With all this talk about Business Process Reengineering (BPR), and the latest industry focus on innovation, I've been piecing together a model that brings together the best of BPR
, and Project Management
(and even borrows elements of ITIL). I call it Service Oriented Project Management
I believe the term has been used, but not in this context, and not as a formal model. I think it's important enough that it needs to be formalized.
There are some that view these three disciplines as separate, or even mutually-exclusive, but they're not. In fact, to be successful, these disciplines need each other. It should go without saying that BPR needs innovation in order to break new ground (resulting in dramatic and radical change, as opposed to incremental change). And project management skills are needed to keep a team on track and manage risk.
Certainly, there are situations where incremental change is quite appropriate, and, for these cases, process "improvement" disciplines such as Six Sigma and TQM are fine. But especially when radical change is needed, we need a superstructure of good project management to lead all phases of a BPR initiative, from the as-is state
exploration, through the to-be state
development and validation, and to the actual implementation of the initiative.
Likewise, project management in general needs the strong customer focus that BPR brings (usually sorely lacking in most projects). Almost any project can benefit from a BPR-type approach of getting to the root of the customer's problem first-hand, and bringing about dramatic results through innovative thinking. This also takes project management beyond the realm of simple "execution and control".
Using a BPR lifecycle, innovative thinking, and an overall project management approach, we get a holistic methodology that uses the best of each. And, if this is driven by overarching principles from all three disciplines, we can boost our chances of success exponentially.
And finally, there's the customer. EVERYTHING in all of these disciplines must have a relentless focus on the customer. With any initiative, the glue that holds all of this together is a service owner---
someone who understands the customer's needs (and their business) and owns the initiative from cradle to grave (just like an ideal order fulfillment process should be, according to Michael Hammer, the inventor of BPR). Whether or not this should be the project manager is a whole subject in itself, but it should be someone
If the project manager does assume this role, then they had better have a strong customer and business focus, and be relieved of any project administration duties that aren't adding value to the customer (which can be assigned to a project accountant). In many companies, the project managers may not have the right skills for this role, but that's not to say that shouldn't change.
More to come, as I flesh out and develop the model. Meanwhile, I'm open to your thoughts on this.
Labels: business-process, business-results, change-management, customer, customer-service, improvement, innovation, it-project, itil, lifecycles, methodology, principles, project-manager, project-teams, results, service-orientation, six-sigma, sopm, value, value-management