What do you think should be the number one BPM priority for a company in the year ahead?
A chance to wheel out my favourite General Patton quote:
> A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.
Applied to BPM I'd recommend that this continues our pursuit of upskilling and empowering business users within an appropriate framework of governance and auditability.
And one more thing: solutions created out of observed data rather than hunch or 'established wisdom' will continue to be disruptive so that empowerment had better have an analytic component.
I would suggest mapping constituent intteractions. I would start with customer Journeys and go from there. This is easier said than done because organizations think their processes are already there. I would guess the results of the mapping would open a few eyes.
I would say the number one priority for companies would be in instilling a process mindset in regular business users. This process mindset is prevalant in I.T. but its prevalance with regular business users is very uneven. Only once regular business users start driving this will organizations start realizing the full potential of BPM.
Part of this involves investing in educational initiatives and the other part involves investing in tools geared towards business users.
I also think the BPM industry needs to do its part in evangelizing the benefits of BPM when driven by business users. (Or at least the part of the BPM industry that believes this :). Obviously vendors that believe this will do some of this evangelizing, but BPM consultants and Lean consultants also have an invaluable role to play here.
Take stock of your systems, evaluate the business processes within them, such as age and deficiencies, and prioritize them for review by management. Also prepare a preliminary cost/benefit analysis on the top 10 or 20 processes. Determine which need modification and which truly need to be rewritten from scratch.
Stop treating BPM as a (periodic) vehicle for automation or proofing compliancy (only). Start seeing BPManagement as the fundamental (knowledge) base where your business (at all times) depends on. Not because of workflow or case. But simply because you KNOW how stuff (dare I say strategy) can get executed in a better and more controlled way.
Anything in life is a process. Without process nothing happens. Control the process better, and you'll change behaviour and outcome. Obviously information, resources (people) and tools (technology) is tightly related here...
I might be acting again the philosopher role here, but hey...
The number one priority is to get rid of the phrase BPM as it currently stands and replace witth Management of Processes for the Business User. Put BPMN in the end user deployment bin and use a notation that can easily define the BPA (Business Process Architecture!).
Start looking at your business from the customer's perspective - what is the CX (customer experience). Think of that as a process and make it leaner and then more consistent across all your teams, offices, locations, channels. Then automate whatver you can to improve responsiveness and compliance
A real example from one of my clients - "Implementing process-centric solutions by us not by the professional services of our BPM-suite tool vendor".
I'm going to cheat by not limiting myself to only one "#1". Sue me.☻
I take it back. The last one is #1.
BPM is proven both as a methodolgoy and solution platform. So find a project. Get started by identifying and classifying improvement opportunities based on likely financial, customer, and strategic benefits. Create and score projects based on benefits (e.g., strategic fit, cost savings) vs effort (e.g., resources, duration, capital investment, risk), and select the candidate with highest value and/or just-do-it potential. Assign project sponsors and teams, gather remaining inputs and outputs, create scope and project charters, and define project plans. Then go do it. Apply lessons learned to the next project. Go from smaller projects to larger projects as team become comfortable and management committed.
Get rid of the Project Methodology.
Done as a project, BPM is costly, disruptive and rarely produces the benefits envisaged. Worst of all, once the project team leaves, that is as good as it gets - as the process need evolves, the process doesn't leaving it trapped in a timewarp.
Take a leaf from the machine learning and lean startup handbooks. Simply create the existing process in your BPM software, then set up a learning and AB testing system which analyses the data the system produces and makes predictions on what works better, then testing those and creating a winner stays on iterative process. Instead of a process which decays, you now have a process which learns and continually optimises and adapts to changes. This system basically gets better every time you use it, eliminating the need for costly project teams to come back in and refresh every few years.
Projects were part of the old, static world, not the new fast-moving one. And if your company still thinks in projects, it is on the way out.