A few months back I shared four tips for successful business process management implementations. All of the tips relate to getting users more involved in the implementation process. I think this is a good idea for just about any enterprise application, but especially for BPM as it often requires people to make fundamental changes to the way they work.
Two of the tips: Involve users through visualization techniques. (I like this one because I think this makes workflow modeling more accessible to folks.) Employ an iterative approach that engages users to ensure a constant cycle of inspection and modification. (Also a great idea, as BPM is supposed to be about continuous improvement.)
Involving users is also a good way to avoid BPM backslide, a problem that Deb Miller, director of market development for BPM software provider Global 360, writes about on the EndUserSharePoint.com blog. Gartner's Jim Sinur refers to it as elastic behavior, the resistance to change that sometimes causes users to revert to their traditional behavior instead of sticking with improved processes.
Miller makes several suggestions, including employing a familiar interface for process improvement efforts. She says:
I've found that use of a familiar interface like SharePoint and surrounding it with an intuitive experience can significantly help to engage users and speed adoption. And, a good way to make change stick is by creating an interface that delivers content within the context of the work that is done every day. When you get the user-centric emphasis right, the results can be outstanding.
In addition to boosting user adoption, involving users also increases the likelihood of ending up with truly improved processes rather than faster and/or more automated but still ineffective ones, a point Miller touches upon in discussing a successful BPM effort at Irish Life, a large Irish financial organization.