Once you’ve assembled a BPM software dream team, discovered your processes, and automated them using business process software, it’s tempting to believe that your BPM work is done. Not so! Here are my top 3 pitfalls to avoid when implementing BPM software:
3. Choosing the wrong BPM system
The BPM software you choose will have an enormous impact on the ease, cost, and sustainability of your BPM implementation. You may want to utilize your “BPM team” to come up with a comprehensive list of requirements, and make sure that the software, and the company that stands behind it, meets those needs.
Be sure to consider both technical features of the software, as well as the availability of related services such as training (more about this in a second), consulting, technical support, community forums, etc. Also consider how the BPM system fits into your larger IT infrastructure, at present and with future IT plans in mind. A software should be stable and powerful, but flexible to respond to changing BPM requirements as well as adapt to an evolving IT infrastructure.
There are a number of important questions you should ask before choosing a BPM system – far too many to list here. Check back soon for my list of questions.
2. Neglecting to train your team
A key, if not the key, to BPM success is to train your team to take advantage of the system. It is absolutely necessary to provide training and orientation to the people who will be using the software, as Patrick commented on my previous post. Remember that end users, supervisors, and process architects will all need training, and may need it at different times, on different aspects of the software, and at differing levels of technical difficulty.
It is also important to remember that training should cover technical and end user aspects of the software itself, as well as more general BPM topics including BPM strategy, best practices, and of course, pitfalls. This general orientation helps to give BPM users a framework and perspective from which to approach the BPM system. Furthermore, management’s goals and expectations should be clearly expressed to end users as part of the orientation process, as I touched on in #10. During the BPM training, it would also be a very good time to address any doubts, fears, and questions that team members may have about the BPM, as mentioned by José Carlos Gaspar in response to my previous post.
1. Forgetting to measure KPIs
It’s easy to take the benefits of BPM for granted. But how will you know your BPM implementation was successful? Before the project even starts, its important to have well-defined, clear indicators that will help measure BPM success. When selecting indicators, its important to choose specific indicators that can be easily measured. For example, its not enough to say “more efficient processing” or “fewer resources”. Rather, select specific KPIs such as “% decrease in average time per case” or “% increase in cases received”.
Furthermore, baseline indicators need to be established before the BPM system is taken live. If you’ve defined a KPI as “% increase in completed cases per month”, then you need to know how many cases were completed per month before the software was installed. It can be very hard to go back and recreate this pre-BPM data after the software is up and running, so be sure to plan in advance.
After the BPM system goes live, its important to monitor your results and determine if you are meeting those KPIs. The BPM software should be configured to generate specific reports regarding KPIs, so that bottlenecks can be identified and adjustments made to improve process efficiency. The business process management software you choose should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in process design, so that improvements can be made and optimal results achieved.
There you have it: my top 10 BPM software pitfalls, and tips to avoid them. Again, many thanks to those who have commented and shared their insights. What did I miss? Is there anything on this list that you would add or change?