Our cohorts at Panorama Consulting often write good pieces about the importance of business process change management, especially when it relates to firms in growth mode who also happen to be implementing success strategies and software systems aimed at supporting that growth.
Recently they penned a piece on the topic of what you can learn from your business process management mistakes. Because we also spend our days reviewing firms’ business processes, we thought their words worth sharing with our audience. You’ll find their original piece here.
Just as researchers search furiously for the cause of disasters involving ships and planes, they suggest we too search for causes behind operational disruptions, which often cause morale problems among employees, inadequate software implementations and customizations, frustration all around, and low benefit realization.
To learn from our failures, the authors suggest we
- Forgive – “Take a deep breath, forgive ourselves and others” to gain a clear head.
- Analyze – Conduct a “lessons learned meeting to review project deliverables. Quantifying the direct and indirect costs in terms of time and money will give you an idea of the benefits you’ll need to realize to achieve a positive ROI on failure.”
- Disseminate – Share lessons learned across the organization.
Panorama notes that “operational disruptions can be avoided by developing an effective business process management plan.” They suggest including…
- Business Process Mapping. We wholeheartedly concur, because any successful implementation always starts here. At a high level, we map current processes and future-state processes, looking for technology touch points, redundancies (and ways to eliminate them), and how to do away with multiple and sometimes proprietary silos of information. You reengineer your processes in order to optimize your workflows, both human and machine, to best capture the talents of your organization and the areas where you lend the most value to your customers.
- Organization Change Management. Implementing new business solutions can often result in a decrease in productivity initially. As the authors note: “Business process management cannot succeed without customized training and targeted employee communication, both of which should begin before software selection.”
- Continuous Improvement. It’s a mentality. And it will help ensure that you maintain optimized processes consistently into the future. Set KPIs and other benchmarks which allow you to record progress and build toward improved performance. Measure regularly. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Good advice all to anyone implementing process change, organizational change, or structural changes from software to process management.