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Killing Misconception: Five Steps to BPM Success

May 15, 2015 No Comments

Featured article By Miguel Valdes Faura, CEO & Co-founder, Bonitasoft

While most organizations understand how BPM-based applications can generate long-term benefits, the common thinking has been that developing and implementing a process-based application will be as complicated and disruptive as a custom development. It doesn’t have to be. Here are five steps to ensure success.

1. Build a Workflow Model Based Upon How You Actually Work Today

There is no secret hidden behind an ancient wall that requires a magic key only Indiana Jones is capable of unearthing. It’s simple: just identify benchmarks for how people currently perform for best results and then model that process. Once you’ve established benchmarks based on actual performance, you can develop a workflow model and begin to develop the application directly from the model. And if best practices change in your organization after the application is in use – it’s easy to change.

2. Choose Your “Heroes”

Your ultimate BPM hero does not necessarily have to come from management. In fact, depending on the situation, it may be appropriate to look to someone with a technical background instead. The role of the “management hero” is to support the choice of a platform for development, protect the project from outside interference, and help make change for stakeholders as painless as possible. Perhaps most important, though, is to get your “developer heroes” on the job. They will ultimately guarantee the success of the project and deliver a killer application.

3. Establish Success Factors Early

People want to understand what “success” will look like, even if it’s a few miles down the road. For that reason, preparing a strong business case to address the specific scope and goals of BPM-based applications in your organization will help with both management and end-user buy-in. In addition to milestones, a plan for multiple integrated applications should have reasonable deadlines for each phase. This minimizes risk by simplifying a large implementation plan into a series of smaller, measurable steps.

4. Encourage Interdepartmental Collaboration

Want to ensure success for your applications? There’s no surer way than to encourage clear communication and participation among all stakeholders during development. Your “heroes” should work closely with everyone involved to avoid “management disconnect” problems – where management may not fully understand the day-to-day issues that workers face in the actual processes involved. The BPMN standard is particularly useful for modeling workflow in a way that is clear to both business and technical stakeholders. Be sure to deploy test apps and get user feedback before going live. Trust me – this is a big one!

5. Measure Your Results Step By Step and in Real Time – and Make Changes

Did you measure the results of new applications to see whether the plan requires any adjustments? Identify what kind of data you need to gauge how much value has been added? Put a means in place to collect that data, like KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)? Here you get to really appreciate the beauty of the process-based application: if it needs modification, it’s easy to do – even on a live app – without the cost and time involved in changing a custom development.

If you base your application on a real workflow, choose a BPM platform that permits flexibility, and keep the communication cycle open, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that custom development projects and inflexible out-of-the-box solutions present. Following this quick guide is a sure fire way to set yourself up for success.

MiguelValdesFaura Bonitasoft CEO 2014 2 200x300 Killing Misconception: Five Steps to BPM Success

Miguel Valdés Faura is the CEO and co-founder of Bonitasoft, a software company with the mission of democratizing the Business Process Management (BPM) technology.

APPLICATION INTEGRATION, DATA and ANALYTICS , Fresh Ink, Inside the Briefcase, OPEN SOURCE, SECURITY, SOCIAL BUSINESS

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