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  1. Peter Schooff
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. Tuesday, September 23 2014, 09:48 AM
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As Scott Francis writes here:
Most companies are successful with their first BPM project. They tend to focus on something fairly attainable and have good alignment and staffing for the first project. They get an unmitigated success, but as soon as it goes live, the team that was supposed to get all the learning about BPM and form the core of a Center of Excellence is reassigned to everyday work within the organization. That might be back to their business units or to other applications or support functions in IT. As a result, when the second BPM project comes along, the staff has to be re-incarnated. Often the actors are all new, or mostly new, and you don’t get the benefit of expertise gleaned from the first project.
So how can a company assure that they expand on the success of their first BPM win?
Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
A great skier looks like the flow down the mountain. But in fact it is a set of "linked recoveries". Every time they turn, they have to regain control.

For any company continuous improvement is a set of "linked projects". A skier doesn't do just one turn and then if they are successful, think about the next. Companies should think about a continuous improvement regime or culture, not a single project.
Comment
Great analogy! may I borrow that one with credits? :)
  1. Scott Francis
  2. 2 years ago
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Tim Bryce Accepted Answer
Moving people to other groups is a good idea as they are the "germ carriers" who will help get the word out regarding BPM. What you are looking for is a "snowball" effect until it is a natural part of the corporate culture.
References
  1. http://timbryce.com/bryces-laws/
Comment
The solution to pollution is dilution. One still needs a critical mass left behind or the strain dies off....
  1. George Chast
  2. 2 years ago
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer
tl;dr: it's all about the human capital engaged in BPM efforts.


Again the same reference to BPM as a single project. This is why people get reassigned - not because the project succeeds or fails, but because business leaders think the "BPM project" is over.

Of course, the other extreme way is to keep people in a friggin' steering committee scouring the organization for loose nails that can be driven back into boards with the BPM hammer.

To me, what always worked (though not often enough to grant me special wisdom) is to create a sense of excitment around internal innovation - you need to recruit into the team people that get excited about improving the way other people work, every day. Now, these guys are hard to recruit because, taken at face value, they must be the most boring candidates ever. They are even harder to keep because their long-term-patience-and-holistic kind doesn't survive in today's 5-year-old-attention-span organizations.

Now, before I get fried for saying such ugly things about BPM enthusiasts - let me come out clean and confess that I must be one of them. (there is no other explanation for me being able to read the whole cca 80-page CMMN beta standard from OMG!)
Managing Founder, profluo.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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Michael Lee Accepted Answer
Linking projects as mentioned above is a good idea. Likewise if you have other departments observing as a BPM project unfolds internally it can expose them to the benefits and generate more buy-in and enthusiasm to create those linked projects.

Additionally there needs to be regular analysis on the process once the project is completed- which is a base requirement of continuous improvement. If the project was successful then that should show quite clearly the benefits to everyone involved and create more interest and maintain the momentum.
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Scott Francis Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
On twitter someone (a CTO) commented that re-usable technical assets were they missing ingredient. I guess I understand why he's selling his own book... but to me no technology solves the real organization, social, psychological barriers that can stand in front of progress or in front of building that momentum. And if they could, you'd still want to address the human capital aspects to yield even better results. Appreciate that the answers here have focused on the non-technical dynamics that are in play.
Comment
Scott agree on the technology not solving those barriers BUT actually the enterprise software technology that has evolved over 40 years has created many barriers by not recognising the needs of people and what a mess is out there. This is where BPM principles with good supporting software and now start to engage and empower people back to the basics of how business actually works!
  1. David Chassels
  2. 2 years ago
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E Scott Menter Accepted Answer
Blog Writer
If the first project was such a hit, why break up the band? Well, one reason might be that no champion in a sufficiently elevated position exists to advocate for building on that success. That could be because the first effort was chosen for a high likelihood of success, but did not in and of itself have the kind of visibility that drives others in the organization to start demanding similar results.

The lesson is: for your first project, besides focusing, in Scott's wise words, "on something fairly attainable", make sure it's also something with the visibility and impact to create momentum for future efforts.
http://www.bplogix.com/images/icon-x-medium.png Scott
Comment
And, use that to illustrate the value that could and should be attained elsewhere...
  1. George Chast
  2. 2 years ago
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David Chassels Accepted Answer
It must be all about tangible benefits from the first project that are widely recognised as helping the business. The early adopter users should be encouraged to embrace change and talk about how easy it really is with their colleagues outside their department. However we have found with early adopters over 10 years ago this can be a challenge as without exception all projects were business driven with no IT involvement and they were very "protective" of their departmental processes. The last thing they wanted was their IT department to be involved!

However I see this changing as both business and IT begin to talk the same language which is enabled by the "BPM" discipline. Once this traditional barrier is removed then a whole new world of evolutionary change will start so that first project becomes very important. When early adopters freely "boast" about how their ideas can now be implemented and that old fears of change in systems are removed then should make next projects easier.

I have said this before and will say again because it is very important that before a project starts there should be business understanding of "how" the software actually works to deliver on all required outcomes. This includes the accessing the "legacy mess" for required data in the process. This legacy problem is the biggest challenge now facing most organisations which will of course need IT involvement.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Gary Barnett Accepted Answer
One of the things I talk about a lot with clients is the fact that picking low hanging fruit tells you very little about the skills you need to pick high-hanging fruit. So while "quick wins" and "simple projects" are great ways to introduce BPM to an organization, when you go for things that are higher up the tree (because they're more complex or - particularly - where the process in questions crosses organizational boundaries) you need to acquire a whole new set of skills, mostly around sales and marketing and change management, that weren't all that crucial with the smaller projects.
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Jason Noker Accepted Answer
I think it starts with vision. If you have the proper vision and multi-generation plan from the project inception then when you reach the first deployment it will simply be a "milestone" rather than the conclusion.

The only time I've actually witnessed the phenomenon described is when the champion or visionary leaves. Other than that success typically begets success with the proper vision.
References
  1. https://twitter.com/jnoker
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
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I am with Gary.

The first BPM project is just a proof-of-concept with a simple problem. The second BPM project is (unfortunately often implicit) the first step in project-by-project implementation of your enterprise-wide BPM system (a portfolio of business processes of the enterprise, as well as the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio as a system). Certainly, the first BPM project and next ones must be treated differently to be successful with BPM.

Thanks,
AS
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  1. more than a month ago
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Peter Johnston Accepted Answer
I spy a wealth of old-fashioned sales thinking behind this question. Short-term thinking about completing a project. And making another sale. Step back a second.

To sell effectively you have to get to know the people you are selling to. Understand their needs and the way their business thinks. The dynamic between decision makers, influencers and blockers. How they judge ROI, TCO, Risk and Opportunity. Building that intelligence and those relationships is invaluable.

BPM isn’t about making a sale. It is about building a partnership for continuous improvement.

So if you have done things right you have…
1. Made friends with all the key people in the company and understood their aims and methodologies.
2. Neutralised the real objections and made a dent in the false ones, isolating the objectors.
3. Dismantled user resistance and suspicion of something new.
4. Given people the levers to continue making a difference themselves through data-driven continuous change (embedding you in everyone's minds as a path to success).
5. Tapped into the company and individual metrics and milestones.
6. Understood the end-to-end process (of which your pilot is just a part)

You have hopefully trained quite a number of people in process thinking. Set up a whole network of evangelists within the company.
In their minds (and internal presentations) they are dismantling the silos, moving on from project mentality into continuous change, building intelligence for data-driven improvement and driving collaboration.

Last but not least, you’ve seen where the pain lies and opportunities exist. Where you can make a big difference quickly and where you run the risk of getting mired in complexity. You know enough to create a compelling roadmap.

If you’ve been working on building a partnership, then your problem should be managing the requests, prioritising and co-ordinating the momentum. Top company people should be proposing new areas you could work on, magicking up budgets from nowhere and cosying up to you as the person likely to create their success for them.

If, of course, you’ve treated this as a sale and a project, then you’ve probably been mired in deliverables, budget and time overruns and promise v delivery gaps. You’ve probably failed on at least one count, giving those who want you out all the ammunition they need. You’re just another supplier who doesn't keep his promises. Oh dear.
Dynamic Process
Oxfordshire, UK
+44 (0) 1491 874368
+44 (0) 7590 677232
#dynamic_process
peter@dynamicprocess.uk
Comment
Peter, your use of the word "sale" sounds like similar threads about guns and politics. But, you do hit on some valid points as the others did, too. If sale is a negative action, a point in time to take money for something with little *long term* value, then you would be correct. But, a sale it is when done well, too. Convincing folks that there is significant value to make an exchange. software and services for money, sure. But, more importantly, a New Way for an Old Way. That is a sale - and it is very valuable. You hit on many things that it takes to go deeper and be more lasting.
  1. George Chast
  2. 2 years ago
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 11
George Chast Accepted Answer
I see that we all are describing a good portion of the situation and the problem. The original prompt presupposed an action that destroyed the core team and capability, but I like how everyone really focused on the bigger issues.

Even when clients have had a long list of projects, I have seen them get stuck after one. Even with a core group ready to go, a sound methodology and trained team. And, with a bunch of others who have seen the success asking to be next. But, all without funding or key support. Many of the clients I have worked with to get unstuck were not aware of why they were stuck until we discussed it in detail and sometimes actually whiteboarded an organizational model and relationship maps...

I believe It takes all that you collectively mentioned above:
Successful first project that Delivers Value, has Visibility and is Promoted.
Core business and technical skills available.
A savvy Sponsor to promote the success and a savvy sponsor to fund the future and clear the way organizationally.
The knowledge and skill to make successful proposals to those sponsors to justify their actions.
That takes serious organizational insight - it is not obvious.

To promote a New Way, one has to build agreement in many places.
That takes a balance of the that first proof point, continued Capability, a business case and political consensus.

I have seen the strategic approach trump the tactical, but in those cases, this problem doesn't occur the same way.
I believe tactically building the way one step at a time puts a solid foundation under the strategic and prevents this problem.
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