The Importance of BPM Education

Rainer Ribback
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We receive considerable inquiries about BPM training: “When and how do I train my internal team?”, “Who are the right people?”, “Do we continue with training after our first project?”.  My overwhelming answer is that training underpins your organizational capability, which always drives efficiency.  In our view, what is most important, is that training is ongoing.  Train your team like they are about to run a marathon.  BPM is not a sprint or a single race – it is a long-term commitment to continuously improving the business!  It is important for the commitment horizon to be longer term.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I am overzealous about education, and so I started thinking back about where I have seen training give monetary results.

Here are six reasons I came up with where training helps BPM teams:   

1) Getting to a Common Vernacular: 

Similar to a number of software platforms business disciplines, BPM has its own dictionary of terms. Getting everyone to the same understanding will help drive project success, minimize miscommunication, and control misalignment on things like scope. 

2) Minimize Rework: 

Training will establish a comprehensive frame of reference for BPM, which will ultimately minimize the rework associated with the project.  Training directly provides broader insight and perspective about BPM, which drives more thorough requirements definition, development, and testing.  Teams are ultimately better aligned because they are working from the same foundational knowledge.

3) Greater ability to subcontract work and incorporate diversified teams:

An educated in-house staff will be able to better identify work that needs to be subcontracted/outsourced, and make educated choices about the most efficient construct and work pattern to achieve a high performing team. 

4) More thoughtful value assessment and work prioritization:

Teams that have good knowledge of ‘level of effort’ and value will be able to better prioritize requirements, projects, and work.  This insight translates directly to value realization and ROI.

5) Put a stop to scope creep:    

Educated employees will better understand the level of effort for each item that comes up in planning. This knowledge fosters trade-off decision making and will help to balance the amount of work that is left at the end of each iteration (and control scope on each project). 

6) Better Up Front Architectural and Design Decisions 

We will say it over and over that up front training will decrease the total cost of ownership, but when it comes to architectural decisions it rings true across industry. Understanding the product, having an end vision, and grasping deployment patterns will enable your workforce to make better decisions on architecting a solution that, in the long run, will decrease the total cost of ownership. 

All things considered, decreasing total cost of ownership is the number one reason to invest in education. At BP3 we invest in our practitioners and we train our customers. Beyond onsite training, we are always updating our Youtube channel with new training and our resources section with new papers to help build the BPM community. 

 

  • Noe Banda

    Permission to steal, sir! :0 BTW – I like that your group is filling the gap for Agile and Program Management training/education. There is a need out there to have organization implement BPM well and that is underpinned with the right approach along with the right tools and of course the right skill sets. Kudos for taking on Project/Program Management.

    • Thanks Noe- obviously it is a labor of love for us to carry off successful BPM projects. Sharing what we know with others via training is just one way to spread the knowledge, but it fits in well with the other methods.

  • Alberto Manuel

    Scott : my two cents. When I created the Post Graduate on Bpm http://www.edea.pt/cursos/bpm/ I inflicted to myself as the program chair that for the first time I would lecture my students coming from magic quadrant organisations they will learn HOW to transform the business. And they succeeded. I still have doubts on who cried more the students or the teachers. All the rest is brochure ware training

    • Alberto, I appreciate your perspective :) When I was in school, many years ago (as I write this I am attending my 20th reunion! where did the time go!) I took classes that really challenged how I think, and caused me to develop my thought processes and view of the world. For example, data structures and algorithms – never thought about problems that way until I took that class, and there was no coding involved, just thinking through difficult problems and understanding the interrelationship of data and algorithms.

      But I also took classes that taught the tactics and style of coding. I don’t write any C++ anymore, but those classes were also useful for getting me over the initial conceptual hurdle of connecting “theory” to “action”.

      I look at our education services the same way – for the most part, the goal is to bridge theory and action. Fine you learned something from the magic quadrant or a BPM 101 class, but now you want to build something with real tools to get a feel for how it is done? We’re there. Or you want to experience how we organize an agile BPM project – we’re there.

      When customers want to know how to transform their business, no training class will suffice. Experiencing the journey with BP3 executives is the way to go ;)