Achieving milestones is usually a result of a winning combination of tactics. Marathoners must rely on customized strategies involving physical and mental conditioning, nourishing diets, and race day plans to achieve their goals. Business process management (BPM) is no different.
We’re thankfully past the point where businesses believed that just purchasing a BPM solution would magically solve all process-related issues for an organization. The reality, as we understand it now, is that multiple elements have to come together in order to make BPM initiatives successful for businesses.
Take a look at some of the critical aspects that need to be checked to create a well-balanced and effective BPM strategy.
The foundational step of BPM is thorough understanding of business processes you wish to improve. You need to know how the hierarchy flows, how processes relate to one another, and finally how all processes work to achieve business goals. The components within each process also have to be crystal clear before you begin making improvements.
If you merely purchase and set up a BPM system without sound process knowledge, you’re setting the initiative up to be chaotic from the start. It is the equivalent of asking someone to drive cross-country without a map or directions.
Many a time businesses believe that BPM is all about designing a perfect system, not to be strayed from at any point in time. Rigid environments like these don’t make room for improving processes. Organizations require flexible systems that foster agility and the ability to effect optimum results when faced with uncertainty.
Lack of performance metrics
Analytics is the driving force behind process improvement. When process performance isn’t measured with relevant KPIs, it can be impossible to tell what needs to be changed within a process to increase efficiency. Lack of data-driven insights results in businesses relying on guesswork. Uninformed decision-making is a waste of precious resources.
Imagine a doctor prescribing random medication without conducting a thorough physical examination and tests. What’s worse, just like random medication is bad for your health, arbitrary BPM decisions can hurt your business.
It’s very common for medium and large companies to fall into a pattern of thinking in silos. This can be detrimental to BPM initiatives since silos don’t provide the complete picture. For process improvement measures to work, they need to be based on a larger perspective.
Lack of Organizational buy-in
Most BPM strategies fail because of a lack of adequate organizational buy-in. If you have one department diligently using the BPM solution, while another continues to employ old ways of working, friction and frustration are guaranteed. For BPM efforts to come to fruition, you need the entire organization pulling in the same direction.
The ideal course of action is to gain buy-in from leadership and teams alike before implementing a BPM solution. Set aside time to convince the organization about the value BPM can bring to the business, outline how you propose to implement it, and list what existing process inefficiencies you hope to eliminate with it. Make sure to back your pitch with relevant, compelling data.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a business user than the feeling that all their work is falling short of lofty BPM ambitions. Two things need to happen to avoid demotivating your teams. First, BPM strategies and software need to be finalized with teams’ specific skill sets and pain points in mind. If they aren’t in alignment, the chances of achieving your business goals are slim to none.
Second, end users need to be trained adequately to be able to adapt to new ways of working and complying with directions. Training can also help address any reservations teams may have about the changes.
While the elements described above are not an exhaustive list, they are crucial to ensuring that you get the most out of your process improvement efforts.
Like training for a distance run, BPM requires a long-term approach that focuses on incremental improvements rather than pipe dreams of sky-high ROI overnight. It yields best results when the entire organization is invested in the initiative. BPM is a way of working rather than a one-time adventure.