An interview with the business process specialist and former ECBPM course participant, Mitja Mavrič**** (Zavarovalnica Maribor d.d., Slovenia)
I currently work as a business process specialist for Zavarovalnica Maribor (insurance company), which is currently merging with three other insurance companies. From November 2016 on we will be merged into one company: Zavarovalnica Sava.
My basic responsibility is business process optimization (identification, analysis and improvement). Lately I’m working on the improvement of customer experience (#CX) related processes.
I deeply believe the customer should be the primary focus of any business, without exceptions.
I am really lucky because I am enjoying my work, especially because I can connect these two fields, customer experience and business processes, which are deeply interconnected.
My personal mission regarding the business processes is twofold: 1. ensuring high level of quality of insurance services and 2. respectful treatment of customers in all phases of interaction with the company.
BPM is the basic (theoretical) methodology of my quest to optimize customer related business processes.
I am sure that only excellent CX*** can improve our position on the highly competitive market of insurance companies.
BPM focuses my thinking to the people (customers, employees) and processes. Only the employees can make the processes alive (or dead). For us is of upmost importance, the key customer processes are fast and effective and bring value to the customer.
BPM is my ‘process Garmin’, a path to efficiency and excellence.
My first contact with BPM was when I was software developer. Working as a software developer I have missed the ‘big picture’ view on the whole context. Often I was asking myself: “What is my role in a bigger process?”. I am sure that if you see the whole picture, you can better perform your own task.
At this time, I started with the research and learning about BPM field. Finally, I have started visualizing process flows using BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation). Then I gained interest in the whole field. My discoveries were amazing. Understanding of the whole process which tasks I was performing influenced my way of thinking and performance.
At the same time, I started getting familiar with various BPM software platforms, because I was completely overwhelmed by the process approach.
I think that BPM disciplines, organizes and synchronizes all stakeholders towards same business goals.
I’d like to emphasize the meaning of communication on all organization’s levels. Bad communication critically hinders the development of the organization. BPM is especially powerful when comes to measuring. You can only say the process is effective, if you are able to define a good key performance indicator and then measure it. The results of process measurement usually surprise its owners (in a positive or negative sense). Only when we can measure the process we can safely say if it is effective. To summarize, BPM transforms management ‘by the gut feeling’ to the ‘management by the proof’. Which can be painful for those who are used to evaluate the processes by the thumb.
Well, the biggest challenge is the idea itself, which is behind the BPM. The organizations, which are typically functionally organized, need some time to accept holistic approaches to the process management.
You don't need that kind of powers. You only need some employees, which truly believe in common vision. Usually this kind of employees attract the others and can plant the idea into their hearts. People need sincerity, motivation and – goals. When they personalize the goals, the team becomes unstoppable. This is the way to the excellent results.
ECBPM course at the same time broadens and deepens your BPM horizon. But most importantly, it guides you, which is basically the main purpose of BPM. It finally shaped and clarified the way, which I want to take in the business world.
The certificate is a proof I’m very serious about it.
People, people, people. People should always be on the first place. They ‘fuel’ the business processes. The management team has a great responsibility and influence on people. The management directly influence how fast they want to arrive where they’re headed and for how long they want to stay there.
* (B)usiness (P)rocess (M)anagement
*** CX: Customer eXperience management
Interview with Mr. Mitja Mavrič was performed by Tomislav Rozman, BICERO Ltd.
An interview with business analyst and former ECBPM*** course participant, Damijana Miklavčič**, Ministry of defence (MoD), Slovenia
I work at the Ministry of defence, Human Resources department. I work as a Head of the Office of organization and personnel analysis. My job is to prepare reports, analysis and period reviews in the field of personnel (HR) for the needs of MoD and also external users. I perform research, prepare plans and finding the solutions in the field of organization. I also prepare and adjust the systemization acts for the administrative part of the ministry.
At the moment I'm using BPM modeling tool (Aris Express). It helps us to decide if merging three working fields (functions/departments) will improve something (e.g. communication, division of responsibilities) or not.
I also use BPM tool to draw AS - IS process in my office to help me and my boss to understand how processes are flowing and how we can improve our work.
I met with BPM field when I attended the course ECQA – Business Process Manager in Ljubljana.
The power of BPM is when you try to present to the leaders or managers how the process works. They visually see who does what, with what, what are the inputs and outputs of the process.
From the process diagram a process manager can also see which connections are useless or how we can reduce steps or activities. Moreover, he can see where are the bottlenecks and see possible solutions to reduce operating costs and to improve process flow.
The biggest challenges for me are: To convince managers and leaders to use BPM as a tool that will enhance efficiency. To convince them that BPM helps us understand who, when, what and how are we doing.
The most important thing is to make what are we doing measurable, to give the power of deciding or to give responsibilities to the process owners and process managers and not everything to the top managers.
Last but not least, the challenge is to make actions standardized, which means that everyone does their part of the work exactly the same way every single time.
If I have the unlimited power I would do AS-IS analysis of the existing processes, modeling them, document them, make TO-BE process and find out how we can improve those processes. I would first try to do this on a small group of process or on a specific field and then if the employee and the managers find out that BPM is useful I will continue to modeling until all the processes are modeled.
I would implement the PDCA**** cycle in everyday work. I would demand that BPM model is a mandatory part of government material for changing legislation.
BPM is a great tool which opened my eyes how simply you can present the process flow. I would also like to use it more and learn more.
* (B)usiness (P)rocess (M)anagement
**Damijana Miklavčič. You can contact her: firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Linkedin profile: https://si.linkedin.com/in/damijana-miklavčič-ab2185b8
**** PDCA - Plan - Do - Check - Act methodology for process improvement
Interview with Damijana Miklavčič was performed by Tomislav Rozman, BICERO Ltd.
How I landed a new BPM* job in Luxemburg
I work as a business analyst at Sogeti Group in Luxembourg which is a subsidiary of the Capgemini Group. Sogeti Luxembourg consist of about 500 employees, but globally this number is 20.000 employees for Sogeti Group and 140.000 for Capgemini Group.
I currently work as a consultant on the project for European Commission where I’m helping to develop a new business architecture for statistical data validation for Eurostat that is called ESS.VIP. My responsibilities are: designing a new business process maturity model and various BPMN diagrams for validation processes and also other tasks that are related with the new ESS.VIP business architecture.
First time I’ve met BPM was at University. BPM was more interesting to me than the software development. Back then I really didn't fully understand what kind of job would need a BPM professional as everyone around me were active mostly in the software development. But somehow I’ve believed that BPM is not so widely known field yet and that it will take some time before it will become widespread.
The real power of BPM comes on the surface when the processes become really complex. Sometimes it's difficult to understand those processes without having the whole picture in front of your eyes. The question is which picture or approach is the appropriate in that case. BPM is very useful because it gives some kind of real world logical limitations inside of which you can develop and evolve your idea, how TO-BE processes will look like. Designing AS-IS processes is also very useful because it is possible to understand the organization much better and to see if stakeholders really understand those processes. Sometimes we can reach the point where different parties inside of the organization have different perspectives on the process and AS-IS diagrams can become very useful tool for the further discussion and alignment between those two or more parties. But in general I’m active more on TO-BE processes where we are designing different business architecture requirements that are going to be implemented in the future. With the help of BPM better decisions can be made as their impact on the whole process is much more visible and understandable.
ECBPM course (provided by BICERO Ltd. & CertiBPM project partners) gave me necessary training which upgraded my knowledge I’ve already achieved at University and it has also help me to connect with other people that have similar interests. At the same time, I got better understanding which BPM tools and what kind of design patterns we can use in different environments. ECBPM certificate also gave additional value to my CV profile.
6. Do you think that BPM course & ECQA certificate somehow helped you to get your new job in Luxembourg?
Probably yes, because we had also discussed that on my job interview. But sure there are also other factors involved based on which they’ve made their decision.
BPM is also very useful in everyday life because you can optimize your daily processes to that level, where you are left with more free time :)
* (B)usiness (P)rocess (M)anagement
**Zmago Fluks, formerly a Slovenian resident, moved to Luxembourg in Feb. 2016, because he got a job at Sogeti Group. You can contact him: email@example.com. His Linkedin profile: https://lu.linkedin.com/in/zmago-fluks-05b12625
"What do you actually do?" is one of the most frequent questions that I receive, especially from my friends and family. Sometimes, it is really difficult to explain.
Don't you think so? Then try to explain "selling management knowledge" to your grandma.
But when we receive a great feedback from our users, it is really that simple:
We are creating great user stories, that's what we do.
We help people to excel in various management areas: EU Project management, Business Process Management, IT management, CSR, Sustainability, Growth hacking,...
We are closing skills gaps.
We help you avoid the cost of not-knowing. Can you, for example, calculate the cost of not knowing how to apply your idea for EU funding? Or, the cost of poor management of the project? Or, the cost of chaotic business processes within company?
Indirectly, we are helping your company to grow, because we help you personally to grow with new knowledge and skills.
At the end, all that matter is what people do with newly acquired skills.
T. Rozman, founder of BICERO Ltd.
I'm using LinkedIn since 2006, which is awful lot of time. I was reluctant to use FaceBook for business simply because I didn't want to mix business with pleasure.
Posting pictures of my dogs, along with promotions for manager courses? No go, too awkward.
Growth hacking may sound like it is something illegal, but it is far from it. Besides being a buzz-word, it has real and sound meaning.
To me, it's meaning is actually:
"Growth-hacker is running his/her business and instead only trying to sustain it, he/she is trying to achieve viral growth. And for that, he constantly analyzes the data from web, social media and other digital sources. Based on this data, he’s constantly modifies and optimizes his strategy, behavior, actions, web presence, marketing actions and services/products using dedicated IT tools."
Nothing illegal here, no breaking into IT systems. Just a bunch of methods, processes and shortcuts to better know your customer and quickly adapt your business behavior.
Who is actually a growth-hacker?
1st sign: Strong cognitive and self-management skills
Do you spot the (business or entrepreneurial) opportunities ? Can you divide problems into smaller, manageable tasks? Can you process a vast amount information around you? Are you resilient and in case of a failure you quickly bounce back? Are you self-directing?
If yes, you are on a good path.
2nd sign: Strong technical skills
It's not necessary that you know how to code yourself, but it is important you understand logic behind it. Strong technical skills are necessary to be able to react quickly, for example: update your web site, add some logic to it (e.g. subscription button for visitors). Familiarity with modern digital media is a strong plus. Do you know how to create a group on LinkedIn? Do you know how to link various social media together with Hoot suite? Do you know how to specify software requirements? Are you familiar with A/B testing? Do you know how to optimize the search engine rankings of your web page? Are you aware of cloud based analytics tools and services, such as Google Analytics, Lead Forensics and similar? Know how to use CRM systems like Zoho?
If yes, you are on good path.
3rd sign: Strong inter-personal skills
Are you customer oriented? Are you able to influence your co-workers, peers, customers? How about virtual team management? How good are you at delivering feedback?
Acquiring or possessing those skills is a third sign that you are a growth-hacker.
Why am I talking about this? As every entrepreneur, I consider myself a growth-hacker too. Except, until very recently, I haven't named myself as growth-hacker. That changed when I've got involved in enGaging project and started to explore the topic.
Giving a presentation about web traffic data analysis (Google Analytics), visitor behavior patterns and demographics drill down. + How to use this data for better content management process.
Stay tuned for more content about GH and gamification!
If you want to be a part of enGaging community, please sign-up for the newsletter: http://www.engaging-project.eu/
Some say disorganized desk (desktop, workspace, company,...) is a sign of creative mind. But ... can you imagine disorganized company (Tesla, BMW, Apple <insert your favourite brand here>) producing high quality products?
Can you imagine disorganized service company (your bank, your ISP, your doctor, Google...) providing top-level services?
Mess is usually a sign of sloppiness, not creativity. Mess is like a virus - it quickly spreads from your desk to your desktop, office, department, the whole company. (Read more ...)
We have prepared some best-practice process models, which can be re-used by your organization:
1. Email management process
The purpose: improve your (or your employees') email handling skills
2. EU project proposal preparation
3. Various BPMN 2.0 process patterns / fragments
Do you want to learn to model it by yourself? Continue here.