Four Tips for Successful BPM Implementations

Ann All

Earlier today I wrote about the likelihood that providers of business process management software would add more collaborative features to their products in 2010. I think it's a safe bet, given that many, if not most, enterprise software applications would be more effective if they made it easier for people to share ideas with their coworkers (or with partners and customers). And several smart folks participating in a discussion on eBizQ agree with me.


Even as I wrote it, however, I worried that these kinds of posts help perpetuate the idea that, gee whiz, if you can just get the right software, all of your business problems will just magically vanish. (It never works, people. Software should never be seen as a panacea, with CRM or anything else.)


Lest folks think that buying the right tool guarantees a successful implementation of BPM, I share these thoughts from a column on our CTO Edge site written by Bob Graham, VP of the Banking and Financial Services group at IT consulting company Virtusa. Even using tools, many organizations find BPM difficult. Writes Graham:

One key reason is that they do not fully adapt their traditional application development methodology to the requirements of BPM projects. They assume that because they are using a BPMS tool, they must therefore be following best practices for BPM implementations. Upon further analysis, however, you find that most organizations have struggled to separate the act of using a vendor's tool from an organization's execution approach to such projects.

Graham then offers four great tips for BPM projects, three and possibly all four of which involve (yes!) collaboration. (See how I brought that back to my original topic? Call it the circle of blog.) They are:

  • Involve users through visualization techniques.
  • Employ an iterative approach that engages users to ensure a constant cycle of inspection and modification. (Remember, BPM is supposed to be about continuous improvement.)
  • Use short time-boxed sprints to yield production-ready code in 90 days or less. (Agile development, anyone?)
  • Establish a business process competency center to drive the use of best practices and knowledge management, and to promote asset reuse.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Dec 8, 2009 5:54 AM steven wetherell steven wetherell  says:

BPM software is not what it used to be, even if it it is offered on the "cloud" it is not a necessity if management is enforcing best practice methods and improvements.


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