To what extent are we process oriented? Are we sufficiently customer focused? Are we process driven? These are indeed some frequently asked questions. In search of an answer companies sometime conduct an assessment of their process orientation.
We are used to getting grades. We got them in school as youngsters and even in the workplace via performance appraisals. So we are familiar with assessments and fortunately, there is no lack of such instruments to assess the degree of process orientation. The problem is that most of these are paper based. Many are time consuming to administer and the majority are not built on a foundation of solid research.
To assess how your organization is doing on its journey to becoming process based, it would be useful if you could administer an instrument that is:
- User friendly,
- Easy to administer,
- Founded upon significant research and provided you with a grade or score
- And ideally – even provided some direction on how to close some of the biggest gaps
The good news is that there is at least one readily available assessment instrument which fulfills all of these characteristics. The Process Strategy Group offers a Web-based, user-friendly, easy to administer assessment instrument. There is even a FREE version that you can use to test drive the instrument. There are multiple options, including a quick assessment for multiple participants which includes 16 questions for up to 15 participants, and a mini-assessment which features 25 questions for up to 25 respondents. Both of which are quite cost-effective.
The instrument is based on extensive research with over 30 organizations. It provides a score in six areas including; but not limited to, governance, culture and adaptation, and process knowledge management. This is depicted in Figure 1 below.
For further details please visit: http://www.processstrategygroup.com/Assessment.html
Figure 1: Process Based Management Assessment
Having the right instrument is important; however, it’s equally important to understand why might you want to do it, when to use it, and how to best gain advantage from conducting an assessment of process orientation.
The single most compelling reason to conduct an assessment of the extent of process orientation in your organization is to obtain a snapshot of leadership opinion on becoming process based. It’s important to understand that it’s just a snapshot, and any assessment relies upon the degree of the respondents’ introspection and candor.
While an assessment of process orientation can deliver some benefits whenever it is administered, it is most useful to administer when:
· You are about to launch a major process improvement or BPM effort that is cross-functional in scope and you need to put a stake in the ground on leadership’s views on becoming process-based
· You have just completed a successful process improvement or BPM project and want a snapshot of current views on process management because you believe that the organization has the appetite for more projects of broader scope
· A member of your leadership team is actively lobbying for an organization wide effort to become more process driven and you want to assess people’s current opinions and beliefs
Note that in each of these cases, one assessment is simply not enough. The use of an assessment instrument is most useful when it is conducted on at least two occasions so that you can see the degree of progress or lack thereof.
There are also certain circumstances when it does not make sense to conduct an assessment of process orientation.
· Your organization has little experience nor interest in becoming process based
· Your organization has carried out a small BPM project within one functional area and there appears to be little appetite to go beyond the current effort
· Your organization has recently had a bad experience with a process improvement or BPM initiative
Assuming that you have a compelling reason to conduct such an assessment and the timing is appropriate then consider the following tips on how to do it.
· Make sure that the sample of respondents is such that it crosses departmental boundaries
· Assure that the number of respondents is large enough to get a balanced picture – while this is partly a function of the size of the organization, normally this means at least 12 respondents and for large companies around 50.
Conducting such an assessment can be very useful indeed, especially if people in your organization are asking questions such as: To what extent are we process oriented? Are we sufficiently customer focused? Are we process driven? The Web based instrument offered by the Process Strategy Group is one option worthwhile exploring
Andrew Spanyiis internationally recognized for his work on Business Process Management. He is the author of three books: Business Process Management is a Team Sport, More for Less: The Power of Process Management and Operational Leadership.
He has delivered keynote speeches at conferences in North America, Europe and Australia. He is an adjunct professor at Babson College and was a member of the research team at the Babson Process Management Research Center, and is currently on the Board of Advisors with The Association of Business Process Management Professionals, and an editorial board member with the BPM Institute. Spanyi International Inc. has an alliance with the Process Strategy Group. Please visit www.spanyi.com