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How to Accelerate Enterprise BPM Projects

Blog: BPM Leader

BPM holds both a promise and anxiety for the Enterprise.
Large companies and public bodies who have not yet migrated to BPM, know that such projects can have a major beneficial impact on their operations and their bottom line.

They also know from their neighbors (other enterprises who have gone this route), that such projects can take several years and be very costly.

Quartermile Edinburgh2015Recently, we’ve seen a few examples of Long-Term, High-Cost BPM projects for enterprises:

So the question is, when facing such a major change, how can the enterprise achieves its goals more quickly, while minimizing the cost of the project? How can it accomplish this without compromising on the types of changes it would like to achieve? Here are four strategies for finding this balance.

Strategy #1 – Adopt a Small Steps, Big Change Approach

Changing your entire business in a day just doesn’t happen when you’re an enterprise. The first step is to start small – begin with processes that are easy to optimize and have a significant impact on the business. Then expand, making improvements to these processes while adding new ones. This small steps, Big Change approach also coincides with human nature, which is naturally averse to change. In this way, users will be gradually brought around to new ways of working, one step at a time. A few steps along the way, looking back, you will see you have achieved a Big Change for the organization.
Tip: Use an Evolutionary BPM project approach – which employs SCRUM methodology within BPM projects. 

Strategy #2 – Choose a BPM Vendor with an Agile Track Record

Some BPM vendors (we will not mention names), have a reputation of massive projects which are very comprehensive in scope, rarely achieve that scope, and whose projects take years and millions (and never seem to end). While it may be tempting to go for a big name, this can end up putting your organization into ‘BPM transition mode’ for a very long time. Instead, consider vendors who have a track record of faster, more agile projects for enterprises. These vendors often bring with them a less glorious vision of a brave new world, yet a much more practical approach to getting your objectives completed within a short time-frame and a reasonable budget.

Strategy #3 – Pick Flexible, Adaptable BPM Software

Many BPM software suites must “take over” your company in order to work. But your organization is deeply ensconced with Legacy systems that simply cannot be replaced overnight, or even within 1-2 years. To achieve a faster solution, look for a BPM software that has out-of-the-box capabilities to integrate with other systems. This software should be as flexible as possible, enabling application designers to stretch and fit it within your very complex existing environment. It should also support ‘Low-Code BPM’, which will give developers and business users the ability to quickly create (and more easily adapt) applications. Being able to make changes along the way and in the future is key.

Strategy #4 – Align Business and IT Every Step of the Way

One of the greatest “fails” of BPM projects is a wide gap between the Business’s vision and IT’s implementation. That’s why it’s important to foster collaboration between both bodies before the project begins, while it is in progress, and after each stage goes live. Include Business stakeholders in as many project meetings as possible. Not just executives, but managers, department heads, and end users. Where possible, have stakeholders sit side by side with IT team members during development itself. This will ensure that what is delivered meets expectations, and will encourage by-in, as the Business feels that it is actually actively part of the creation of the solution.

These are just four basic strategies for a successful, lower cost and rapid BPM transformation. Such projects don’t have to be reserved for small-to-medium sized companies only, but can also be achieved by even the largest enterprises, if they go about their business transformation intelligently.

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