What they most of the time get wrong is failing to understand it's all about improving the skills and capacity of organizing and see this as a strategic capability. See also the reactions (Charles Rosenbury) at Linkedin on sharing the previous BPM.COM question:
"Rebranding a "pile of horse manure" into a "fudge brownie" does not change either of them. A CEO should NOT CARE about a process. If your CEO cares about processes, you have a more serious problem. If you are trying to sell a CEO on process work, you are making the wrong sale. The CEO should care about whether his strategy is working. Somewhere down in the lower levels, people should be figuring out the best process. Only when processes either don't work, or provide an opportunity for significant ROI, should they be mentioned at all at the senior level"
"A CEO should -at the very minimum- support other layers regarding process; after all it's about executing the strategy. Clearing up the middle management fog is a big part of that IMO. The CEO needs to focus on the big WHY, and this basic question needs to cascade all the way down to whatever activity is being conducted to execute & support the strategy. But that's not how a lot of people look at process (or BPM for that matter) :-)."
I suppose there is some difference depending on the size of the company. But I would maintain that if the CEO is really caring about the process. Something is wrong. The CEO should care that process is done right. In other words, he should care about the capability of process improvement as a strategic capability. That is different than caring about the process.
Ah, there it is and I then agreed ont the "he should care about the capability of process improvement as a strategic capability"
Voila. That's what a lot of companies get wrong IMO.
Not taking a holistic approach, diving straight into a specific solution and not taking a step back up and out of the weeds as to how it's done now, why and what it is they're actually trying to accomplish, achieve.
I think Patrick on the button. Question is why has business lost that simple step by step view? Yes I put blame on IT failure to address the people needs. The power of processing systems being imposed on people with management believing the promises from vendors that all will be well; ERP the biggest culprit....! Now the light is being switched on as digital focuses on the user with recognition this requires a refocus to outside in which forces the step by step discipline = rise of BPM?
As I have said before business and accountants in particular must regain control to bring back assurance not just that there is a clear path on just how data is created but also bringing empowerment to all users for a better experience. This includes active participation in contributing to new ways the process can achieve better outcomes.
The technology of business process is a huge opportunity waiting to be discovered.
What's wrong ("wrong" is so harsh!) is that business process is not seen as something special.
All too often business process is defined in a way that is difficult to distinguish from much of the MBA curriculum.
Sure there are governance issues, e.g. who owns O2C, "order to cash" end-to-end? But the fact that there is specific meaning and content to process, and specific meaning and content especially to business process technology, is not generally accepted.
Business process is too often a mantra for good feelings about being systematic at work. Sort of like "excellence". And then we miss the opportunity and our practices devolve to folk management culture. Not a bad thing for sure, but not the best. And instead of rationality and transparency we have various sub-optimal atlernatives, ranging from muddling through to managerial heroism.
So, there's a world to win. And a thousand processes to earn. And business models to make explicit as the sum of live business processes. Whereever business processes hide, in ERP, in situational apps, explicitly in modeled BPM, they are all waiting for management to step up.
Implementing some explicit and machine-executable processes is not the end. This is the beginning of managing by processes. For example:
Please feel free to continue this list.
"What do companies most often get wrong about processes today?" - depends on how they were introduced to processes.
What works best in b2b is a notion that processes provide guidelines for operational initiatives and that managers' principal focus needs to be on objectives.
Note that in CPM (once- through, deterministic) the process is the project. (i.e. get to the end and you have met the objectives).
For b2b where there is a mix of structured/unstructured work we have no place to park objectives plan-side.
Here, the Case, the consolidating account code, the ROI, or the initiative (to avoid categorizing all work as Case Management) is where objectives need to be parked and the main operational focus goes from managing processes/process fragments to managing objectives.
One example of things skewing off to bad places is over-obsessiveness with e.g. "continuous process improvement"
All improvements are disruptive, so the more important of these reasonably need ROIs/SROIs, completely with statements of risk and uncertainty. Too long a return, too high a cost, and the initiative should not be authorized/approved. Secondly, we know that over-tweaking eventually brings you to a state of instability, so, process improvement, yes, but not roving hammer-carrying analysts looking for nails.
Another example of getting to bad places is the belief that a mapped out paper process is adequate for guiding the performance of complex work. Not so.
What do companies most often get wrong about processes today? They (companies) ignore the laws of BPM, see ref1.