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BPM Adoption Strategy: Top-Down or Bottom-Up?

Blog: BPM Leader

While discussing with a colleague of mine last week, this topic again came back to fore. We were talking about ‘the other side of the story’ (grass is always greener on the other side :-)) I was thinking about penning my thoughts on the topic for quite sometime, however, after the discussion, I thought of finishing it.

BPM adoption strategy - top-down or bottom-upWhile there are lot of BPM implementations going on, if we try and segregate them, we can identify a pattern. The implementations and the organizations which deploy them, can be fitted onto a BPM adoption strategy. The strategies can be either top-down or bottom-up!

Let’s try and quickly understand what that means.


Difference between top-down and bottom-up

When an organization and its leadership identifies and realizes that Automation and BPM can help solve important business problems, they make the push. They help identify relevant and first use cases, secure funding, line-up relevant products/ tools to start, arrange for time from SMEs/ Process experts. That is a top-down BPM adoption approach.

The other approach is bottom-up. In many organizations, some line managers/ LOB Leads are more entrepreneurial than others. They face a problem and they try to solve it without looking at ‘corporate’ for a yes. When an implementation partner comes in and says that they can help solve the problem with BPM, they feel empowered and move forward. In these cases, the biggest bottleneck is availability of budget and sustainability of success. They typically have only a few relevant but small use cases. Problems can be how to secure time from SMEs, how to secure funding for next set of use cases, and how to identify other use cases.

While we would all have read/ known articles around benefits from the customers’ perspective, I would like to discuss them from a different perspective – The Implementation Partner’s point-of-view :-)


Top-down BPM adoption strategy

Pros for Partners:

Cons for Partners:

Bottom-up BPM adoption strategy

Pros for Partners:

Cons for Partners:

Given the situations explained above, both approaches will exist together. Sometimes a third combination also comes in, when an organization moves from a bottom-up towards a top-down BPM adoption strategy, or reverse.

Food for thought

Some really interesting situations pop up like when in a bottom-up approach, another LOB brings in another small bottom-up tool. Or when a bottom-up tool is working and another top-down tool comes in. What happens in those situations?

While we have seen both kind of implementations, can we reach a generalist model on when, which type of implementation model will work?

Another question that comes to mind is – To what extent should organizations and partners be ready to invest in competency building for a bottom-up approach?

Happy to discuss and hear views across all experts here!!

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The post BPM Adoption Strategy: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? appeared first on BPM Leader.

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