Starting small is usually the best practice for success with any big project. When it comes to BPM initiatives, this same idea applies. Starting small helps project managers to fully understand the process, the software, and the project at hand. This in turn builds confidence and quick ROI. A few things to keep in mind when getting started with you BPM project are:
Invest time into Process Discovery - There is much to be said and learned by examining your current processes. Often times by simply mapping out a process in its entirety you will find areas where it can be improved. A quick process discovery effort can reveal a great deal of information about your process and its efficiency, not to mention this is step one of process automation.
Focus on processes that will show you clear cost savings - The best way to win executive approval of your project is to begin automation with an expense or pay-out process because it will show them quantifiable results on how much they can save. Moreover, it will show the visibility that can be gained into the process to better monitor and control cash flow.
Automate processes and set up rules around areas of risk - Processes that mange and mitigate risk are perfect cases for BPM, especially as the government is tightening down on compliance issues and faulty accounting practices. Setting up rules will alert you when requests are over a certain dollar amount or lack pertinent information/approval.
Standardize your processes - When starting BPM initiatives, many clients find that they have redundant processes in various departments. Standardizing your processes and electronic forms can save you time and money in process development. It is a best practice to implement rules to govern the variation in the process depending on departmental needs.
Use process templates when able - Most businesses have similar processes when it comes to everyday basic tasks commonly found in Accounting and HR departments. Using an employee on-boarding template from your BPM vendor to automate your hiring process can help reduce time to deployment, facilitating quicker results and success. Although process templates are generic, they can easily be customized to fit your company's needs.
As you begin your process automation efforts keep these tips in mind as they can help you justify your project to others and gain approval, reduce your time to deployment, and help you ensure your BPM initiatives are successful.
Relevant Links:Strategies for Choosing Which Process To Automate: The Ultimus Process Prioritizer
Getting Started with Process Modeling
BPM is a Methodology First
Dynamic and Flexible Routing in Business Processes: Unstructured Processes