LA 3-1:  Explore the readings /viewings this week – other than those related to project charters (your Week 4 Assignment).

  • Part A. Advise your classmates re 2 ideas that gave you unique insight into BPI.
  • Part B. For each idea, explain why you find it useful.

LA 3-2: The Boss wants you to prepare to draft a “trial” charter by speaking with her pre-selected members for a BPI Team. 

Part A. Which – if any – of the questions below might you ask team members before you make that “trial” draft?

  1. What resources are required for the improvement effort?
  2. What’s the best way to learn about the process?
  3. How do we go about improving the process?
  4. How can we institutionalize (train and document) the process?
  5. EXPLAIN why you would ask the questions above you choose. 

Part B. Advise the boss who might be “significant others” impacted or impactful – beside the BPI team members.

  • Involve all linked processes – linked by input or output – to the process being improved
    • This avoids unintended consequences to other linked processes
  • Consider Critical Success Factors (CSFs).
    • ASK: what will success look like?
    • CSFs: Costs, Timing, Quality (specs) and Ease-of Use
    • These mega factors lead to specific KPI sub-factors (next) vital to success
  • Identify specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from CSFs, like:
    • Reduce labor costs by 50%
    • Improve response time by 10 minutes
    • Reduce defect rate to 1%
    • Enable use of process by a level 2 employee  

Instructor’s Guide to Read/View

Theme 1: Finding Processes to Improve and Asking the Right Planning Questions

Types of Business Processes This is an ad site – the key ideas from it this week are Challenges Related to Business Processes

  1. Bottlenecks â€“ the slowing or halting of a process at a specific stage due to a human/machine error or difficulty
  2. Duplication of work and redundancy â€“ inefficient processes often have steps areas that are repeated or unnecessary
  3. Lack of visibility â€“ management does not have a way of viewing status or performance generally or specifically
  4. Integration issues â€“ process technology does not always integrate well with existing systems, causing gaps
  5. I would add: Anti-CSFs: High cost; low speed; low quality; lack of expertise; not user-friendly
  • Such processes , if within key systems, must be prioritized for improvement by a BPI Team

BPI Handbook This is one of the sites from which we created our BMGT 411 Consensus BPI Framework.

This week’s focus from this Navy site: How does an organization get started on process improvement?

Here are the highlights – they read like BPI objectives (all parentheses are mine):

  • The senior leader (project sponsor) makes it make it an organizational priority
    • The importance of the specific process improvement is communicated from the top
  • Apply quality-related tools and techniques learned in training on a regular basis
    • (BPI) requires everyone to become a “fire preventer,” rather than a “fire fighter.”
  • Improve processes for the long term, do not just patch up work routines as problems occur.
  • Start thinking in these terms:
    1. What process should we select for improvement – (and why)?
    2. What resources are required for the improvement effort?
    3. Who are the right people to improve the selected process?
    4. What’s the best way to learn about the process?
    5. How do we go about improving the process?
    6. How can we institutionalize (train and document) the process?


A1. Form the Right Team – sponsors, project lead,. process owners , users, others who are impacted

A2. Select Linked Processes  – that do not add value or contain errors or waste but impact one another (Week 1-3)

B1. Sponsor Prioritize Success Factors – re costs, timing, quality (specs), ease-of use = performance expectations

B2. Facilitate Early Stakeholder Buy-In – process owners, users, others re insights / needs / participation (Weeks 2-3)

C. Plot AS-IS Process – flowchart; “swim lanes” (Week 4)

D. Assess AS-IS Root Causes of Errors / Waste = Talent / Equipment / Resources / Process (TERP) (Week 4)

E. Create Improved TO-BE for Testing – Add value / eliminate errors and waste (Week 5)

F. Plan Testing Approach (Week 5)

G. Conduct Positive & Negative Testing (Week 5)

H. Phase-in change and overcome resistance (Week 6)

I. Monitor, Learn, and Adjust  (Weeks 7 -8)

Theme 2 – Choosing, Organizing, and Identifying a Team

Who is a Project Sponsor? This short You-tube video suggests the process owner is the project sponsor and suggest roles for executive decision-making oversight of projects that subordinates are managing. 

 What Does a Project Sponsor Really Do? A short article on how a Project Sponsor can support a BPI Team. 

Tackle The Most Common BPM Challenges a blogger’s opinion on Project Sponsors and related issues – opinions are not backed up very well.  Some useful insights

 Managing Process Improvement Project Scope About 5 pages – might be a help re Assignment 3 – Stage I re scope control

Setting up a Cross-Functional Team Useful, short Mind Tools article re objectives for setting up a Team. 

Building a Cross-Functional Team CBS Money Watch site uses a popular psychology approach to dealing with different types of Team members and their motives.  Results vary by how familiar Team members might be with one another. 

Effective Process Improvement Teams University of Iowa presentation that applies some tools related to Team relations. Once you get to DMAIC slide and after, it is beyond the scope of Week 3 – these ideas will appear later in the course.  THEME 3:  Project Charter (helpful for Assignment #3 – Stage 1 due this week)

Developing the Project Charter â€“ Six Sigma approach that calls a Black Belt leader a Project Champion – sometimes it’s the Project sponsor and sometimes it’s the Project Manager. 

How to Prevent Project Management Scope Creep Also ad-related, a 7-minute highly visible presentation on 7 ideas that help keep the scope of a BPI project under control. 

How to Create a Project Charter â€“ Even though it is ad-related, this 13-minute video is straightforward about how a charter (plan) for a project may be done most effectively. 

Help for Week 3 (assignment 3, Stage 1) and Week 6 Assignment #2 Flowcharts


Week 3 LAs – Initial by Thursday, follow up response due by Sunday – ideally by 6 PM

Stage 1 of Assignment 3 is due in Assignment Folder by Sunday midnight

Assignment #3 Stage 1 DUE Week 3 by SUN JUN 5 )

Stage 1 Purpose:  Identify a business process to improve in your Assignment Folder by the end of Week 3. 

Stage 1 of Assignment #3 is worth 6% of the total grade.


  1. The business process you select for improvement – make it matter for your career
  2. Reasons for improvement
  3. Critical Success Factors if improvement is to be effective ($; timing; quality aka specs; ease-of-use factors)
  4. Best talent to improve the selected process, including the BPI Sponsor and Team Lead
    1. Consider who will advise, test, train others re, and document the process. don’t leave users out!
    2. A chart would be very useful here
  5. Who will likely benefit – who will likely “pay” or resist
  6. What resources are likely required for the improvement effort
  7. How your BPI Team will learn about the process

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