With significant changes to securities regulations coming into effect this fall, the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) has turned to a business process management tool to help it gain visibility into more than 45 business
processes across the organization.
As an independent government agency the BCSC is responsible for regulating securities trading in the province, from reviewing financial disclosures and approving applications for initial public offerings to investigating and prosecuting complaints.
Over time, BCSC project leader Loring Bohach said different departments have developed their own tactical solutions for different business processes, using everything from Word documents and Excel spreadsheets to MS Access and SQL databases. While it worked within each department, there was no common platform or strategy across the organization.
“”We were using a lot of different technologies to track work in progress,”” said Bohach. “”We wanted to have one common platform that all our departments could use to track work with visibility and transparency.””
With the changes in securities regulations meaning significant changes to a number of business processes, Bohach said the time was right to select a common generic tool for use across the organization.
After analyzing their business processes internally and mapping out 45 of them, Bohach said they identified the common elements and built a shopping-list of the things they needed in a general workflow management platform. After talking with a number of major players in the BPM space they selected BizFlow from Vienna, Va.-based HandySoft Global Corp.
“”They provided a rich feature set, and while we’re not a large organization we do need to build-in a lot of complexity in how we manage processes,”” said Bohach. “”BizFlow had that rich feature set and the functions we were looking for at an attractive price point.””
Bohach said an important factor was also BizFlow’s easy integration with their existing document management system.
A number of business processes have already been rolled-out with BizFlow, and more will be added over time. A key part of the project is introducing a better set of measurements and key performance indicators that are consistent across the organization.
“”Process improvement will be ongoing and processes will change based on business factors, both internally and externally,”” said Bohach. “”It’s really a long-term program we’ll be following to improve business processes within the BCSC.””
HandySoft COO Stuart Claggett said before BizFlow, when documents were passed around by hard copy or e-mail, someone wanting to check the status of a file would have to run around or call people. Now, he said anyone with the proper rights can look and see where a file is in the review process, who has it, how long they’ve had it, and the future steps needed.
With BizFlow the deadlines can be built into the rules for that file, and when it looks like deadlines may be missed alerts can be sent so the appropriate people can take action to make sure the file is completed on deadline.
When implementing a BPM solution, Claggett said it is much a human resources and training challenge as it is an IT challenge. In the case of the BCSC, Claggett estimated 50 per cent of their time was spent on change management and process exploration, and the other 50 per cent on the actual design and testing of processes.
“”When bringing business process management into a company it is a change management exercise,”” said Claggett. “”People are used to moving things around by e-mail, you have to force them to become comfortable working with work lists, taking their task and working it through the system.””