Plan ahead to avoid BPM headaches
Without proper planning and consultation, any business process management (BPM) implementation is doomed to run on for far longer than anticipated - or even to failure.
So says Rachel Stevenson, service offering lead BPM at Ovations, who will speak at next week's ITWeb BPM Summit. Stevenson says South African enterprises tend to rush into BPM projects without consulting fully, and without assessing if the project is fit for purpose.
“Without proper planning, involvement and buy-in from all resources within the organisation, the project will either fail or take far longer to implement than initially calculated, due to re-evaluation and correction of elements that should have been addressed in the initiation stages,” she says.
Stevenson says BPM is widely misunderstood. It is not just a system, she says; it pervades everything within the enterprise, from culture, capabilities, new working styles, employee empowerment to make decisions and innovative thinking, all the way through to alignment of process and the overall strategy. Companies cannot expect to roll out BPM and continue as they have previously.
Pointing out that an effective BPM implementation plan should involve close collaboration between vendors, consultants and the enterprise itself, Stevenson says, in many cases, enterprises are resistant to the advice of expert consultants.
“The unstated rule of thumb is that a first phase implementation could take nine to 10 months. Enterprises don't want to hear this. The result is often that implementation partners try to rush to meet enterprise deadlines, to the detriment of the project.”
She says planning should start with strategy so that the end vision can be formulated to meet the strategic goals of the organisation over time. There should be a defined journey with milestones that can be measured to understand how far off the mark one is.
ITWeb's BPM Summit will take place on 17 and 18 April, with a post-event workshop hosted by international expert Steve Towers on 19 April. For more information and to reserve your seat, please click here.