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Practice BPM before you Preach! November 19, 2009

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Shane Warne versus John Buchanan.

Few linen have been washed in dirty waters the way Warne and Buchanan have had a go at each other in public over the years.

One , cricket’s most successful leg-spinner  (and a successful coach with the Rajasthan Royals in Indian Premier League), and the Other, an acclaimed and hugely successful coach of the legendary Australian cricket team of the 90s (failure as the coach of Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and a nobody as a player himself).

So how do Cricket, Warne and Buchanan fit in with this BPM blog? Well, while there has never been any doubt of Warne’s skills and performances (ask Mr. Gatting), there have been quite a few critics of Buchanan’s credibility. A view I personally endorse is that Buchanan has surely been sleeping with Lady Luck to have been in the right place (Australia), right time (1990s) and the right team (a team where each was a legend in their own right). Later, when Buchanan with his “heavy on theory” approach had to manage less stellar players, he has fallen flat on his face.

Honestly, BPM faces the same set of challenges in organizations where BPM projects are rolled out to end users but neither does the senior management nor project management really become active users of the new solution. I believe it is time to change that. Start with the ones who introduce the change and not the ones who get affected by it.

Business Process Management is truly an effective and very positive change. As I read recently in my favorite blog on Business Process, “Process Café”, implementing processes by stealth is a very good way to introduce BPM into the organization. And what better way, than to start with defining a process to run the BPM Project and having the first deployment to be the Project Management processes.

This would help the PMO to understand the solution that has been procured and the capability of the vendor contracted to deploy it without upsetting the existing way of working or forcing core operations through a difficult transition period.

Sadly, this is as true as politicians changing our governance policies, as the higher you are up the ladder, the more you are connected to instructions and less to actions. I also have to be honest here that neither have I been a part of any project where this has been practiced nor have I ever been empowered to practice this. But, rest assured, when that stage in my career comes when I have full ownership or leadership over a BPM project, my first process would be the process of the BPM project management.

Until then, I wish any one of the few readers of my blog, start “practicing what they preach.” (If they don’t already do!)


1. Jaisundar - November 21, 2009

You have touched on a very important point that contributes to the success of BPM projects. Top level buy-in is not only important, it’s continued involvement through the entire project and thereafter is very important for a BPM project to give multi-dimentaional benefits. Situations where this is not practiced make you wonder if it is a BPMS that is being implemented for the sake of automating processes.
Great discussions!

2. ruben - November 21, 2009

Intersting post!

3. Gary - November 21, 2009

Sanooj – A great little post!. I believe that top level management buy-in is also vital to the success of any project, BPM more than any. It is actually a key tenant in my book ‘The Perfect Process Project’ If you drop me a line at G_comerford @ GCp-consulting.com I will be happy to send you a free copy of that book as a thank you for mentioning my blog “The Process Cafe” as being your favourite.

Thanks, Sanooj

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