The Chaos of ECM-BPM Strategies March 9, 2012Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management.
Tags: acm, adaptive case management, bpm, Business Process Management, change management, ecm, Enterprise Content Management, erm, information management
Setting your ECM or BPM implementation strategy can appear to be pretty straightforward. After all, you either want to manage your content or manage your process. To achieve that, get some experts, get a good tool(s), and launch a project and presto!
If only life in this world were that easy. Not experienced enough to be authentic in my judgment of how it happens around the world (although it may be the same story everywhere), I’ll keep myself to my corner of the world in context.
Five cornerstones determine the success or failure of ECM/BPM projects.
Yet are strategies revolving around these cornerstones in the right manner? Many a time, I feel we usually end up barking up the wrong tree and put the wrong cornerstone at the center of our strategies.
Let’s start from the obvious cornerstones.
It is quite normal to introduce technology to settle the chaos only to find itself contributing to the ensuing chaos. Expect perhaps with cases of revolution like the one Apple did with “touch”, in most cases technology follows business but can find itself at the wrong end of the stick. Bear in mind Technology can help you do many things, but not all the things. Again, you need to ask yourself, do you need your technology to do some things, specific things, many things or everything?
Ah! Here comes the quintessential trouble maker, people or in other words your business users and technical staff. Either they are too many or do too little. It’s time we set this right. Through ECM/BPM implementations we can resolve this issue. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s not uncommon for people to be the target. It’s not fully unjustified either; the right implementation of ECM/BPM solutions can help you manage your people factor… to a limit.
This time, it’s the process that’s wrong and we need to change our processes so that people can do their jobs better and management can make the right decisions. It’s imperative to be very careful here because it’s not always that you need to change your as-is process. Many a time, organizations naturally go back to old processes after changing it. Look around and you’ll find your process is fine, your troubles may lie elsewhere. Implementing a process on your BPMS could also be your as-is and does not necessarily have to be your to-be.
When all the above fails, it’s obvious that your management style is questioned and you look at changing them. Are you sure change is always good? Change may be permanent but not all change is good. Be it democratic, autocratic or situational, your management style as it is could also be the right one for your business.
We’re not talking here of the management of content, but, instead the focus is on the content itself. Very few implementation strategies here focus on the content itself. Having the right content is as important as having the content right. Too much information floating around the organization ecosystem can be as damaging as too little information and can add to the chaos.
ECM/BPM systems are here to stay. Although, time has yet to make a judgment in what manner and form will they stabilize, in an increasingly digital world, their importance is beyond doubt. Using them to benefit your business depends on identifying what needs to be put at the center to resolve.
Is it your technology, process, people, management or content? Magic mirrors don’t provide you these answers but honest introspection can help.
Note: Although ECM and BPM are used due to their popularity, the same applies for any of the others such as ERM, ACM, etc in this blog.
Why I drifted away and then got pulled back to AIIM? February 7, 2012Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Capture, Electronic Records Management, Enterprise 2.0, Enterprise Content Management.
Tags: aiim, Archiving, document management, ecm, electronic records management, Enterprise Content Management, enterprise information management, information management
While the credit to my foray into unstructured information management; namely DMS and ERM must go to my erstwhile mentor, Mr. P Vidyasagar, I would credit my knowledge mostly to AIIM. Ever since I stepped into the world of AIIM, my knowledge in the world of ECM, ERM and BPM have only been on the increase.
However, pretty soon, after the initial thirst, I realized AIIM was more technology-oriented. With me being more into Information MANAGEMENT than information management SYSTEMS, I found myself drifting away from AIIM. If it wasn’t for my continued interactions with Bryant, I may have even left AIIM.
Then suddenly, AIIM announces a survey for a new information management certification and before I could say Rip Van Winkle, they launched the Certified Information Professional program. One glance at it and I was at once, both excited and nervous. This is what I wanted to be, yet, this is where I was not. A mirror that left me glad for reflecting my aspirations while honestly letting me know there was some journey to go.
And my expectations from AIIM were all satisfied in one look. From the early days, I have tried to stay technology and vendor agnostic right through my career. The flip side of this is that I don’t understand codes any more. I don’t pay attention to Application Servers, Content Servers, Web Servers, etc. SDLC or Scrum doesn’t matter to me. But, when you want to plan, search, capture, store, process, dispose information, my antennae go up.
I am your quintessential information manager, I repeat.
I am not your information management technologist, I emphasize.
So, what I want to offer my customers is this in their information management, exactly what they want:
And what does the AIIM CIP cover:
Yes, there are gaps I need to fill and yes; information management is not a one-man show. However, for now I am confident AIIM and its CIP is a path that can take me where I want to go.
3 Simple Tricks to BPM Project Management March 27, 2011Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management.
Tags: bpm, business analysis, business process automation, Business Process Management, change, change management, information governance, information management, Project Management, requirements management
For the Users, With the Users, By the Users.
Inspired the legendary Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote, BPM Project Management requires a lavish dollop of democratic practices.
Traditional Project Management practices cover the 3 pillars of any project – Scope, Time and Budget. But, BPM requires more than these and includes a fourth and possibly the most difficult of them all to manage – Effort.
Leading a BPM Project is a herculean task. By adopting 3 simple tricks, it is possible to make it easier than it would otherwise be. In no way does this replace your current Project Management methodology, be it PMP or PRINCE2, but aims to enhance the effectiveness of both with a touch of social service.
For the Users
Conventional management logic requires PMs to be based away from the users and relying on their Business Analysts to take care of the users. In BPM, it is recommended that as a PM, you engage yourself hands-on in defining and executive 1 process.
While the decision makers and influencers are key stakeholders, BPM’s success lies in sorting the details with the users and by leading from the front and working for them actively in the beginning, you are able to understand their concerns and requirements, their culture and gain their trust.
Hence, the first move and initial hard work must come not from the BA, but from the PM. So go ahead and model the first process yourself.
With the Users
Assuming the PM has modeled the first process, it is quite natural to fall back and drift away from the users to traditional project management practices.
Don’t do it. Not yet. BPM is a slippery character and hence, requires consistent focus and care. Having lead from the front, it is time for the PM to now position alongside the users as they begin to model their processes. Be a partner, a shadow, a shoulder to lean on as they learn the ropes of process modeling.
This is where the PM truly gains their trust, where the PM becomes a part of them, of the team, of their pain, of their pleasures. Gain that key brownie point that would be the ace up the sleeve.
By the Users
Mankind is such a social being. And most of them are emotional social beings. Once they have begun to trust and accepted someone, they tend to commit themselves lock, stock and barrel to the cause. A trait well utilized by religious and political leaders.
As a BPM Project Manager, without any ulterior motives, this camaraderie will motivate the users to adopt BPM with passion and emotion. Once you achieve this, you will witness that BPM now moves into auto-pilot. Now would be the time to go back to fully focusing on your scope, time and budget.
I wish you all the success.
P.S. It is easier done than said. I have done it.