A lot has been written about the capabilities and features of enterprise BPM software platforms, but there is limited information available on how to make your BPM projects successful.
Studies show that 50% of IT projects fail due to time and cost overrun, this number is even higher for BPM projects.
Today, we look at what are the reasons for such high failure rate and what are the key elements that will make your BPM project successful.
BPM projects are very different from traditional software development projects. Most BPM programs span across the enterprise with multiple departments, applications and system dependencies. The objective of a well thought through BPM program is to bring about operational excellence across the enterprise, at the same time connect each and every function and process within the organization.
It is extremely difficult to execute a program of such magnitude without impeccable planning, documentation, tools, methodology and monitoring.
Here is a list of to-do’s, which will improve your chances of success manifold.
1. Planning and Documentation
I know this is the first tip in every book, but there is no alternative to documenting your requirements and planning every aspect of the project lifecycle. In our experience, every time we kick-off a large BPM project, we face the issue of dated or improper documentation. Also, based on our experience 30% of the project time is spent on requirements gathering and documentation. Do this first step right and you will be in for a pleasant surprise.
2. Team Composition
Any technology or process is as good as the people who work on it. Your team will need to understand the business side of things as well as the technology aspects. BPM provides a huge opportunity to automate redundant tasks, streamline processes as well as remove bottlenecks. It is imperative that your team identifies these opportunities, which is only possible if they are technically and domain adept.
The ideal team composition consists of Process Owners, Business Analysts, Business Architects, IT Admins & Integration experts. This can change based on the nature, complexity and scope of the project.
3. Implementation Methodology
Traditional Software Development methodology is not ideal for BPM projects. BPM Platforms provide you with tools which will enable rapid prototyping, development and testing which makes them ideal candidates for Agile based iterative development approach. This will ensure you don’t discover last minute surprises where your business requirements are not in sync with the end-product that is delivered.
4. Training & Adoption
Inadequate Adoption of technology is a huge setback for large BPM programs. In our experience business users are extremely resistant to change if there is no buy-in for the change from Bottom Up. The huge investments made on your BPM program can go down the drain, if users are not adequately trained or refuse to adapt to this change. Thus it is imperative to have a well thought out Training & Adoption phase before you Go-Live. This will ensure business users see the larger picture of the change and have the required training to use the new system.
5. Continuous Improvement
Most modern BPM Platforms provide advanced Process Analytics capabilities. You can draw insights about the process performance, bottlenecks, improvement opportunities, productivity, etc. Process Owners can leverage this information and further streamline the process, improve process performance & course correct wherever necessary.
Ultimately, Business should be able to see the value that your BPM Project or Program brings to the overall functioning of the organization, improvement in customer experience and whatever other goals you may have set.