Establishment of a Central Process Governance Organization combined with Operational Process Improvements: Insights from a BPM Project at a leading Telecommunications Operator in the Middle East

Christian Czarnecki

Situation faced: Because of customer churn, strong competition, and operational inefficiencies, the telecommunications operator ME Telco (fictitious name due to confidentiality) launched a strategic transformation program that included a Business Process Management (BPM) project. Major problems were silo-oriented process management and missing cross-functional transparency. Process improvements were not consistently planned and aligned with corporate targets. Measurable inefficiencies were observed on an operational level, e.g., high lead times and reassignment rates of the incident management process.

Action taken: The project was structured into three phases. First, countermeasures were identified and planned based on an analysis of the current situation. Second, a new organizational unit responsible for a central BPM was established and equipped with BPM methods and tools. Based on the reference model enhanced Telecom Operations Map (eTOM), a companywide process framework was defined. A process ownership model linked the central governance with the execution. As a pilot implementation, the incident management was improved on an operational level. The project was accompanied by continuous communication and training. Third, the project results were monitored and transferred to daily operations.

Results achieved: Quantitative performance improvements in the incident management process were achieved, such as reducing the average lead time from 13.0 days to 3.6 days. Those results confirmed the BPM artifacts that were developed. All of the artifacts (methods, tools, process framework, and process models) were officially accepted and communicated. The new BPM department was staffed with eight employees. The process ownership was implemented through nominations of responsible persons. In total 290 employees were trained in the new BPM methods and operational process changes. A company-wide repository was introduced that contains the process framework and all detailed process models.

Lessons learned: (1) Process content is an important success factor in a BPM implementation. (2) Process ownership requires consideration of the various BPM elements. (3) Early involvement of stakeholders from top management to the operational level is essential for successful implementation. (4) Customization of reference models requires a transparent approach to decision making. (5) General BPM governance and methods are important for an operational process improvement.

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