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Change or Die – How to Facilitate Business Process Improvement (Manual) ships from Amazon and other fine book sellers. Hence, tt feels good and has the right girth, not too thick and not too thin. Therefore, if your organization recognizes opportunities to improve, this book details a proven method, built upon the consensual technique of shared development and ownership.

Extracted from “Change or Die: The Business Process Improvement Manual,” published by CRC Press, the Taylor and Francis Group.

Change or Die summarizes the developments that occur during the first phase of a Business Process Improvement project (BPI). The method described builds upon multiple, facilitated workshops. Therefore, for workshop agendas, tools, and details, refer to the book, pages 167 to 171.


The Business Process Improvement Manual

The Manual – How to Facilitate Business Process Improvement

Business Process Improvement (BPI) Planning

Companies and organizations make large investments in the development of strategic plan. For example, the market rate for professional support services to help develop strategic plans may cost four percent of the investment sums sought to support the plan, sometimes more. Over the years, we too have developed templates that we use repeatedly, to bring about consistent results. Hence, we use facilitated workshops to extract information and build consensus from senior management about their articulated hopes for the organization.

The strategic plan reflects understanding of why, what, how, and when the client wants to do, how much it will cost, and the estimated return on monies invested. The strategic planning document is a clear statement of the organization’s intent and should be used to benchmark performance.

The BPI strategic plan crystalizes executive sanction before the business process improvement project can move ahead and transition from the process examination team to the implementation team.

The process examination team’s process improvement plan provides clear communication to senior management about the team’s intention for the business process improvement project as a whole, and specifically as to how it supports the organization’s strategic initiatives.

Now is the time to sell the project to the executive team, receive their approval, and release the resources needed for completing a successful project.

Purpose of the Business Process Improvement Plan

Business process improvement provides a reference point against which the process examination team will be evaluated. The business process improvement plan also provides a synopsis of what the BPI team(s) has been working on. The document legitimizes the critical nature of the proposed business process improvement project.

Now is the team’s first and primary opportunity to sell the project. For success the team must:

BPI Phase One Check-Off

BPI Phase One Check-Off

  • Be prepared to defend the tables, statements, and figures presented.
  • Document known assumptions.
  • Ensure that others can audit their transparent methods and results.
  • Establish the accuracy of the data.
  • Include charts and tables.
  • Plan carefully.
  • Prepare an oral presentation with visual supplements for management.
  • Sell the project—your organization’s future may just depend on it.
  • Solicit support from the project sponsor.

Business Process Improvement Plan Elements

The business process improvement plan is the process examination team’s last action item before the project transitions to the implementation team. A culmination of the team’s findings and decisions, the business process improvement plan includes:

Executive Summary

Create a snapshot of the project that will capture the imagination of the executives. Therefore, concisely state why the project is critical and the results that will be created by its completion. Hence, include the project costs and expected return on the investment. Consequently, bear in mind that the executive summary may be all that an executive has time to read, so the summary serves as the deciding factor of whether the project gets approved or not.

The Problem

Business process improvement is either in response to or in anticipation of a changing environment. The reader needs to identify with and believe that the problem is real and that the organization’s ability to meet its goals and objectives will be compromised if the problem goes unresolved.

State the pain that the process causes to the stakeholders and why it needs to be stopped. Process measurements and workflows provide evidence of what is wrong with the existing process.

The Solution

Develop a lofty purpose for the business process improvement project. Therefore, state HOW and WHY the business process improvement project will resolve the problems identified.

Resources Needed

The project budget shows the investment needed and by type of expense. Therefore, clearly stated the return on the investment made and the period for the returns. Consequently, include the assumptions that went into the number crunching.

The Process

Codify the reasons why the particular process was selected for improvement. Demonstrate that an auditable and transparent methodology was used for the selection of the process to be improved, and include the results of the analysis.

Vision, Goals, and Objectives

Paint a picture of the future process; what it will look like, and how it will assist the organization achieve its strategic objectives. Therefore, include the vision, goals, and objectives of the business process improvement project and align them to the organization’s vision.

SWOT Analysis

Strengthen the argument for the process vision, goals, and objectives by showing how strengths and opportunities accommodate the vision. Consequenlty, determine how the weaknesses and the impact of threats will be reduced, converted, or eliminated by the project.

Project Implementation Team

Explain the remit of the implementation team and how and why the members were selected. Explain the selection criteria and present the implementation team charter.


From the Risk Register highlight the risks with the highest probabilities for impacting the project, and explain the mitigation/ elimination strategies. Summarize the change management plan and the stakeholder analysis and include them with the strategies.


Highlight the opportunities that successful business process improvement presents. Therefore, identify any opportunities that have been taken advantage of thus far, such as the quick wins discussed earlier.


Include the updated project budget and highlight the critical costs. Hence, show the basis of the project rate of return and the payback period.

Next Steps

Present an updated project plan and give an overall view of the next steps and the estimated dates. Highlight the key activities such as business process improvement plan acceptance by management, implementation team training, process design, project testing and implementation, and project completion.


Here provide a review and wrap-up of all the above. Do not introduce new information during the conclusion. All members of the process examination team and implementation teams need to sign off on the document (literally obtain signatures) showing commitment and buy-in of its contents.


Change or Die provides a life cycle approach on how to facilitate business process improvement within 250 pages of primary text. Hence, both print and electronic editions come with another 100 pages of workshop agendas, tools, and activities. The print edition contains a CD containing with over 100 tables and templates in electronic form. Therefore, the nominal investment will probably pay for itself within the first hour or two of your perusal.

MG RUSH alumni will recognize some proven tools (eg, Guardian of Change) and some new activities to stimulate group performance. Consequently, the workshop agendas have been stress tested with other clients and are proven to work.

Our publisher, Productivity Press, represents an imprint of the publishing house, CRC Press that operates as the science and technology book division of the Taylor & Francis Group.  Established in 1783 in the United Kingdom, we are fortunate to be associated with one of the longest established publishers in the history or printing. Taylor & Francis Group is now the academic publishing arm of Informa plc.

Maxine Attong (co-author, MG RUSH alumnae, resident of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) may be found around the world signing copies at various conferences. You can’t miss her world-class smile. Terrence Metz (co-author, MG RUSH alumni, lead instructor, and facilitative leadership curriculum developer) may be found elsewhere hosting MG RUSH classes. Hence. either will gladly sign a copy for you and discuss questions you may have about deriving value from our team approach on how to facilitate business process improvement.


Don’t ruin your career or reputation with bad meetings. Register for a class or forward this to someone who should. Taught by world-class instructors, MG RUSH  professional facilitation curriculum focuses on practice. Each student thoroughly practices and rehearses tools, methods, and approaches throughout the week. While some call this immersion, we call it the road to building impactful facilitation skills.

Our courses also provide an excellent way to earn up to 40 SEUs from the Scrum Alliance, 40 PDUs from PMI, and 40 CDUs from IIBA, as well as 3.2 CEUs for other professions. (See individual class descriptions for details.)

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Facilitation Expert

Terrence Metz, CSM, PSPO, CSPF, is the Managing Director of MG RUSH Facilitation Training and Coaching, the acknowledged leader in structured facilitation training. His FAST Facilitation Best Practices blog features over 300 articles on facilitation skills and tools aimed at helping others lead faster, more productive meetings and workshops that yield higher quality decisions. His clients include Agilists, Scrum teams, program and project managers, senior officers, and the business analyst community among numerous private and public companies and global corporations. As an undergraduate of Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and MBA graduate from NWU’s Kellogg School of Management, his professional experience has focused on process improvement and product development. He continually aspires to make it easier for others to succeed.

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