Over the last 10 years I have personally visited loads of customer business process management (BPM) deployments, and it is uncanny to see how common the problems can be regarding enterprise BPM adoption. In this post, I share my current top-five pitfalls.
1. Lack of a strong BPM leader
This one may be obvious, but with the complex nature of most BPM projects and the expansive nature of the stakeholder map, an experienced and effective BPM leader will need a strong set of skills to ensure success. Too often, companies simply recruit a project manager without any BPM, agile or integration experience.
2. Stakeholder buy-in
There are typically many key stakeholders in the business, IT and operations functions in most BPM projects. Across the different BPM projects, and as the corporation embraces enterprise-wide BPM adoption, some of these stakeholders are likely to include part of the executive C-suite audience. Without clear and effective stakeholder management, even if individual BPM projects succeed and deliver value, it is rare that enterprise adoption will be successful.
3. Incorrect data design
One of the key technical problems that I see time and time again is incorrect data design. BPM projects often use a data design linked to the user interface, and this sometimes misses the complexities of an integration-centric canonical structure. Without a clear understanding of the intricacies of this domain, projects often become excessively complicated to change and can lead to performance issues.
4. Agile and BPM
While companies have now started to adopt agile development within their organizations as their key development method, few actually have certified practioners leading the effort, which can mean sporadic adoption of the key components of the method. This is one of the main reasons IBM licenses its own BPM implementation methodology, ISIS, to customers and business partners. (Check out this download on the ISIS implementation methodology for more info.)
5. Wrong first project
Picking the right first project can also be a daunting task. Choosing an initial project as complex as “account opening,” even though you might have had the best intentions to justify a business case, often leads to stalled adoption. I typically advise clients to start with something smaller and less enterprise focused. This will allow you to gradually build skills, best practices and so on that you can use in later projects.
To avoid these common pitfalls, it is often useful to engage a trusted third party to ensure success, one with proven BPM practitioner experience. Spending this time planning will lead to a much better chance of success.
What other challenges have you seen in your BPM adoption? Connect with me on Twitter @aggarwal_sunil to hear and share more on this subject.