Specifically “do we keep the old process and change the system; or change the business process and implement as-is?
The most immediate and transparent effect of Business Process Management is felt in an organisation’s project and/or operating costs. Too much system change – and project costs increase exponentially, too much process change and the operating costs post-implementation can explode and often never even recover to pre-project levels – let alone achieve efficiencies that may have been assumed as part of the project business case. The decision to change or not to change (either software code or business process) is challenging to analyse, often controversial, and almost always divisive within the organisation. But – this is a place to create successful projects and therefore our chosen field in which to operate.
It is usually the Business Analyst role in a project which holds the key to Business Process Management. While the focus of the Project Manager is on the scope of the project, the focus of the Business Analyst is on the scope of the product, which is the solution to be delivered by the project. Risks are minimized and project and product success rates improve when these critical roles are aligned and operate in partnership. When this alignment is missing, project performance, customer satisfaction, team morale, and the end-product will be adversely impacted.
Mature organizations are also achieving higher success rates from their projects and programs by ensuring the development of business cases. Business Analyst activities involve developing a business case to:
- Communicate the rationale for funding a project or program
- Present the viable options for addressing the business need
- Emphasize the value the organization seeks from the investment
The business case is a tool that drives the product team and key stakeholders to have discussions about these factors and, ultimately, to communicate the decisions to be made. The process to develop a business case is an important opportunity for the strategic resources—including portfolio and program managers—to collaborate with the business analyst to work through the definition of the business need and viable options.