Design Phase – Formulating the Solutions

The purpose of the Design Phase in a BPM project is to identify specific process changes in existing As-Is work flows and corresponding process details, or to determine that a new approach, method of work activity execution, and set of work activities are needed. The next step in design is to document the changes so they can be interpreted by the software developers. If Automation and Re-Design projects are to overlap, the Re-Design project should start at the end of the Automation project Design Phase after manual processes to be automated have been fully documented. Requirements to build new or modified support activities for automated sub-processes should be identified and documented by the end of the Automation project Design Phase.

At the beginning of the Automated project Design Phase, all of the information about automating manual processes should be identified, reviewed, and discussed with Subject Matter Experts (SME's), process owners, stakeholders and users. The Business Process Management Team (BPMT) manager and BPMT members should develop a work schedule. This schedule should identify what information and work products need to be delivered to the customer during each of the remaining Automation project phases as well as for the entire Re-Design project.

Before starting the Automation Implementation Phase, the schedule and the necessary resources needed for implementation should be verified. The Change Management Plan (CMP) must be updated to include information about automation and re-design changes and implementations, planning information, and new process implementation. For example, process changes affecting how employees work together need to be socialized, skills training needs to be identified to fill capability gaps to execute revised or new sub-processes, and any problems or issues concerning sub-processes must be identified and solutions implemented.

Automation "Quick Win" Project Artifacts for Design Phase

The following paragraphs describe how the activities and artifacts are to be initiated, reviewed and changed during the Design Phase for an automation project.


Use verified interview information to update Design Phase artifacts.

Change Management Plan (CMP) (Limited)

Update affected sections based on findings and information resulting from work completed in the Analysis and Design phases. At the end of the Automation Design phase, submit the CMP which is both the plan and report of automation implementations to the customer and to the process re-design analysts.

"As-Is" Work flows

Incorporate changes indicated during the interviewee review. Conduct brief follow-up meeting to document interviewees' concurrence with the "As-Is" work flow diagrams.

Test Plans/Results

Initiate development of the Automation project test plan during the Automation Design phase for what will be tested as well as determining the scope of testing; develop test cases. Incorporate the test plan into the CMP section on new process development that includes documentation on training, transition, and testing by the middle of the Automation project Implementation phase.

Gap Analysis (Limited)

Review any deltas between documented process information and "As-Is" workflow information; address any waivers granted to local organizations to depart from documented process mandates. Base changes to As-Is workflows for To-Be workflows on review of the Automation project Gap Analysis.

IT Implementation Automated Forms Routing/Tracking Portal Upgrades

Identify which manual data entry forms will be automated as well as what information may be missing on those forms. Identify the scope of work to be accomplished to route and track the automated forms as well as cost, schedule, and resources. Identify which portals will be updated (most automated work flows run on a portal such as MS SharePoint), and include that activity in the schedule. Update the CMP planning section with proposed design information.

"To-Be" Work flows

Incorporate information into your "To-Be" work flows from interviews, Requirements Traceability Verification Matrix (RTVM), Gap Analysis, and "As-Is" workflows. Perform process simulations to check logic and process completeness. Update new process information in the CMP. Submit the CMP to the customer by the end of the Automated Design project phase for review.

Training Materials

Update the CMP with training planning information, and new process information before submitting the CMP. Identify the purpose, content, and schedule for training materials analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.

Re-design Project Artifacts for Design Phase

Re-design projects begin the Requirements Phase just after the Automation project Design Phase is completed.


Review the information captured in interviews completed for an Automation project as the starting point for re-interviewing SME's about process functions supporting automated sub-processes.

CMP (Full)

Update the CMP initiated in the Automation project; obtain management approval for process improvements to gain full process capability through the Re-Design project.

"As-Is" Work Flows

Incorporate existing "To-Be" work flows for an automation project into work flows for all process functions. Review resulting "As-Is" work flows with process stakeholders and interviewees to determine if automation work flows are consistent with those of re-designed functions.

Test Plans/Results

Initiate development of the test plan for what will be tested as well as determining the scope of testing; develop test cases. Incorporate the test plan into the CMP by the end of the Re-Design project Design phase.

Gap Analysis (Full)

Review differences between formally prescribed and actual practice, and ensure they are commented for all functions in the target process.

Root Cause Analysis

Review each observed and/or documented process execution problem that is characterized as having an individual effect or aggregated effect on process failure or degradation.

To-Be Work flows

The Re-Design Project includes the work flows in Automation projects plus those work flows representing support activities preceding and succeeding the automated sub-process activities. For this reason, the requirements phase must start after the Automation work flows have been completed and revised. Submit "To-Be" Automation project work flow diagrams to the customer before the end of the Automation design phase.

Process Documentation

"To-Be" work flows must be first documented at an observable and measurable level. Sufficient information must be identified that

Training Materials

Training for Automated processes should be integrated into the Re-Design project training materials. Add specifics concerning the training curriculum and conduct of pilot and live training to the CMP before submitting at end of phase.

Be sure to visit my blog on Business Process Management for more information, references, products, and solutions supporting BPM.