Four Keys to Ensure BPM Success

By Virender Jeet, Senior Vice President-Technology, Newgen Software Inc.

BPM products have evolved significantly over the last decade. The technology has not only moved ahead, but also has contributed to the transformation of the environment where it is applied. This transformation journey however is marred by a slight inhibition which still exists in BPM adoption. The cause for this being a significant percentage of BPM implementations failing to fetch the expected ROI for enterprises estimated. Enterprises, vendors and System Integrators have to realize that there is no rule book which will make a BPM implementation successful. There is however enough empirical data available to point out why BPM has failed and what can be done to ensure success. 

Why BPM fails?
A significant reason why BPM implementations fail is because of the lack of convergence between the enterprise philosophy, the technology and the methodology through which adoption takes place. BPM is not just about the technology but the transformation it enables within an enterprise. There is too much emphasis on getting the technology right. This causes most enterprises to overlook change management. The success of BPM lies in its acceptability.
Sometimes implementations fail as there is no alignment between the innovations in the product and how they can be leveraged to deliver differentiated value for an enterprise’s customers. At times, enterprises fail to exploit the platform completely. They end up using BPM for an opportunistic application development and glorify it as a BPM project. 

Ensuring Success!
Blending the Technology with Enterprise Philosophy
BPM is a business transformation technology. Its adoption has to be ingrained and aligned with the enterprise’s philosophy. How its adoption will change things within the enterprise will have to be anticipated and articulated to ensure smoother transitions. Due diligence to ensure that the teams working on a BPM implementation are in sync with the core philosophy and have a clear charter of what needs to be achieved have to be ensured too.

The Focus has to be on the Customer
Forrester Research rightly points out that we thrive and operate in an ecosystem that is dedicated to the customer. ‘Customer is always right’ and ‘Deliver what the customer demands’ have become the norms for businesses today. It therefore comes as a no surprise that while BPM began its journey in the realm of back-offices, enterprises are increasingly leveraging it to deliver customer value. At this juncture enterprises will need to intelligently select vendors who understand their passion to deliver the right experiences to their customers, transcending the barriers of time and space. 

Working on a mindset change
Enterprise users still eye any change in technology as something that will either usurp them from their jobs or complicate life. Evidently, successful technology adoption is always preceded by a clear charter that enables a mindset change. BPM is no different. Once an enterprise decides to invest in a BPM system, leaders need to quickly evangelize the benefits which employees will accrue as a result of the platform. They can look into creating a community of interest including all stakeholders who will be impacted by the BPM investment. 

Innovation has to be communicated and leveraged 
BPM success hinges heavily on innovations which vendors are instilling into their platforms and how well they can help enterprises leverage these changes to drive more value for customers. BPM platforms are flexible, allowing enterprise architects and vendors to work collaboratively to identify changes which will help improve and then implement. The flexibility of BPM platforms also offers enterprises to expand the use of the platform by leveraging it to transform processes across the enterprise and not limit it to a single or project base usage.

It is essential to respect the fact that it is not the technology, but people who have to ensure the success of technology. How BPM is leveraged, implemented, extended and accepted is what makes or breaks the deal in its success within an enterprise.

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