How Does BPM Help Operational Excellence?
There is a good chance that your commute this morning was enabled, at least in part, by work done by Multi-Chem, a BP Logix customer. A global company that is a service unit of Halliburton, Multi-Chem develops and manufactures oilfield products, gas well treatments and pipeline solutions that enhance oil production. The company’s products address the chemical challenges associated with producing, processing and transporting oil and gas. A rapidly-growing company (50-70% for 10 consecutive years), Multi-Chem has a longstanding record of creating solutions relied on by some of the world’s largest and most respected energy companies.
Technology pundits have been furiously typing away over the past couple weeks trying to explain the significance of Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, a thermostat company. "It will change how we manage our lives," say the early adopters. "It will give Google knowledge of our every movement," say the detractors. Around the halls of BP Logix, we feel like we have been in the catbird’s seat as an observer, and now a participant, in this event because one of our recent customers, Crestron Electronics, has (like Google and Nest) seen the future —and is already delivering on it.
The genius of well-designed software is that it bores in on a specific type of problem and delivers an effective solution that is unique to that problem. For the IT buyer, there's a lot of work and responsibility that goes into identifying then evaluating the right solution. Sometimes it can appear that there are only minor differences among the vendors— and investigating feature sets becomes tedious very quickly. It's easy to see where decision fatigue can set in. This is where some buyers are inclined to just select a product that's "close enough" or to re-use a tool that has already been deployed in the organization for some other purpose.
At what point will your organization be ready to adopt a business process mindset and implement a process-focused way of working?
In the course of the lifecycle of almost any business, someone invariably gets the idea that some aspect of the organization could be run better — and suggests that ‘change might do everyone some good.’ The idea of making some change (or set of changes) generally comes from a place called ‘good intentions’ or ‘progressive thinking.’ It might be thought of as being along the lines of, "We are doing well, but could be doing better."
In today’s competitive market, you, or we, would be hard pressed to find executives who do not want their companies to be better organized and more efficient. Most C-level leaders pepper their speeches and memos with messages that implore employees to find smarter ways of working, techniques that will maximize their business process improvement efforts and reduce or even eliminate repetitive tasks. The hope is that somewhere between "working smarter" and “a validated bottom-line improvement” some actions will occur that make that vision a reality. Unfortunately, that middle ground between desires and outcomes is usually where the best laid plans often go astray.
In between technical walk-throughs, I’ve been reading blogs about Successful Workplaces. The question arises - If Operational Improvement is not improving, what is it called?