Modeling the “As Is” Then “To Be” is a Waste of Time – Part One

When carrying out Business Process Management (BPM) and Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) one of the major errors perpetrated by business analysts is that of modeling the “As Is”, then the “To Be” and then trying to plot a trail from the one to the other. Most modeling projects run in this way take so long to deliver results that they fail utterly to deliver any business benefits. Worse still, they consume and waste a huge amount of time, money and peoples’ goodwill.

If an enterprise is not currently doing what it OUGHT to be doing, then modeling it is about as useful as modeling what it was doing last month or last year.

At the end of it, what have you got? A detailed model of WHAT the enterprise OUGHT NOT be doing!

Good business analysis starts by modeling WHAT the enterprise OUGHT to be doing. This is the only model that is of any real value.

Many analysts, sadly, actually believe that this cannot be done. When they make this statement they are actually saying, “Nobody in this enterprise knows what it ought to be doing”! In other words, the senior executives do not know what they are doing. If this is the case the enterprise may as well shut up shop and cease trading.

Good analysts find the key senior executives in the enterprise – going to director level if necessary – who know what ought to be done, interview them and then build a series or really powerful models that can take the enterprise to where it OUGHT to be and at an accelerated pace.

The next error many analysts make in both BPM and BPR is using Process Modelling as the primary modelling technique. This is a major mistake and results in 300{da74ea48cec7d1c659e4125ffe517180d7bd6cbbe5631d32f11d21c45900f39b} more models being produced than are required and up to 30{da74ea48cec7d1c659e4125ffe517180d7bd6cbbe5631d32f11d21c45900f39b} of the core business functions being missed out.

Function Modelling is the primary technique to use in all business modelling. Process Modelling is a secondary technique, because all processes are based on functions.

BPM & BPR can bring huge business benefits when properly executed. Sadly, too many analysts and consultants squander this opportunity by starting in the wrong place and modeling the wrong thing.