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As part of my time spent at TechEd in Amsterdam, I hosted a session at the BPX standard within the SDN Clubhouse called  Enterprise SOA Roadmaps – Shrink Wrapped Architecture.   As part of this discussion with Robert Eijpe, Theo Bolta, Robert Baumann and Achim Becker we identified some  key enablers for the work of  a Business Process eXpert.  These included :-  1)     Common understanding of the design principles to be used 2)     An organisation structure that respects end to end processes 3)     Dedicated end to end process owners 4)     Measurement of the KPI’s that drive the process, viewed from an end to end perspective  I am sure that there are more (give us a break we did only have 30 minutes), but I think these worth exploring. Common Understanding of the Design Principles The key discussion here was getting the actors in the end to end process to agree on what the process is trying to achieve, the areas that should be optimised and the trade offs that can (or cannot) be made. Ideally these design guidelines should be driven from the organisations strategy. You might turn to the Enterprise Architecture team at this point to see if they have any “rules” to help guide the process. We considered examples of cost vs quality, time vs quality etc. Organisation Structure that respects the end to end process How many organisations today give the same weighting to the functional silo and the end to end process at board level….our answer was not many. We felt that this double solid line matrix reporting was key to getting the balance between functional excellence (e.g. purchasing goods at the lowest possible cost) and end to end process optimisation (e.g. 99% on time delivery). This double solid line reporting provides the framework within which Service Levels (SLA) can be agreed between the functions and E2E process that balances the KPI’s of both dimensions. Dedicated End to End Process Owners A really key part of making the process change happen (and for it to continue happening) is to have someone with the POWER to enable the changes to the process AND to enforce the SLA to drive the process optimally. It was our experience that either processes lacked these process owners OR the owners lacked the power to change things across an end to end landscape. These are both really linked to the two points about….if we agree what looks “good” as an organisation and have a structure that enables the E2E view then the role of the Process Owner kind of falls into place.  End to End Process KPI’s KPI’s for a process are an obvious first step toward being able to manage and improve the process (you can’t manage what you can’t measure). What is even more important is that these KPI’s are linked together into a value hierarchy that can show the impacts of the KPI’s on other KPI’s and the overall result. This enables the impact of the process trade offs to be seen and understood at an operational, tactical and strategic level. Therefore if I drive the lowest price in procurement and this has a knock on impact in the quality I can see and understand this. Once I see the trend I can compare it back to my guiding principles and make an informed decision on future optimisation (I might even consider doing this in a modelling environment first).  So in conclusion, an efficient Process Centric Design Method (e.g Enterprise SOA Roadmaps) can be created quickly, but making the results stick more easily can be achieved via a Process Centric organisation model.
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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    Hi Owen,
    While I was busy registering new members for BPX at the BPX kiosk in TechEd Amsterdam, I see that  community members went off and decided to define themselves in some animated discussions realtime TechEd.
    Excellent to see this almost blog of your TechEd Knowledge Table conversation.  Would be great to move this over to the Wiki or Forum as well to continue the discussion and/or situation analysis and broaden the amility of the community to join the conversation.
    Thanks Owen, Robert Eijpe, Theo Bolta, Robert Baumann and Achim Becker for participating in this conversation.
    I think you would also enjoy pulling Anton W. into the conversation!
    Marilyn

    While I was busy registering new members for BPX, I see that the community went off and decided to define itself.

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