I was recently observing a conversation around 5 costly mistakes of BPM. All the typical candidates fell out of the wood work – lack of vision, ownership, etc, many of those that impact the success of any change within an organisation. The conversation also seemed a little theoretical but it got me thinking. I started to focus on factors that may relate to organisations taking a BPM approach as opposed to general project or change success. So I thought I would come out with a few of my own based on observations in the field, and where I think they point to a pattern of behaviour which goes wider than one unique moment. Things that pertain particularly to a business conscientiously taking a continuous improvement strategy/holistic view of process management.
First of all I have seen organisations ‘get it’, see the benefits of a BPM approach, invest in a partner and technology, set a course of change well communicated to the organisation, and then organise the practical steps of engagement in a typical way. Let me provide some examples.
One organisation created a series of steering teams to deliver process improvements across the business. Most of the ingredients to success were present, aside from each teams representation being based on existing functional and application silos. Process improvement had its own steering team. Process improvement was immediately peripheral and its influence slowly got sidelined and de-emphasised, original business objectives became watered down and a series of functional optimisation projects ensued within each department. For me, teams should have been based on the key business processes that ran across each department and process improvement should have been the first item on the agenda, not a separate responsibility.
Also, organisations engage partners/vendors who don’t ‘think’ or ‘deliver’ process. By vendor, let’s not think of that as a homogenous entity. It’s no good talking to the sales organisation in process terms and then having a series of consultants turn up who just know how to install and configure an application. The vendor needs to be ‘process thinking’ all the way through. Why is this important? Well because if you’re thinking ‘increased customer service’ and your vendor is thinking ‘configure a customer record’ will they add value and ultimately deliver this business result? This is where I think PA stands out in the pack; process is in the bloodstream.
I have many others but they can wait for separate posts. Please do comment, there are plently more mistakes to avoid.