1. Peter Schooff
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. BPM Discussions
  4. Thursday, 04 April 2019
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Employee experience is all the rage these days. Would you say BPM is central to providing the highest level of employee experience?
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I don't know if it's central to the experience, but I know it can play a key role. Many of the processes in companies are painful for employees to use and can impact their opinion of the organization and their own role. Either they don't know what to do or they are told to follow a manual/poorly designed process that wastes time and makes them wonder if management really understands (or cares) what's going on in the trenches. We've written on the impact of the process automation side of BPM along with a few scenarios.

You can absolutely give employees a better experience by using BPM practices: reduced stress and confusion, positive perception of the organization, focus, improved productivity, higher job satisfaction.
  1. https://www.integrify.com/blog/posts/5-tasks-5-systems-sad-reality-employee-self-service/
Going with the Flow at Integrifyintegrify.com
Re: "painful for employees to use"

I wonder if your observation is the processes themselves are awkward or, is it the run-time UI that is the problem?

i.e. many possible reasons
1) the processes were designed by others
2) the employees contributed to the as-is, made comments, but no one then improved the processes
3) new employees do not have adequate training - . the old guard are OK with the processes but new hires need training
4) The UI is what is making things awkward
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Is BPM key to providing the Highest level of Employee Experience?

Yes and No. . . .

Yes, in that BPM encourages/facilitates streamlining of steps and a BPMs can auto-post steps that showcase context-situation-appropriate data display/data collection forms but can also accommodate one-click access to "How To" text,images,video recordings -> Good employee experience

No, in that ACM/BPM accommodates ad hoc insertions (i.e. processes of one step each), as additions to structured steps or replacement of structured steps, thereby reducing rigidity. -> Best employee experience
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The intersection between employee experience and BPM isn't limited to the UI.

Digital process automation has always had the side effect of reducing the day-to-day friction of getting things done. If you process loan applications, you don't want to spend half your day printing and scanning—and the rest trying to keep track of the flow of paper across your desk. If you're a property inspector, you don't enjoy the part of your job that involves re-keying your handwritten notes into one or more municipal records systems. And no matter who you are, your experience as an employee is not enhanced by:

  • Chasing down the status of the expense reimbursement request you submitted two weeks ago
  • Listening to your customer complain that this is the fifth time they've had to explain their issue to somebody
  • Getting lectured by the boss because an important assignment slipped through the cracks

Employee engagement is driven by employee experience; in turn, the latter relies on immediate access to the status, context, and records each worker needs in order to do their job. By way of BPM platforms, digital process automation is the vehicle that delivers that information reliably, and at the moment it's needed.
Scott's opinions only. Logo provided for identification purposes only.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Is BPM key to the best employee experience? This is one of those subtle questions that then goes off like a hand grenade.

@Scott catches a key implication: better business processes mean that a lot of workplace friction is eliminated. The experience of work is more enjoyable. People might even "get in the flow". People really do appreciate a good working environment! So, especially insofar as labour markets for skilled and diligent employees are very tight, good processes are a competitive edge in hiring markets! (We are making the reasonable assumption of course that "good processes and BPM" are connected.)

We could go further though: there is growing evidence that digitalization leaders are increasingly successful. So given that digitalization is very much about business process, employees in those organizations will be working in an environment characterized by lower friction, organizational success -- and likely the higher morale that goes along with success.

The narrowest version of the question refers to specific employee on-boarding and HR processes. In this case, business process functions are typically embedded in the HR systems. Employee satisfaction with HR is typically all over the map. Having experience with both very large and very small organizations, I can say that the professionalism that is typical of large organizations is very welcome.

Here's a final observation, which is that the presence of rational business processes, instantiated in BPM systems, likely reflects how the organization "owns its prcoesses" and owns its work. The organization is not leaving process wrangling to over-worked employees. My point here goes further than the observation about about "friction". Specifically, if the repetitive ( read "less interesting" ) processes are enabled by BPM systems, then employees are left with the more challenging edge cases, that have not yet been automated. In this case, employee tacit domain knowledge is in play. And the scope for employee work is much wider than what is allowed in core processes. In other words, the presence of BPM likely means that the work which remains will be more interesting. The work, that is, "for the employees that remain". And at least for the time being.

I'm thinking that the benefits of BPM for employees listed in the replies to today's question can nicely support a BPM business case!
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
When employees are consulted on how best the software can help deliver a good outcome by directly inputting their ideas into the build then it helps improve their work experiences. There is no doubt that the BPM discipline enhances the logical thinking but interestingly "BPM" might not even be mentioned to user employees! A quote from one employee demonstrates the enthusiasm “Great to meet with you this morning and see the work you have done. It captures all my weird and wonderful ideas and all done without telling me that I am expecting too much!” Has "IT" ever had such a response....?

However there may be situations where skilled workers might be "reluctant" to open up their knowledge of how they actually work. The trade off could be that by digitising will allow real time feed back which will open doors to being more empowered in their job which will include coming up with new ideas and seeing them quickly implemented all of which improves productivity where benefits can be very tangible for all .....well maybe not for all middle managers...?
  1. John Morris
  2. 2 weeks ago
  3. #6026
@David -- your comment about skilled workers being reluctant to open up is important. And as we know, this issue goes back 100 or more years to the beginning of automation.
Surely the pitch determines willingness/reluctancy to "open up"?

Scenario A. "We're here to map out processes so we can automate and reduce staffing levels"
Scenario B "Here's the deal. Global competition is such that the company has to become effective at the strategy level at picking winning outcomes and that, at the operational level, we make sure that all work is focused on meeting established goals/objectives efficiently and effectively. We all need to be the best we can be"
Scenario C. . . .
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
BPM as a discipline, I would argue, does have the potential of increasing the value derived from the work of participating individuals as well as the end users themselves. Not for all business scenarios the technology BPMS will be the sole predictor for employee experience but as a general rule of thumb will indeed at least of the potential for improvements, most of the times.
Now, a closer look at the definition of employee experience should be taken. Eliminating subjective connotations, components such as lowering repetitive manual tasks, reducing errors, allow for data that enables continued improvements come into view, when dealing with BPM. Of course, there is always the chance of failing BPM projects itself but the general correlation between value, customer, employee experience and BPM is certainly there.
The exceptions will be the scenarios for which automation in itself would be a misfit to begin with.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Employee experience with enterprise software is mainly driven by the content strategy and the information architecture. Both come from thoroughly understanding the employee's job-to-be-done, both in the business process and in the UI layer.

A beautiful presentation layer can be extremely frustrating if the underlying data model is poorly designed and if the right information and the right actions are not available quickly.

Employee experience is, not surprisingly, one of the most overlooked aspects of enterprise software - it's either highly functional but ugly to work with (think Excel) or beautiful but not very useful (think: Company website).

We've spent a lot of time (and shed a lot of blood) reworking our vision on this and I think we are starting to nail it, extracting all validation rules as DMN services (editable by the customers :) ) for both the front-end and the back-end. So that would be an example where a BPM approach (i.e. the little sister of BPMN) can help both beauty (front-end) and brawn (back-end) achieve better employee experience with a cohesive architecture.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 week ago
  3. #6029
This quote should be framed or made into a beautiful poster: "A beautiful presentation layer can be extremely frustrating if the underlying data model is poorly designed and if the right information and the right actions are not available quickly."
In other words, you need to be able to express the business semantics of the jobs to be done -- and you need to access those semantics with the lowest latency possible. So you can make more decisions, better decisions, faster.
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 7
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
What are the key drivers for high-level employee experience?
1. The purpose of the work is clear and makes sense to me... with BPM we may connect employee work to the customer value creation
2. My role if well defined and I feel that I'm an important player in the organization... BPM helps to dialogue and agree on the role leading more clear expectations and more meaningful feedback and performance review
3. The shared understanding of the need for expertise, information, knowledge, collaboration and supporting systems... BPM helps to design the system to support the employee to be successful in his work. Especially missing or wrong information causes all kind of difficulties in the work and it is easy to blame people of the mistakes and problems leading viscous circle.
4. I have the possibility to influence my work... BPM helps to analyze and improve the workflow, the shared understanding and transparent processes help to communicate the issue and decide what needs to be done
5. My role connected to processes open a new road for higher income and fairer rewards... BPM helps to understand the importance of the expertise. In most organizations managers are paid better even we know, that the management is one of the least effective functions in the organization. Learning new skills and competence may lead higher compensation.
6. Many HR processes may be designed to better support business and employee experience... i.g.HR processes such as recruiting new employees, compensation planning, talent management, organizational design, employee safety and healthcare, diversity and equal opportunity
br. Kai
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
In General No! Typically it's an overhead - either in time or as in, it comes from on high. Few tools are geared to employees, they are geared to 'the system', an IT construct from the IT ark. BPMN looks nothing like a work environment. If you look at the flow of work between people, the old hands have the knowledge locked in their heads, and the newer staff struggle with 'happy path' material that isn't comprehensive enough to get them through all situations.

When we have been automating business process we have yet to encounter an organisation that empowers the works to tell us how things work. We are always directed to supervisors and managers. When we get to see workers in action we are directed to the best performers rather than the averages Joes who struggle with the process.

BPM can provide a useful collaborative focal point for making improvements and some employees enjoy the social interaction enabled with relatively simple collaborative BPM tools... but until BPM becomes a strategic corporate imperative (due to regulation most likely) it will remain relatively ineffective in terms of its relevance to employee experience.
  1. John Morris
  2. 1 week ago
  3. #6030
More "frameability": "An IT construct from the IT ark"
@Anthony... re "Few tools are geared to employees"

The tools that work are the ones where users find it easier to do their work with the tools than to do their work some other way.

It's that simple.
  1. one week ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 9
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