How to Cope with Resistance to BPM Projects

How to Cope with Resistance to BPM Projects
Posted On: October 9, 2014

Don't hate BPMI still remember we were doing this Windows NT platform migration (from Windows 3.1) project for a financial company in San Francisco. As a part of the migrating some call center/CRM applications were being rewritten from Desktop app to web app.
This was an IT lead initiative and understandably there was some resistance from the users, because for them, it was just learning a new way of doing the same thing that they were so used to. So there was this whole User Training and Awareness effort to explain the benefits of web application, etc. But that was year 1998.

Today things have changed a lot. We use Computers and mobile devices for pretty much everything from rides share to airline boarding passes and from shopping for groceries to window blinds for your home. So today’s Employee (or knowledge worker) as such is no longer resistant to change as long as it improves the user experience. In fact users are asking for change such as mobility or social collaboration features or interactive UIs that can improve their efficiency.

But Users are still rejecting some BPM/IT applications. Such rejections should not be considered as resistance to BPM, but instead we need to take a closer look at why Employees reject new Applications and how can IT reduce the risk of such project failures.

  • Engage Users in Process Discovery – Collaborate with the users, understand the existing process and get early feedback about the changes. We find IBM BlueWorks Live very useful in collaborating with business users and orchestrating the business process. Also, periodic playbacks help in getting the early feedback.
  • Starting BPM journey with the right Process – Pick the right process for starting out on the BPM journey. It should be a quick win, but at the same time it should be a significant process, not just some process that is used by a very small group of users or which is used very infrequently, because you won’t get the ROI.
  • Listen to the Users or Customers – It is very important to listen to your users. Let them share their concerns, listen to them, collect VoCs (Voice of Customers). Lot of times, Process Improvement solution is hidden in user problems.
  • Focus not only on the process, but also User Experience – Remember, User Experience improvement is an integral part of process improvement.
  • Don’t forget the Customer Experience – Always keep the end customer in mind. Do not eliminate steps that add value to the end customer while trying to optimize the process.
  • Keep the Solution Simple – Finally, follow the Keep it Simple Strategy. Don’t over complicate the solution.

And don’t forget the Lean principles if you want to achieve faster ROI. Refer to my blog post “What is a Lean BPM Implementation?”.

BPM as a technology has all the ingredients to solve today’s Business Process Improvement challenges. I think if BPM Architects follow these simple things, they can deliver BPM Applications that Users will love and increase the adoption of BPM in any organization.

This blog post was originally published on BPMLeader.com

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