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OMB Project Management

The OMB Project Management Unit will provide project management support services and operations consulting in response to either management direction or negative performance management results. The unit will follow the two models described below depending on the requirements for change.

Business Process Improvement

Improving business processes is paramount for leading organizations to stay effective in today's public sector environment. Over the last 10 to 15 years, leading organizations have been forced to improve their business processes because of technological advances, customer demand for high quality services, and the increased need to be both cost effect and time efficient due to fiscal and service delivery constraints. Many organizations begin business process improvement with a continuous improvement model. This model attempts to understand and measure the current process, and make performance improvements accordingly.

The figure below illustrates the basic steps in the process. Beginning by documenting current processes, establishing a methodology to measure the process based on customer needs, carry out the process, measure the results, and then identify improvement opportunities based on the data you collected. Process improvements are then implemented, and the performance of the new process measured. This loop repeats itself, and is know as continuous process improvement.

Continous Process Improvement Model

Document
Current
Process
Establish
Measures
Follow
Process
Measure
Performance
Identify and
Implement
Improvements

This method for improving business processes is effective to obtain gradual, incremental improvement. However, over the last 10 years several factors have accelerated the ability to improve business processes. The most obvious is technology. New technologies (like the Internet) are rapidly bringing new capabilities to leading organizations, thereby raising the standard on which each is measured.

As a result, leading organizations have sought out methods for faster business process improvement. Moreover, they want breakthrough performance changes, not just incremental changes, and they want it now. Because the rate of change has increased for everyone, few organizations can afford a slow change process. One approach for rapid change and dramatic improvement that has emerged is Business Process Reengineering (BPR).

Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

BPR relies on a different school of thought than continuous process improvement. In the extreme, reengineering assumes the current process is irrelevant - it doesn't work, it's broke, forget it. Start over. Such a clean slate perspective enables the designers of business processes to disassociate themselves from today's process, and focus on a new process. In a manner of speaking, it is like projecting yourself into the future and asking yourself: what should the process look like? What do my customers want it to look like? What do other employees want it to look like? How do best-in-class organizations do it? What might we be able to do with new technology?

Such an approach is pictured below. It begins with defining the scope and objectives of your reengineering project, then going through a learning process (with your customers, your employees, leading organizations in your field, your competitors and non-competitors, and with new technology). Given this knowledge base, you can create a vision for the future and design new business processes. Given the definition of the "future" state, you can then create a plan of action based on the gap between your current processes, technologies and structures, and where you want to go. It is then a matter of implementing your solution.

Breakthrough Reengineering Model

Scope
Project
Learn From
Others
Create
Future
Process
Plan
Transition
Implement

In summary, the extreme contrast between continuous process improvement and business process reengineering lies in where you start (with today's process, or with a clean slate), and with the magnitude and rate of resulting changes.