First, there is an overabundance of confusing information out there that can make the leap into BPM seem extremely difficult and time consuming. There are tools designed to model extremely complex processes, tools that orchestrate communication between other systems, tools that are little more than components that a programmer can use in a custom solution – the list goes on.
For most companies, the business process causing their employees the most pain revolve around data input forms, routing, approvals, and notification. Secondary to this would be reporting, metrics and system-system data exchange. A tool that can deliver these features in a way that allow ordinary business users to create, execute and ensure their success without formal BPM training or programming skill will be adopted quickly, resulting in a quick ROI.
Flexibility is key. Cloud-based solutions with pre-built processes allow organizations to adopt BPM with minimal risk while using proven solutions that can easily be changed to meet specific needs. Also, solutions that offer a variety of deployment options will allow organizations to enter into BPM in ways that were traditionally impossible or that required extensive programming. For example, if I can quickly design my process using my web browser, make it available through a process portal for internal users, that is great. And when I can make pieces of the same process, like a form or a report, show up on my public website, I open up a whole new audience. My ability to improve processes can now encompass customers, partners and vendors.
In terms of implementation, BPM should start with an organization identifying and documenting how they execute processes. Then they should decide on what can be improved before thinking about solutions. Our philosophy is to focus on the 80% of processes that that can be implemented quickly and that will return an immediate ROI. The other 20% require more documentation, multiple decision makers and often a complete re-thinking of why the process exists or what it should be. With the skills learned implementing the “Easy 80%”, organizations have a better understanding of what is involved in process improvement from a software perspective and a cultural/organizational perspective. With proven success under their belts, convincing stakeholders to make more difficult changes become much easier.