Estimating the LOE for a BPM Project

images-10One of the most frequent questions I hear is “what is the level of effort for implementing BPM.” It’s a loaded question as level of effort (LOE) depends where you start and end.

Looking at the full life-cycle of business process transformation, major steps include process identification and selection, cost-benefit analysis, waste elimination, technical requirements gathering, installation and configuration, solution design, development, testing, training, and helpdesk.

Breaking it down further, LOE is a function of the following steps:

  • Process identification and selection (deciding on which processes to automate)
  • Kaizen events (defining goals and objectives, project charters, SIPOC, VOC/VOB, metrics, benefits, project scope, use cases, risk mitigation strategy, reusability)
  • Business Case Analysis (capturing and quantifying drivers, opportunities, objectives, scope, market impacts, options, capacity projections, financial outputs, benefits, NPV/IRR, milestones, resource requirements, timelines)
  • Business and technical requirements (gathering and documenting workflows, business rules, form design, data models, integrations, system architecture, user groups, etc.)
  • Process modeling (creating process models with rules governing routing, responses, escalations, deadlines, SLAs, notifications, etc.)
  • Application design and development (creating forms with associated dynamic look-ups, data models, validations, collaboration, etc.)
  • User interfaces (Configuring user experience, navigation, work lists)
  • Analytics (creating reports and executive dashboards with drill down capabilities)
  • System integrations (integrating systems to enable free flow of data and business rules for triggering workflows, updating activities, populating forms, validating fields, adding or changing data within systems of record)
  • User management (configuring user groups, LDAP/Active Directory)
  • Test (conducting functionality, performance, and UAT testing and documenting results)
  • Product installation and initial configuration (providing Development, Test, Production and Back-Up environments)
  • Training (conducting product, solution, and user training)
  • Help desk (ensuring continual support and improvements)
  • COE (making standards for selection, documentation, analysis, and design; ensuring proper training and resource utilization; providing strategic communications across organizational divisions; evangelizing successes)

Now some organizations just want to know the LOE for “to-be” design, implementation, and deployment. In my experience, small projects can take 2-3 people 6-10 weeks. Average projects consist of 3-4 people for 12-16 weeks. Highly complex projects can take 4-6 people 20-28 weeks or 8 people 16-24 weeks.

I strongly encourage that with any BPM project you take the time to align strategy with objectives, clearly define inputs and outputs, eliminate waste, and build for reusability. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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By Garth Knudson @ Bizagi | April 9, 2014

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