There’s an old military adage that says, “No plan survives contact with the enemy”.
BPM strategies are not very different. They look very effective when they are freshly designed. When put into practice, however, the story can tend to change dramatically. Obstacles and slowdowns show up quickly like in the wonderful old Super Mario video game.
Is there a way to prevent BPM plans from going up in smoke?
What your organization needs is a periodic course correction. That’s not to say that you should overhaul your entire BPM strategy once a month. But timely interventions can ensure that your business keeps growing in the way you hoped.
Here are some helpful ways to redefine your BPM practice.
Re-evaluate your BPM strategy and software
Comparing the current level of progress with the original plan of action on a cyclical basis is always good practice. Evaluate the strategy as well as the BPM software used for implementation. The cornerstone of BPM is to measure and make continuous improvements to processes.
When re-evaluating BPM strategy, start by measuring the gap between the desired state and current state. Once the difference is clear, identify the obstacles that are preventing proper functioning. Classify them into technology-based obstacles and people-centric obstacles so that the plan to resolve them begins to get clearer.
When re-evaluating BPM software, some useful questions to ask are:
Is the software as intuitive as expected?
Are workflows customizable to the degree that you require?
Is the software offering enough visibility into processes?
Are data security controls offered adequate?
Are hidden costs cropping up after implementation?
Check in with your people
People are an important part of efficient processes. Ensure that you spend adequate time interviewing or surveying employees as well as customers. The idea is to understand the impact that BPM software is having with internal as well as external stakeholders.
You can learn specifically:
if the improvement in processes is translating to any change in customer satisfaction;
what the customers are looking for and if the processes are currently designed to deliver the same;
whether the BPM software is making functions easier for employees or adding to complexity; and
whether the appointed champions are observing adoption resistance on the floor and their suggestions to overcome the same.
Integrate technological advancements
The BPM industry is headed for significant technological advancement in the coming years. Artificial intelligence powered workflow management, robotic process automation, no-code BPM software, and chatbots are poised to transform the process management landscape.
While it’s not advisable to take a purely technology-driven approach to BPM (ignoring the people factor in your processes can derail your BPM goals), keeping up with developments is a necessity. Wherever pertinent, adapt your BPM plans to include new technology and practices to get the most out of it. Choose to be an early adopter rather than a straggler.
Train your teams
Adequate training is an important way to ensure that your teams are prepared and motivated for change. Create and update in-depth training resources that are easily accessible by everyone. With new employees, it’s good practice to schedule interactive training sessions for greater clarity. Remember also to include training for experienced employees with every upgrade in BPM software.
A digital workplace approach
Fragmentation is a serious consequence of the multitudes of productivity apps available today. Employees are known to lose large chunks of time while switching between apps and trying to access information from various platforms in use. The apps become a hindrance to productivity rather than facilitating it.
The best way to counter this situation is by adopting a digital workplace approach. A unified platform that can handle structured and unstructured workflow management, collaboration, and communication is more likely to foster efficiency and minimize resource wastage. A well-designed digital workplace looks at operational efficiency from a larger perspective and weaves together all the disparate parts of the organization.
Aside from following best practices to get the most out of your BPM efforts, consider implementing the tactics mentioned above for an extra edge. Merely creating a static plan and hoping for the best is not going to cut it. Much like a battle plan, BPM needs constant monitoring and adapting for desired outcomes.