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How to energize your BPM? Use AAA! January 18, 2010

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management.
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You guessed it right, one of the 3 A-s is Analysis. But, obviously.
To me, though, this carries the least priority compared to the other 2.  During the course of my career from a fledgling Web Programmer to an Internet Marketer to a Document Management Consultant to a Business Process Consultant, I have learnt that the other 2 A-s have a bigger role. Agenda and Answers.

So, how does BPM energize itself on these AAA-s? Every BPM professional needs to analyze a process, but the path to Analysis is easier read than tread.

Agenda 

Business Process Management is not easy. In fact, it probably is more hated by Business Users than anything else, well, except Audit maybe.

  • Heads of Business Units who have run personal fiefdoms find their decisions and their management now being questioned by the “Process” and go on the defensive or in some cases, very aggressive.
  • User find themselves being told to do the same task in a different way because it does not align with the “Process” and start opposing or hating it.
  • Senior Management looks excited and claim that they now get “Transparency”  and “Metrics” .

Welcome to the world of AGENDA. Every stakeholder in a business has an agenda, some constructive, some delaying, some destructive. No Business Process can thrive without their participation. As a BPM professional, it is imperative that you keep your eyes, ears and James Bond attentive to the different agendas that you will have to cross paths or swords with.

Free advice: Senior Management buy-in alone is never enough. Generals can strategize but you need the Captains to lead on the field and the Soldier to pull the trigger to win the War.

Answers

Thankfully, not all stakeholders have Agendas. Some good Samaritans do come along the way who have the answers. As a BPM analyst, it is critical that you find them and take them into confidence. Be aware that most of them cannot afford to expose themselves due to fear of the “Agenda” folk. Remember, all honest answers need not be the right answers. If the source of answer is fearful of exposure, most likely, they are less exposed to the bigger picture. But, isn’t that why we have the “Analysis”? 😉

Free advice: Never ever expose them. Never ever blindly believe them.

Analysis

Finally as a BPM professional, you are ready to do your job. Although the principles for BPM analysis remains the same, be sure to keep the Agenda and Answers in mind when you do so. While BPM allows for an organization to improve and manage better, it is important for the BPM analyst not to step into the shoes of Business Unit Management and Users.

Free advice: You can never satisfy all the Agenda and you can never include all the Answers. Apply due diligence and prudent decisions when you do your Analysis.

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Comments»

1. Gary - January 18, 2010

Any thoughts and advice on how to identify the ‘Agenda’s and find the ‘Answers’?

In principal the points raised in the article are valid. However I feel as though it has just stopped short of being a totally useful article due to the fact that it misses key information such as the two questions above. Also how would you go about getting the Captains and Soldiers on your side?

Thanks, Sanooj

2. Sanooj Kutty - January 19, 2010

Gary, you have hit the nail on the head. I must admit I have been selfish not to disclose in more detail the methods I deploy. Let’s say, its the same exposure concerns I mentioned about in the post.

But more importantly, these are managed depending on the political, social and various other intanglible traits of the organization which are difficult to be classified and addressed.

Hence, I limited the scope of the post to highlighting them more than resolving them.

3. John Jansen - January 19, 2010

It’s true Sanooj, and you are only talking on the first part of a BPM project. Implementing an BPM system means cultural and mental changes in the way work is now organised. And how is this part organised? And how is the information of the business analyst being used to help implementing a BPM system “smoothly”. Often analysts are great in analysing from a functional or technical view, but its only a part of the total play. Discussion on agenda and anwers can take a serious amount of time, the reason why BPM projects often take so long 🙂

4. Andrew Smith @onedegree - January 21, 2010

its good to read an article that highlights Agenda. Often this is overlooked by the business and consultants alike, yet its something I have always been very keen to address from the outset of a project. Agendas soon become clear when you get exposed to internal politics of an organisation and its key to walk through the mine field as carefully as possible.

I agree with John in the comment above, cultural and mental changes are always needed when we start to look at the way people work. Unfortunately most business processes have evolved based on how people have done things in the past, this always causes issues and can make finding the answers hard (and even the analysis of a process hard). I always like to find champions of change inside an organisation (even better if they work within processes themeseleves). If you cannot champion your new BPM solution and process change, then you are always going to fail…

BPM professionals and any consultant for that fact, need to remember that we are seen as “outsiders”, we must tread carefully around people and internal politics, always being aware of Agendas and feelings is key to being a great consultant…

Great article…

5. Gary - January 21, 2010

Andrew has hit the nail on the head with his comment: If you cannot champion your new BPM solution and process change, then you are always going to fail…

Ideally your champion should be a senior manager who is invested in making this work (and has the power to make decisions across the whole of the organisation affected by the process change) but failing that you need a motivated group of individuals who are willing to challenge the norm and make changes.

As you say Sanooj – It’s all about the Agendas

Gary


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