BPM Back to Basics, Part 2: Things Move Fast – So Should Your Business: The Case for Lean BPM

By March 27, 2013Uncategorized

When you spend so much time focused on solving a certain type of problem, it’s easy to get caught up in “circular” thinking. At BP Logix, we appreciate that each situation brings with it a history of issues and pain points, and culturally, that improving a situation requires sensitivity and awareness. While business process management (BPM) thinkers are not known for being shy about their opinions, we also recognize that there’s no such thing as one, and only one, way to introduce, implement and manage BPM software.

What we do, however, firmly believe is that a successful BPM software implementation is always flexible and makes allowances for organizational change when needed — or mandated.
The goal of BPM is to have a system and framework that provide a usable and functional model which, in turn, drives change at both the behavioral and outcome level. We refer to that as “lean BPM.” Inherent in lean BPM is the ability to combine the vision and goals of traditional BPM with practical methods for achieving a business process automation software solution with management and oversight.  Lean BPM is also nimble BPM. And implementing it will dramatically change the way you operate your business.

Part of what makes lean BPM nimble is speed. After all, if you know where there are issues with your business processes, there’s no reason to spend countless hours immersed in PowerPoint presentations and lengthy debates. The sooner you identify the issues, the sooner you can resolve them — and the faster you’ll impact the bottom line.

Implementing a new methodology means learning new tools which, in turn, requires getting comfortable with them as quickly as possible. The more familiar the tools are (or the more they work like tools you have used previously) the faster you can reach a comfort level and embed them within your daily operations.  Ideally, your new tools should give you deeper insights into how your business runs, helping you become more aware and better informed.

That is one of decisions we made when developing Process Director. We thought it was important to incorporate the look-and-feel of tools users know and have used previously but we didn’t stop there.  While our interface lends itself to developing rules definitions and changing processes easily– it doesn’t stop there. We don’t believe in trading off rich functionality for a friendly interface. Instead we offer both. Simplicity does not mean lack of sophistication. To the contrary……

A lean BPM fully understands the needs of business users and recognizes that these users may not be highly technical. In turn, that means that the tools that facilitate BPM must be fairly easy to use and easy to manipulate — at the end of the day, they need to impact the business, but without disrupting the processes that make the business what it is. A successfully implemented BPM solution must be flexible enough to adapt with the needs of the business and its users.

Inherent in implementing anything new is the cost factor. Spending a lot of money for only incremental gains is generally not a good business decision. All customers want cost-effective and rapidly deployable BPM solutions. Look, for example, at our profile on NEC Labs. It wasn’t just our ability to meet their technical needs, but our interface and pricing that led to their decision — and the relationship. Many of our customers are able to demonstrate cost (and time!) savings as a result of implementing a lean BPM.

Fast-moving organizations are adaptable and resilient. Their ability to embrace change is embedded within their systems and their process. Ultimately, having a system and framework that helps the business adapt and succeed is one of the most important metrics for BPM. It is also the reason that more and more organizations look at BPM as a way to adapt and evolve. The ones we work with, our customers, are also realizing major bottom-line benefits as well.

–Marti Colwell, VP of Marketing and Business Development