February 24th 2016

How to Counter 5 Common Misconceptions About BPM

In our last post, we described 4 tactics that would help you achieve buy-in for your business process management (BPM) initiative. The last of these recommendations was to anticipate specific hesitations your colleagues would have about BPM’s value and implementation. For this blog, we’ll dive a bit further into that topic, providing you with the ammo to counter some of the most likely roadblocks you will encounter.

We don’t have the kind of money for this type of solution. It’s a common misconception that BPM initiatives are expensive to get started on. Explain that small- and medium-sized businesses can absolutely profit from BPM with a limited number of modelers, particularly with the emergence of cloud-based solutions. You should also mention in your response that one of the biggest benefits of BPM is the reduction of operating costs through automation and increased efficiency. A well-run BPM initiative will always quickly make up for its initial price – the more cost-conscious you are, the more you should love BPM!

We don’t have any modeling experts here, so we can’t even use the software correctly. BPM tools are getting more and more intuitive to use, with drag-and-drop features that require no programming background. There is also wealth of material available online to help beginners. Between process quality institutes, thought-leaders and solutions providers themselves, a huge bank of resources exists for the BPM newbie to get up to speed quickly. If you do a bit of modeling homework beforehand, you will impress colleagues by communicating the basic mechanics of BPM and serve as an example of how easy it is to get started.

This will change our company culture and make us less agile and innovative. Documenting and optimizing processes is not about limiting flexibility or turning your staff into robots carrying out task after task. In fact, BPM frees up your employees to use their most valuable skills, automating repeated, labor-intensive work and outlining responsibilities clearly. If a process needs changing because of an external factor (ie. new regulations, shifts in demand), companies who don’t use BPM are often left scrambling to figure out what needs to be done. This wastes time your organization can’t afford! Using process models allows you to immediately identify the steps in a workflow needing alteration, making you far more agile than before.

I’ve never heard of any of our competitors doing this. If that’s true, then great! It means your organization can be the first in the space to run at optimal efficiency. In all likelihood, however, this is not the case. BPM initiatives aren’t typically the type of moves that make for flashy press releases or self-congratulatory social media posts. Rather, you can tell which companies are managing their processes by looking towards the head of the pack, and to any newcomers with exceptionally satisfied customers. The best-in-class for your industry are almost certainly engaged in some form of process management, whether you realize it or not.

There’s nothing wrong, and change would be too difficult anyway. This is often the most difficult hurdle to overcome, as it involves changing someone’s deep-rooted perception of the way a business is operating. Decision-makers have often been in an organization for many years, and after a while this makes avoidable problems seem like facts of doing business. The best way to counter these notions is to bring in other employees with first-hand experiences that can help make your case. Take for example a hiring manager who spends most of her time doing employee on-boarding because your legacy systems require lengthy manual data entry. Instead of devising new ways to attract the best and brightest thinkers to your organization, the manager is inundated with forms to fill out and submit. These sort of tangible stories from real employees give a face to otherwise invisible issues.

All good, new ideas are bound to be met with some resistance. But your colleague’s concerns will bring out the best in your idea, forcing you to think critically about whether it is necessary or feasible. If you’re hit with any of the challenges listed above, you should now have the confidence to effectively counter and persuade the BPM-doubters in your organization.

If all else fails, there’s one tactic that should be sure to work: a free trial! Check out Signavio’s 30-day trial today, and use this time as a testing ground to prove your BPM initiative is a worthy one!