Viewing Posts by Gina Abudi
Develop a document that will help you manage your BPI project!
Creating a project charter for your business process improvement (BPI) projects are a best practice for a number of reasons:
While we all know that, in theory, the project charter is handed to the project manager from the project sponsor, in reality this never happens! The project manager develops the project charter based on information from the sponsor and other key stakeholders. Too often project managers skip developing a project charter and focus purely on the project scope statement. I prefer to use both documents. I use the charter to develop a list of questions that provide me further information about the BPI project, why it is being undertaken, its link to the organizational strategic goals and the overall objectives for the project.
Once finalized and approved by the sponsor, the charter is then used to develop the project scope statement. This charter, as well as the scope statement, enables me to better manage my stakeholders as the project work takes place. I frequently refer back to that charter to ensure we stay on track with the project, pushing back as necessary when the project is taking the wrong direction or is at risk of doing so. It enables me to have better conversations regarding changes to the BPI project.
BPI Project Charter Components
Components of BPI project charters are described in the table below:
BPI Project Charter Best Practices
Here are the best practice steps I take to create a BPI project charter:
While this may seem initially like a large effort, it really is not. Spending this time up front to get the charter accurate enables for me to develop strong relationships with the project sponsor and any other key stakeholders. It also ensures that I understand what we are doing with this project and why – which enables me to have better conversations with team members and other stakeholders. You can’t effectively manage a BPI project – and get others committed to it – if you don’t know the business reason behind the BPI project. You notice that in each conversation with the sponsor I have advanced progress on the charter. Additionally, I have taken some steps in filling in the blanks myself based on knowledge I already have. It may not be completely accurate, but enables for far more productive conversations with the sponsor and other key stakeholders.
In summary, create a project charter for all of your BPI projects, to enable for getting your “head” around the project and developing key questions to ask sponsors to ensure you have what you need for project success.
Before you officially begin your next project, consider whether you can answer the following questions:
What else do you do to get ready for your projects?
Engaging employees in change projects is essential to ensure that the change initiative is accepted and “sticks.” Consider these five ways to engage employees in your next change initiative.
Increase the number of people who contribute to improving a process
Often, when we are trying to improve upon a business process, we want to gather ideas from as many users of that process as possible. This is not always easy to do, especially when we have a larger group of users. Consider using brainstorming as a great way to gather input from a large number of users. Brainstorming works well even when the users are in different locations and it is not practical or feasible to get them together in one location.
Consider these best practice steps to brainstorm with a variety of individuals, across a variety of locations, to gather as many thoughts and ideas as possible:
For a two week time period to respond to the question(s) asked, send at least one reminder after the first week. This keeps the initiative fresh in people’s minds and encourages further participation.
At the end of the time period for participation, ask the point of contact at each site to gather up the flip charts, compile the information and share with the business process improvement project team. One central point of contact designated by the project manager should then compile all flip chart data and sort and categorize as appropriate.
This information will then be used to craft an initial draft (or two) of a new process in order to share back with the individuals impacted to get their thoughts on a potential “to be” process.
I have used this best practice at a number of clients as part of business process improvement (BPI) initiatives and have seen great success in getting significant participation in the BPI initiative.
Remember, we don’t want to limit the number of individuals contributing to improving a process. The more individuals we can get involved, the more likely that we have champions of our BPI initiative who are, therefore, more likely to actually utilize that new process.