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BPM Program Implementation – An Important Checklist for Success

Blog: Business Process Management (BPM) InSights - Ian Louw

Since the emergence of Business Process Management (BPM), organisations adopting it have had a wide variety of experiences – some successful and others less so. Some would argue that because BPM is so amorphous that any project is considered to be analogous to ‘boiling the ocean’ and therefore the outcomes may vary from exceptionally successful to, in some cases, disastrous.

Typical challenges that often cause concerns during a BPM initiative include:

As a management consultant and a BPM practitioner, I have been through many situations in which I have helped organisations implement new BPM initiatives and turn around less successful projects. My experience in handling such challenges has allowed me to identify the specific characteristics of a successful BPM project.

The three main steps that can help ensure the success of BPM projects  are:

o  Educate IT and business teams about BPM fundamentals

o  Align stakeholders/ departments on initiative scope & priorities

o  Have a clear understanding of the business problem as it relates to business objectives

o  Identify a ‘Candidate’ process for the first project

o  Ensure business case and define KPIs for improvement

o  Ensure  there is business participation in all phases of the project

o  Ensure team composition has a well balanced mix of IT, process  and business user representation and expertise

o  Ensure business transformation supersedes technology goals

o  Select suitable technology platforms (Process/Rules/Integration/UI/BAM)

o  Agree upon and adopt suitable BPM methodology & standards. Don’t adopt a Big Bang approach! Iterative approach ensures ‘Quick Wins’

o  Ensure BPM design and architecture are scalable and built for change

o  Have clear metrics to ensure that the outcomes can be appropriately measured

o  Identify the roadmap with prioritised follow on opportunities

Adopting these guidelines will allow businesses to have better control over their ability to drive business change rather than react to changes placed upon them. IT will also have more flexibility to integrate existing systems that deliver solutions which are in line with business needs and end user expectations.

As new iterations of the same process or new processes are brought onboard, a momentum is created and what started out as a tactical solution becomes a strategic and dynamic process platform. In addition, the various systems that are currently used to deliver a silo capability to the various functions inside each of the organisation’s divisions can be exposed to other divisions (if appropriate) and therefore improve IT reuse and drive consistent working practices across the organisation.

I would be keen to hear your experiences and lessons learnt while implementing BPM programs.

Originally posted July 2011 @ my Virtusa blog.

Tagged: BPM Best Practice, BPM Resources, Business Process Management, Business transformation, Enterprise application integration, ROI

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