BPM TAKES ROOT, BUT STILL AN ADJUSTMENT FOR MANY is an interesting article recounting how BPM is being implemented in Direct Energy in Toronto. Appears that they have spent considerable time selecting someone very strong in the domain knowledge first and BPM knowledge second. Also the observations about IT being the wrong group of people to do implement BPM changes within the company is right on the mark!
End to end business processes are what matters most these days, especially given newer competitors that start with a web-based way of working right from the start rather than take an old bricks-and-mortar way of working and force-fit a business process oriented way of working.
If you observe the ever present Geico.com and Cave Men ads in American TV, you understand what they mean by being easy to do business with them. I know. I have been a client for two years and everything including their claims processes have been very smooth and painless (no personal investments or interests, in the spirit of fair disclosure).
This is primarily because as a customer I don’t deal with "Local Office", "District Office" or "Head Office". My only links to the company are the web address for the company and the contact phone number. I deal with "Quote Process", "Signup Process", "Proof Of Insurance Printing Process", "Online Claims Process". etc. I still remember the days with other larger auto insurance companies where you had to deal with many entities like your local agent, district office and headoffice, and have always thought "why should I worry about their internal organization?".
The above article also talks very sensibly about process changes being only advocated by the process reengineering advocates but leaving the implementation to the people responsible for the work. The main value-add the Process Reengineering people can bring is the awareness of the "big picture" that such people can bring to the various groups and departments involved at various stages in the process. This knowledge empowers individuals groups or departments to not "sub optimize" the process or only improve their part of the process with the upstream and downstream parts of the process unchanged. This kind of isolated departmental "improvement" many times can do more harm than good!