9 years, 4 months ago

How to Start a BPM Initiative: A Lesson from Early Adopters

Business process management (BPM) initiatives are growing in popularity because thousands of organizations have proven the measurable value BPM can deliver at a lower cost and in a dramatically shorter time than with traditional solution development approaches. Early BPM adopters have achieved an exceptional amount of success in their BPM deployments and there is a lot you can learn from the road they’ve paved.

According to the Forrsights Software Survey, Q4 2010 the of the major drivers for BPM adoption among financial services and insurance companies are

– Optimization of processes (72%)
– Ability to ensure consistent process execution across divisional or geographic barriers (54%)

In the same survey, the biggest drivers from BPM software adoption among public sector and healthcare organizations was the

– Optimization of processes (72%)
– Ability to support compliance efforts (59%)

Regardless of the industry, one fact remains clear – more and more companies are adopting BPM to not just improve day-to-day productivity of workers, but to fully understand and optimize their organizational practices.

For those of you who are new to BPM or are still deciding the right project for deployment, taking the lessons learned from previous organizations is a great place to start.

Choose your first project carefully
Gaining executive buy-in is one of the most challenging first-steps of your BPM adoption. It’s important to do your homework prior to developing your adoption strategy. Take a look at some of the considerations other organizations have developed for their BPM projects see what you can leverage as you begin your own journey toward BPM adoption. For companies with an appetite for change, you should consider selecting a high-visibility, mission-critical process. For others, selecting a troublesome but less mission-critical process is an excellent first project to demonstrate the success and ROI of BPM before the more mission-critical processes are tackled.

Think of BPM as a way to drive change
While it is important to ensure and promote the success of your initial BPM projects, organizations who have achieved the greatest results in their BPM deployments have thought of BPM as a way to drive business change throughout their organizations. If you think about and promote BPM as a way to improve a few key processes or automate a function that cuts out 15% of costs, you aren’t going to get the full value of your investment. From the day-one of your deployment think of BPM as a platform that can transform the way you do business, better respond to business opportunities and a mechanism to support continuous process improvement.

Establish clear metrics to define success
As I said earlier, executive sponsorship is critical. One of the best ways to illustrate the value of BPM is to set clear metrics that define the success of your implementation. By measuring each of your BPM projects, you can communicate and demonstrate the value of BPM to other departments who have yet to automate their specific business processes using BPM.

Develop a meaningful way to access projects value
With multiple projects running independently from each other, it is important to develop a way for users to understand and access the relative value of each of your company’s projects. When you step back from individual projects and get a holistic view of the full-scale of your organizations implementation, you will most likely find that what you thought were multiple BPM applications might actually be better solved by automating a single “big process” with variations for each group or department based on a few unique business rules. This view enables you to deliver more capability, to more users in an even shorter time period. It also drives operational excellence in more areas by leveraging best practices across a larger footprint in the company.

There are thousands of organizations who have transformed the way they do business by leveraging BPM. To learn more about how some organizations have solved complex business problems and achieve significant ROI, check out this success story page. If you have questions about how to start your first BPM initiative, feel free to leave a comment below!

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