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5 ways you can avoid BPM failure

Adi Gaskell, PEX In today's Knowledge and Service based economy, business processes are key assets of companies. Companies deliver value to customers by executing their business processes. Yet most companies say their business processes are opaque, rigid, inflexible and cost inefficient.

Business Process Management (BPM) aims to rectify this situation by providing a means to assess what you do and ensure that it is as efficient and effective as possible. Gartner estimates that as many as 50% of all BPM projects fail to deliver the results hoped for. To help rectify this they have identified 5 key pitfalls that can cause your BPM efforts to fail.

  1. You're not prepared to demonstrate the value delivered - You've delivered some great results, but if they're not documented and recorded you won't be able to trumpet them to colleagues. All BPM projects should have a clear idea about how to measure success.
  2. Starting BPM without understanding BPM - It's no good attempting a BPM project simply because a technology vendor has sold you on the splendour of their latest tool. BPM isn't about technology and if you don't get that then your project will probably fail.
  3. Rely on facts, not perceptions - It's one thing to perceive a problem, quite another to know that there's a problem. Don't rely on hearsay or unsubstantiated opinions to form the basis of your BPM project.
  4. Don't forget your ROI - It's one thing to get really good at BPM, but unless you're delivering clear business benefits it's wasted effort. Get some quick wins and communicate them well throughout the organisation.
  5. Measuring rather than improving - Of course you need to understand the processes you currently have in place, but don't fall into the trap of stopping once you've mapped them. The whole point of BPM is to improve processes, not just understand them.

"Undertaking BPM isn't easy and BPI leaders and practitioners often stumble along the journey," said John Dixon, research director at Gartner, in a statement. "BPM can be fraught with challenges due to the scale and breadth of skills, attributes and tools needed to be successful."

The Process Excellence Network is undertaking a poll of BPM professionals to determine what they think the biggest barrier is to strong process improvement. You can cast your vote below or attend a free webinar on overcoming the barriers to process improvement.

Adi Gaskell is head of online PEX

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