Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Absorbing the BIG Elephant. Part 1

Companies who are looking to start with BPM and searching for BPMS in order to help them, are most of the time finding the BIG Elephant on their way. Almost all BPMS Vendors are receiving the big question; how do we get started with BPMS and how will our organization absorb this? (The Big Elephant is not they nice looking animal call elephant – but the visual expression of a big project – for which you don’t know in the 1st view how you can oversee it).
If we want to eat our BIG Elephant, then we have to look how we can slice it in smaller absorbable pieces. So if we apply this to a BPM-Project, we will mainly have 3 big pieces or elements: People, Process and Information.
Let’s focus on people for now. This will raise the most important question: what’s the impact of this project on people and how will their daily work be affected by this?
You probably discovered already that the biggest problem on absorbing our piece called ‘People’ will raise a lot of issue and resistance from them. By nature people are not very open to changes and will try in some situations everything to avoid it. (Adoption failure is probably the number 1 reasons why a project fails at the end). So we have to focus on how we bring changes to them and show them the benefit. In some cultures and companies they spend a lot of time and effort, in order to learn people handling changes (Japans cultures are very focused on ‘Kaizen’ – a methodology to guide changes in an organization)
Somewhere in their mind a question is coming up: ‘What’s in it for me?’ or ‘Will I lose my job?’
Let’s look what an organization can do on this and make sure that they have the ‘People Slice of our Big Elephant’ under control.
· Build a strong visible business case
· Build a strong executive sponsorship
· Build a team of change agents, which are guiding and messaging the changes across the organization
· Create a clear vision and roadmap
· Show business and user benefits
· Communication, communication and once more communication! But it their own language.
· Empower people and share responsibility
· Start small, think big and scale fast!
· Improve continuously, based on lesions learned

Part 2: Processes ... coming soon

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