Brand Management

Dejana Marich on Business Process Redesign: Effective Project and Change Management

Dejana Marich possesses a unique talent in successfully guiding organizations through business process redesign (BPR). It entails the careful implementation of new processes, systems, and integrations, which in turn demands robust project management and effective change management.

Project Management in BPR

The implementation of new systems and processes is likely to result in cost savings and overall productivity gains. However, implementing a full process redesign is a massive undertaking. While the process upgrade may notably improve a company’s bottom line, there are many moving parts to be mindful of to ensure the implementation success.

Project management ensures that companies follow best practices and drive for optimal results through the project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closure phases. Project management conceptualizes how the process redesign will go and unpack every task required to get from points A to B. Having a thorough understanding of task dependencies, and which may be performed in tandem, is crucial to the success of a project.

Project managers set milestones, provide status updates to project sponsors and leadership teams, and oversee teams, schedules, resources, and budgets. Resources must be appropriately distributed, and effective resource allocation considers the working hours, costs, and even potential delays that may occur during the project’s lifecycle. Unforeseen challenges must be addressed and mitigated effectively to avoid major setbacks and losses.

According to Dejana Marich, effective project management further entails tracking the project’s progress by focusing on the team, schedule, and budget, and proactively responding to potential threats. Any unforeseen delays must be adequately communicated to work teams and managers in a timely manner. Possible mitigations may include reallocating resources, pivoting, and rethinking interim and long-term solutions. A lack of appropriate oversight may result in less time to complete successive tasks if time is lost on one stage or component of the project.

Change Management in BDR

Dejana Marich explains that strong change management is also critical for successful project implementation, as it helps to ease the impact that change can have on organizations, employees, and customers. In short, change management helps to steer the project clear of human errors. When organizations ignore the importance of change management, major critical issues can occur and prevent project deliverables. Process overhauls are often taxing, and as pieces of the project become more complex and intensive, it can be easy for project managers and stakeholders to become overwhelmed. Change management focuses on these human factors that affect business process redesign and helps to prepare employees for significant changes by building shared trust among work teams and managers.

Change management processes establish urgency for business changes, raise awareness across the organization, build a guiding coalition, and form a strong strategic vision. Key ongoing activities include identifying essential resources, enlisting change champions, enabling action, removing obstacles, sustaining momentum, celebrating wins, and monitoring the project effectively. Change management plans are developed during the project’s planning stage and outline critical milestones and deliverables across various stakeholder groups.

The initial stage of change management plans identifies core leaders who will create a sense of urgency and compelling vision for change so that top-to-bottom awareness occurs throughout the entire enterprise. It ensures that all employees are clear with what will occur, how, and when, and that they feel comfortable and are supportive, as opposed to feeling worried or uninformed.

A critical next step in change management is identifying best practices for ensuring people’s readiness through pre-go-live, go-live, and post-go-live communication, training, and organizational structuring. Most of the time, employees will either be learning new technical skills or ways of executing their duties. Work team functions will typically be different, and new technologies will change how it is accomplished. Dejana Marich highlights that the long-run benefits will significantly offset the slower start time that will likely be accompanied by training and thus lower productivity as workers adapt.

The go-live structure requires project managers to have the vital roles filled, teach each employee the new process flow, and ensure that potential procedural and technological glitches have been fine-tuned. The feedback loop between managers, employees, and customers is critical from the moment that the new business process is underway. Team members must feel safe to share feedback, and methods of incorporating constructive feedback should be in place. With the proper training, communication, and check-in meetings in place, leaders will be able to glean critical information for improvements moving forward and achieve optimal success. After the go-live structure is implemented, business owners must continue with monitoring and follow-up meetings.

Dejana Marich concludes that optimal organizational success is feasible alongside the proper change and project management expertise. While BDR can be an intimidating prospect, its long-term benefits vastly outweigh the short-term ramp-up challenges.

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