As we all know, if proper steps aren't taken, BPM projects, or any projects for that matter, can fail. Organizing a BPM implementation project is comparable to many other software implementations, but it certainly does have its peculiarities. BPM implementations can be successful if you follow the right methodologies, and after seeing many successful projects, I've noticed they all had certain commonalities.
Based off these commonalities, here are ten tips for implementing successful BPM projects:
- Have a BPM Excellence Center lead by a BPM champion. The team needs to be composed of both business and IT experts. The BPM champion needs to believe in business process management, know both business and IT aspects, and be very good at mediating. Because IT and business professionals often speak “different languages”, it’s important that someone is readily available to close the communication gap during the project.
- Use Professional Services on your first project or projects. This will ensure that the initial implementation goes smoothly and that knowledge transfer occurs between consultants and team members. After your first process, you can start to cut down on the dependency of external consultants and only use them for the most critical aspects of the projects.
- Provide adequate resources to ensure success: technology, time, and budget.
- Plan for managing project documentation. Make sure that team members review and understand all aspects of the project before starting.
- Insist on high quality and specific technical documentation from the development team; include documentation time and resources in the budget. Do not take legacy system integrations for granted – investigate thoroughly and include time for the investigation in the budget.
- Provide a change management plan for handling modifications to the fundamental requirements or project specifications.
- Include adequate time and resources for process map quality assurance in the budget.
- Invest in a thorough and complete project discovery, including well-documented use case scenarios for use in development, Q&A, and troubleshooting.
- Be vigilant in avoiding “scope creep”.
- Take the necessary steps to provide the team with proper training.
Notice that none of the items above are highly technical, as they mainly incorporate planning and management. If you have the right team in place, a good budget, a solid documented plan, room for change, unblocked communication and proper monitoring, you are on the right track.
Though not all best practices can, at all times, be implemented in all projects, the more you adhere to best practices, the more likely there will be significant and measurable results for your organization.