No More Excuses, #BPM Practitioners

  • October 15, 2009
  • Scott

I really enjoyed Mike Gualtieri’s post on Forrester’s blog: “Excuses, excuses: The Business Doesn’t Know What it Wants“.  The two big culprits:

  • The business doesn’t know what it wants.
  • The requirements keep changing.

But my favorite advice he gave to IT professionals immediately followed this:  “Get Over It”.

I couldn’t agree more.  Of course the business doesn’t know what it wants in BPM because they’re tackling a domain that is new to them (BPM), and they’re tackling a moving target (the Business Process).  And this isn’t unique to BPM, far from it.  And despite this, many projects are successful.  So obviously the fact that the business “doesn’t know what it wants” is not an excuse for failure.  If you’re collaborating with the business on a solution, help them figure it out by prototyping, iterating, and helping them understand implications they might not have though through.

The other bits of advice are equally good:

  • Understand the Business and Your Users
  • Build for Change
  • Get Passionate about your Craft

Mr. Gualtieri notes that the “industrialization of software development has been an epic fail.” I agree.  From my point of view industrialization was always the wrong goal.  Software development is more a craft than an assembly line.  One learns the craft through many thousands of hours of practice and through mentorship from masters of the craft.  And despite the fact that the news media and other nontechnical people view software development as utterly lacking in creativity and design, they are mistaken.  Software development is an intensely creative effort, when done right.  Which explains why so many projects fail when they go for the lowest-cost-possible staffing models.  In fact, BP3 and other boutique firms like ours are often brought in to rescue projects that were, at first, given to the low-cost provider.

Ok, no more excuses, BPM practitioners.  Let’s get out there and deploy some processes.

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