Surviving BPM and a Lesson on Racing

  • July 11, 2011
  • Gary

Shared with permission of Gary Samuelson, original post here.

The image is getting across the finish line in less-than-optimal conditions. As first-timer BPM projects go, let’s think of engine smoke and a hopeful driver.

I need to remind myself on this point: not everything lands in one piece when focused on winning. Vision is just about everything in this race. Parts wear out, pieces come unglued, bad stuff happens. There will be lots of failures along the way. As BPM does it most certainly will test your infrastructure – weakness points itself out by design and discoveries as painfully obvious as a flat tire and engine smoke… these will show themselves. There’s no avoiding weakness on a BPM project, or any project that touches so many different parts of the business and IT. It’s better to understand limitations both going into and during the race. These can be fixed. The end-goal however cannot be un-done. We either win or lose – never forget the vision. Winning may not be graceful but there’s always a thousand reasons and rationalities for losing. Stay focused, save the apologies, and stow the complaints. We’re in this race until it’s over.

Ironically the race is between “us” on big, enterprise BPM projects. We only need to cross the finish line to win!


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  • This post reminds me a bit of one about startups:
    Where Jason Cohen writes about why startups fail (often, because someone gives up).  A million things can (and do) go wrong, but the measure isn’t that nothing goes wrong- but how you deal with and overcome all those obstacles. 

    I think IT projects, BPM projects, Change Management projects, these also have some of the same attributes.  Sometimes you just have to change the flat as fast as you can and get moving again.