussion topic, research and describe one business process modeling methodology that you might use in the future. Make sure to also discuss what its advantages and disadvantages are and provide some sort of an example. This could be a link, an image, or a reference that shows the methodology being applied.

 

 

 

unit 4

 

Launch Pad Phase

Now that the foundation has been set for the BPM project it is time to launch. The launch pad phase is where the project is scoped, established, and launched.

According to your book, the first two results that should be expected from the launch Pad Phase will include:

1. Definition of stakeholders involved or associated with the project.
2. Stakeholder engagement and commitment, and documented and agreed upon expectations.

The first five steps in this phase are all about ensuring this is done properly. Even though the project team is engaged and working hard, it is possible to fail in a project when the stakeholders or executive management is not properly engaged. In fact, this is one of the most commonly cited reasons for failed projects and an often discussed as a cause of frustration for all involved.

For this Discussion topic, search for and discuss a news article or a case study in which a company has failed in a project due this very reason.

1. Describe what the project/situation was.
2. Describe why stakeholders/executives were not properly engaged.
3. Describe how this impacted the outcome of the project.

Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help).

 

 

Success Factors

Table 15.1 lists few of the likely critical success factors within a BPM project and who is responsible. These success factors are important because they give direction to a project and assign specific responsibilities to participants.

For this Discussion topic, order the provided success factors from most important to least important and then:

1. Describe your reasoning for why you picked your most important factor.
2. Describe your reasoning for why you picked your least important factor.
3. Provide one additional success factor that is not in this list, but you would want to achieve in your own project.

unit 5

Understand Phase

A key outcome of the understand phase is where choices are made about what will happen to processes (step 8), in order to provide direction for the next phase.

For this Discussion describe an experience where a decision was made to improve, redesign, outsource, or eliminate a process.

1. Describe the problems with the process that led to the decision.
2. Describe what the decision was.
3. Describe how that decision was made (Who made it? Who was consulted? How data was collected, if at all).
4. Describe the outcome. Did things get better?
5. Was the process handled well? Why, or why not?

Follow the numbered format and clearly lay out your answers instead of putting them all together in a few paragraphs. Be specific with each element you discuss.

Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help).

 

 

 

Root Cause Analysis

Root cause analysis is another key component of the understand phase (step 5). It is very important at this point to identify what is causing the problems with a process, so as not to treat only the symptoms. If the root causes are not resolved, the problems will manifest themselves in different ways even after the BPM project.

For this Discussion topic, first explain, in your own words, what the difference is between root-cause analysis and simply identifying issues in a process.

Then, research and describe an article or a case study where a company has performed a successful root-cause analysis. This means they went deeper than identifying just the symptoms. Explain what the symptoms were and what root causes they identified as the culprits.

Make sure to describe how they accomplished this—there are various specific methodologies beyond sitting and talking in a room that can be used for this purpose. For example, root-cause analysis is part of Six Sigma, which has specific tools for carrying this out.

If you cannot clearly show the distinction between the root causes and symptoms in the case, then you do not have the right case. You are not looking for cases where someone just identified problems by talking to people—root-cause analysis is a very specific term that describes going beyond what issues are first identified—your example should demonstrate this in depth analysis.

unit 6

Innovate Phase

Our book suggests that the purpose of the innovate phase is to make the process(es) within the scope of the project as efficient and effective as possible. Further, it says that the best way to develop the new process options and alternatives is through the use of workshops. The practice of using workshops and group input to examine processes and identify potential avenues for improvement has been well researched (see step 5 for some discussion). There are various potential obstacles in this effort and many methods have been suggested to handle them.

For this topic, do the following:

  • Research and describe one methodology suggested for improving the efficiency of workshops or brainstorming sessions in evaluating processes and recommending improvements.
  • Describe your experience with such a process where you were part of a process improvement effort. What kinds of difficulties did you experience and how were these resolved, if at all?

Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help).

Benchmarking Against Best Practices

In the effort to identify ways to improve a process, a commonly recommended method is to benchmark against “best practices.” While the idea of looking at the best is attractive, this approach is not without its potential problems. For this Discussion, do the following:

1. Describe one pro and one con of benchmarking against best practices.
2. Give one example where this approach is recommended and one example where it is not.

 

unit 7

 

 

 

Implementation Failure

Many IT implementations fail due to various reasons, such as poor planning, poor design or poor execution. Two risks given by your book in the develop phase are: 1) Developed solution does not meet business requirements and 2) Some applications work however the overall solution does not.

For this Discussion topic, research news articles and give an example where an IT implementation had failed due to one of these two reasons. Describe the situation and explain what the causes of failure were. What should the organization have done differently to avoid the problems that occurred?

Do not forget to cite and reference your sources in APA format (use the Kaplan Writing Center for APA help).

 

 

Implement Phase Strategies

Table 20.1 lists four strategies for implementing projects. As with other strategies, each approach may work or fail depending on the specific situation. For this Discussion topic, select two of the four strategies. Then, find two examples of real-world implementations that used these strategies (one example for each strategy you selected for discussion). After you describe the example, analyze why you think they went with the strategy they selected and provide your assessment whether they made the right selection.

unit 8

Realize Value Phase

The chapter on the realize value phase describes the steps that must be taken to ensure targeted business benefits are realized. These steps, while they are all listed in this chapter, are meant to be carried out during the earlier phases. On page 229, the authors also provide some statistics on projects failing to provide benefits.

For this Discussion, research news articles and give an example where a BPM project failed to provide the expected benefits. Describe the situation and identify which of the steps listed in the chapter appear not to have been carried out properly.

 

 

Organizational Communication

In your opinion how can effective/ineffective communication within the organization impact the following two elements:

1. The determination of targets of the BPM project
2. The realization of benefits during and after the BPM project

Support your answer by citing evidence from your research on the topic. Citing only from your textbook is not sufficient.

This section lists options that can be used to view responses.

 

 

unit 9

 

Sustainable Performance Phase

One of the most commonly used practices for sustaining performance is the establishment of feedback loops. In feedback, the actual end results of the process will be compared with the process targets or objectives and the process will be adjusted accordingly. Your book mentions three applications of feedback—at the personal level, at the management level, and at a process level. In this last category, various metrics are measured at the conclusion of a process and if they do not meet the goals, some specific, pre-determined element about the process is adjusted.

For this Discussion, give a real life example of a process feedback system from either your work experience or through research. In your discussion:

1. Describe the metric that is being measured to determine if the process is performing as designed.
2. Describe what the goal is.
3. Describe the elements (pieces of the process) that are adjusted based on the feedback results.
4) Evaluate the feedback system. Do you think it is working well? Why, or why not?

You first may need to do some research on feedback systems in business processes to ensure you understand the concept properly. You are looking for established, formalized feedback systems and not just a manager looking at results and taking ad hoc actions to correct problems. Information that is fed back, but does not have an established mechanism for action to be taken, also does not qualify This would be something such as customer survey results that are just handed to employees.

 

 

 

Balanced Score Card

In step 3 of the sustainable performance phase, balanced score card (BSC) is discussed as one way of embedding performance measurement into management. BSC is used quite a bit in organizations that want to ensure their strategies are reflected in the performance metrics.

For this Discussion:

1. Research and describe a real-world implementation of balanced score card.
2. Discuss how it is used for sustaining performance as described in this chapter.

This connection between the BSC implementation and sustainable performance is the key to this Discussion, so make sure your example demonstrates this connection.

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