Barriers to BPM: Admit you have a Problem

Scott Francis
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BarrierstoBPM[This is the sixth in a series on the barriers to BPM adoption in the enterprise]

To truly have great BPM adoption, we have to look ourselves in the mirror, and admit we have a problem.  And then we have to do it again, in front of an audience of our peers and colleagues at work.

We can’t really be open to dramatic improvements in our business, and our business processes, if we don’t start by admitting that things could be dramatically better… which means we haven’t made the tough choices and investments before – or worse, that we’ve let things get worse before turning our attention to the problem.

The best we can do is to look past the blame game and just focus on the opportunities in front of us.  But to build that case for change, we have to own up to the current state (or mess) of affairs.  After doing that, I recommend then tying the current process change effort to previous successful company efforts to improve operations – culturally or tactically – it is an effective way to tie change to the existing culture, and convince people that you’re swimming with the current, not against it.  I’ve seen this tactic used effectively by IBM’s Design Studio, referencing IBM’s history with design, despite its wandering away from that heritage prior to Design Studio.  One of our customers, Costco, gave a presentation at IBM Interconnect to discuss how they tied their process improvement efforts to historical efforts as well as their culture of creating value for customers.

The process of admitting the problem isn’t fun, but it is necessary if we want to get the most out of BPM. And being honest with ourselves is a good habit for any organization to build on.

 

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