Why The 6 Step Model for Business Process Change is the Secret Weapon in your Change Toolkit

Lab Blog Article

  • Published — Oct 2019
  • Topic — Business processes
  • Author — Amelia Kirby

Pre Work - Align process owner to the deployment approach

First up, let's build a team. Source from within the process when possible. This helps to instil a feeling of 'we' over 'they'. They're making the change, rather than the change being made to them.

The Change Leader would ideally be the business Process Owner - they're responsible for compliance, improvement and process enablement. Make sure they understand the 6 Step Model.

The Change Facilitator is often an external consultant and an expert in the 6 Step Model.

Your Change Sponsor should be from your senior leadership team - they're responsible for the project's contribution to the strategic objective.

Identify your stakeholders in the design implementation team - the people who use the tool, who can improve the business process - the group who'll be most affected by the change.

Then you've got to plan out the design effort with the Process Owner, who'll coordinate the Visioning Workshop.

Visioning - Agree on what good looks like

The Visioning Workshop is where you develop a new standard and provide strategic context. It's where you seek agreement from your stakeholders on what 'good' looks like - what is your process improvement objective and minimum requirements?

People are usually quite happy to share what they want to 'fix'. So at this point, it's about simply consolidating those objectives. Take the outcomes to the Functional Manager for validation and agreement on 'what good looks like'.

Step 3 - Adapt/build process

The third step is to upgrade the workflow procedure to the standard.

At this point, you will describe the future process that will help you achieve your minimum requirements. This step isn't about whether you can achieve your outcome - that will come later.

Focus on the future and ask yourself 'what does the process to support this future state look like?'.

Spend time here working with the Process Owner to define the key steps in the process plan. And go through the minimum requirements asking whether the upgraded process or change will meet those objectives.

Step 4 - Enablement

Now you can validate and resource the process. Putting the effort in here can avoid resistance down the track.

The Process Owner should lead the Enablement Workshop. Review the process flow and confirm the minimum requirements. Go through each step in the process flow and list any enablement requirements - things you need to resolve before you can launch the process.

Prioritise your critical versus nice-to-have requirements. Identify and attempt to resolve any pain points and decide what's in and out of scope.

Seek confirmation that if you enable the process, with its requirements, the stakeholders will be onboard. Arming the Process Owner with the team's commitment is critical. And involve your people in setting measures of success - they're more likely to stick to it if they've had a say.

Develop your compliance checklists - with the right people involved; compliance shouldn't be a dirty word. Everyone has skin in the game and is part of the improvement project.

Now scope, build or procure and test the enablers. Knowing what's required to develop enablers gives you a clearer picture of the work involved. This helps you reset expectations about what it'll take to get the process up and running.

Finally, seek go-live approval from the Functional Manager following enabler build & test.

Step 5 - Readiness

Don't think about launching your new process before your people are ready. They must be trained, know what their new roles are, and have experienced using their new tools.

Make your training experiential if you can - fill out the new form on the factory floor, not in the classroom. This helps flush out design issues.

Then develop kick off communications from the Project Sponsors and leadership telling people that you're ready and set out their expectations.

This is the time to make sure your measurement system is ready - it needs to be chugging along from day one to track improvement. The finish line is now in sight.

Step 6 - Installation

The final step is your handover. But it's also about practices that'll allow your business to meet the business process change standards, bedding down the process. We call this coaching for sustainment - working side by side with people doing the work and finding out how things are working.

Benefits tracking, analysis and feedback start here. As the numbers start coming in, you can begin building a picture of what's happening and why, so you can fine-tune and tweak.

And when you're ready, you can do the handover. Everybody's following the new process, you're enjoying the benefits that you planned for, and you've identified risk areas which you've given to the Process Owner for action.

Nice work!

There's only one thing left to do, and that's celebrate! Perhaps get people together to talk about 'before and after'. Or maybe have a beer. We suggest both.

The best outcome

If you follow the 6 Step Model, this story ends with a new or improved business process.

But perhaps an even better outcome is arming yourself with a simple methodology - a reliable, proven way - to consistently and successfully implement business process change.