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This post is being written live from the ProcessForum in Moscow where I just spoke about Enterprise BPM and its impact on the organizational ability to change. Talking about change, last time I was in Moscow was in 1985 and it is unbelievable how the city progressed since then…

It is also great to see that here are about 400 professionals from all over Russia to exchange and to learn about new BPM trends.

Right now I am in the presentation from Steven Brown from BBVA. He speaks about Process Improvement, Change Management and Risk and Control Management at BBVA, a leading retail bank with 110,000 employees, 7400 branches and a presence in 20 countries. The bank developed standard processes using a collaborative approach which leveraged all process owners and reused the improved processes all over the world. In 2010, BBVA was the most efficient bank in Europe. Steven Brown: “BPM helped us to get there. There are two golden rules for BPM. Rule number one: Know you business processes! Rule number two: Don’t forget rule number one!”

Process Improvement at BBVA

Steven differentiated between a process analysis stage (process transformation) and a process execution stage (process automation) during BBVA’s process improvement initiative. Process analysis is focusing on capturing the as-is processes and defining optimized to-be processes. BBVA is using ARIS for doing this. He pointed out that there are many benefits attached to the process analysis (process transformations) stage. Steven highlighted especially the improved knowledge capturing and benchmarking capabilities.

Process Improvement at BBVA

If processes are not just optimized on the drawing board but are also executed in IT even more benefits can be reached. BBVA went this way by transferring their ARIS process models to webMethods BPMS for execution. Here is what was achieved in the categories cost reduction, productivity and enhancements in system development.

Process Improvement at BBVA

Process Improvement at BBVA

Steven mentioned that it was key to involve people who are working on the process. This was the best way to get their buy-in. Another important factor was that they started wit process modeling and reengineering before they went to process execution. He said that often they got different pictures of the same process from the involved individuals. It was a great exercise to have common understanding of a process and then to move ahead and to improve the process. Sometimes it is better not to make/have the experts describe the process because they know it inside out. They might forget process steps because for them it’s natural that they happening. The best mix is a combination of experts, almost experts, business and IT people.

It was also a key to success to merge BPM with risk management. If you understand your processes you see where risks are and how you can avoid them. Other important work packages are the publishing of the process model to spread process knowledge and the definition, measurement and controlling of key performance indicators. BBVA implemented Business Activity Monitoring and BI tools to monitor process in real time but also historical process data. Only if you monitor your processes over time you can make sure that your process is still meeting your requirements.

Steven also spoke about the importance to move from BPM projects to a BPM program. “Everybody had at least one methodology and at least one tool to document process knowledge. If people left you had to discover the process again because the process knowledge was either in their heads or on their hard disk in a non standardized manner. In 2005/2006 BBVA chose ARIS as THE tool for process capturing using a standardized methodology. Steven: “We chose ARIS and it was a good decision”. Once you have your processes described think creatively about how you can improve them. Do you need all the forms, data, paper, working steps? Can you scan a paper and the paper then “travels” along with the process instead of pushing paper? Lots of possibilities to think about.
 
BBVA reached 20% productivity gains, 30% reduction in reprocessing requirements and a 25% cost reduction through its BPM initiative. This went along with improved process quality and without loss of market share. It’s obvious that BBVA realized enormous benefits through BPM. But this was of course not an easy catch. There are many things too keep in mind if you want to be as successful with BPM. The first chapter of our Intelligent Guide to EBPM lists 15 best practices from BPM projects we have discovered. Here are Stevens lessons learned from BBVA’s process improvement initiative.

Process Improvement at BBVA

Process Improvement at BBVA

I must say that Steven´s presentation was one of the best on BPM I have ever seen. It was clearly structured, easy to understand, it had many real-life insights, a lot of thoughts to think about and it was very entertaining. I hope that I can see Steven again on stage talking about the wonderful things BBVA achieved with BPM. Maybe next year at ProcessWorld ;-)