BPI Project Planning - Process Overview

Business Process Improvement program yields very good result in terms of increasing efficiency of operations, elimination of wastage as well as in implementing new processes using enhanced technology. Most of the BPI exercises happen to affect and improve some aspect of the Customer Experience thus adding value to the Business Process.

BPI Planning begins with formation of the EIT (Executive Implementation Team) and PIT (Process Improvement Team) Teams and training them in the concept, methodology and techniques of Business Process Improvement.

In the second stage, the appointment of PIT Leader as well as the selection of sub task teams in the chosen department takes place. The sub task team would consist of the executives who are in charge of some of the sub processes and supervisors who will be the change agents. The task members will be drawn from all the groups that are dependent upon as well as interacting with the main process.

In the next stage, the PIT leader goes through process mapping and drawing up detailed process chart or block diagram. This block diagram is drawn up after detailed discussions with the process owners and walk through the floor as well as after going through all the data and documentations involved in the entire process in detail.

The block diagram so drawn up will show the clear demarcation of the boundaries of the process that has been selected for BPI exercise. The diagram will specify the beginning boundary and the ending boundary of the process as well as mark the incoming data as well as outgoing outputs at various stage of the process.

Process Overview

Once the Block Diagram has been drawn up, discussed and reviewed by the PIT members, the process would then have to be analyzed further and elaborated based on:

  1. Inputs and Source of Input into the process.
  2. Output required customers of output and frequency of output etc.
  3. Identification of the other processes including sub processes or interactive processes which are involved or connected with the chosen process.

It is often seen that though the process has been in place for a long time, the people following the process may not be aware of who the exact customers are and the importance of the output that they provide to their internal customers may not be known.

In the case of Sales Order processing and Invoicing process, the inputs would be the Sales Orders coming in from different sources including Sales Team, Dealers, Branches etc. There would be a need to examine the sales order information coming through the various authorized channels and to ensure that the data is received in a standardized format and the data received is consistent.

The incoming data streamlining will help build efficiency of the process. In many cases, the Sales Managers as well as the Branch Mangers would have to be involved in streamlining and ensuring adherence to sending the Sales Order in the requisite format and frequency.

As far as the output from the Sales Order Processing Unit is concerned, the primary customer would be the Logistics department that would further process the sales order for invoicing and shipping. Sales Order processing being critical and most visible process that involves the External Customers as well as the Sales Revenue, the process would need to be fine tuned to ensure that the output is provided in a consistent manner keeping in line with the schedule as required by the Logistics department as well as the other internal customers.

The entire process may be involved with several other sub or overlapping processes involving finance, Planning etc. Therefore understanding the other sub processes and the relevance of the output of this process to the overall big picture would help the PIT hit the bulls-eye.

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