Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Roadblocks in BPM Journey

BPM continues its rocky road journey, took a few value trails, taste drops of Mighty Waters, met a big social wind,  it hits more roadblocks as well.

1.Lack of Coherent Leadership: The BPM project is not well defined, there is too much internal politics going on, there is a lack of leadership in BPM project, failure to get the necessary support from management. The business doesn't have a clear vision of how the project will deliver ROI, or the BPM implementation team simply has other priorities coming from some other part of the company's leadership team.

2. Lack of consistent communication and expectation, which stems from an inadequate understanding of what BPM is. People will translate it in a myriad of ways and as such there will be no common understanding of the goal, method or implementation. Without a common understanding, there is no way to reach a common goal. Without a common goal, there is no unified measurement of success or failure. Perhaps one persons BPM success is another person failure.

3. "T" Driven BPM is Set to Fail: The B in BPM stands for BUSINESS: Business driven, business change, business outcomes. , not TECHNOLOGY, Not IT system, IT project, IT implementation, but a big factor is treating a BPM effort as too much of an IT project and not a business project, with required organizational and process change. In cases where that *is* clear, then a big factor is inability to actually implement the new processes - no power or influence to make the necessary changes to meet the goals. for BPM project, you may need begin with the end in mind, well define business problem need be solved, don't make it as technology challenge only

4. Start too Big. Keep them small at first. Overwrought expectations are sometimes a result of vendor hype, but just as often, they're a natural outcome of the internal sales process needed to get a project off the ground. Managing by process is day to day business and it will shake up organizations via continuous journey.

5. Lack of well mixed Skills. You shouldn't need to be a programmer to roll out BPM, but you do need a certain comfort level with technology. Make sure somebody on your team has it, not only the right technical skills are needed, but also the right communication skills

6. The general notion of Workflow = BPM is also one of the reasons for a Project failure. BPM ecosystem offers much more than that. But we just force fit the product to ensure that we have leveraged BPM in most of the places in the enterprise.

7. Failure to manage change: fail to introduce the cultural change or change management initiative. It's not like BPM projects are magically different from any other cross-departmental initiative, they all need people buy in, leadership vision, quick win and long term focus, and business metrics, however, change management itself has high failure rate, without successful change effort, BPM may not have fertilized soil to grow mature.

8. BPM initiatives not managed by CoE, or no CoE at all: Center of Excellence BPM may help share resources and knowledge, broadcast success story or best & next practices, provide proper training, amplify collective human capabilities, and prioritize & manage BPM project portfolio.

9. Lack of governance and KPI monitoring: The adequate governance and well defined KPIs help manage and measure BPM’s effectiveness and efficiency, to ensure process both doing the right things and doing things right. With the latest emerging digital technology, more processes need go beyond automation, for innovation and optimization.

10. A right BPM tool was not chosen –Not every project need a hammer, sometimes, a ruler is more effective. Beyond BPM/BPMS pairing up, BPM will be successful when it is integrated with EA, BI, PPM., SOA seamlessly, some other tools may include the latest project management methodology such as Agile or Scrum, or Lean/Six Sigma, but remember, keep it simple with the right tools, don’t add complexity for technology’s sake. 


well thought Decalog. There is this sticking point about the CoE. We use a leaders table, staffed by high end managers and directors. This has permanent staff from our Change Management Team. The sponsors are the CIO and the COO, We started this when we installed SA¨ERP. We decided to keep it a permanent part of our CM strategy. We adhere to the KISS principle on most of our undertakings.

I looked at your former post "rocky road". You indicated in this post in 2011 that "“About 68% of BPM Project Failed” according to reputable IT media and consulting companies". Could you give us some specific study and reference about these figures.

Actually I am desesperately trying to find some facts & study about BPM initiative failure rate, beyond "hearsay"; and actually failed to find them so far. If you had the proper references, that would help a lot.

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