4 Telltale Signs You Should Reboot Your BPM Initiatives

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By Jonathan Unger

BPM initiatives always begin with the best of intentions – let’s make our processes sing, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and satisfying customers! Unfortunately, some of them are destined from the get-go to underperform. It can be very difficult to tell in the midst of an initiative, however, if that’s the case with your own. Below are four signs that your initiative may already be headed in the wrong direction and needing a reboot:

1. Your tool requires extensive initial training

Process improvement takes a lot of thought & effort, so any tool with sufficient technical depth is bound to be pretty confounding at first, right? Actually, it’s just the opposite! Nowadays, drag-and-drop BPM interfaces enable users to get started with their software in mere minutes. Deeper skill of course develops over time, but the fundamentals can be mastered much faster than with legacy BPM tools. Remember: the more time you spend upfront on training, the longer it takes for more employees to get involved and start delivering value.

2. Your main goal is modeling every single organizational process

Being a completist is fine. If you want to own every Prince B-side or pair of Air Jordans ever made, more power to you. Don’t let this way of thinking inform your process improvement, though! Many organizations are led astray right at the start of their initiative, in the goal-setting stage. They wrongly focus on getting every single process modeled to a great level of detail. The result? Less attention is paid to optimizing core processes and overly complex models frustrate business users. And as MWD Advisors put it in a recent white paper, “process adoption trumps process design perfection every time.”

3. Only modeling experts are involved in the BPM initiatives & improvement journey

Having modeling experts is undoubtedly important. There are nuances to BPM technology that can’t (and don’t need to be!) grasped by each employee. With that caveat out of the way, it is vital that they are all involved in process improvement. Collaboration is the key to success, and it’s that belief in BPM for everyone that drives us here at Signavio. Including employees not only gets them engaged and creates buy-in for any changes that might occur – it also tangibly improves the quality of new process models. The employees who know the most about how a process should function are those who are carrying out the tasks within every day, so their knowledge is invaluable in creating the best possible processes. If your current BPM tool doesn’t naturally foster collaboration, you need to look elsewhere.

4. You’re modeling decisions in BPMN 2.0 instead of DMN 1.1

Think of the most complicated process model you’ve seen, be it in your company, consulting work or elsewhere. In all likelihood, it could’ve been majorly simplified through the use of Decision Management Notation (DMN) and decision tables. DMN helps shrink the number of paths coming out of decision gateways and makes process models far easier to interpret – again increasing the likelihood they are widely used. If you’re unfamiliar with Decision Management, the best place to start might be with our Quick Guide.

The challenge of process improvement is of course a big one (otherwise every business would be operating perfectly!), but it becomes even harder if any of these signs are apparent. With a partner like Signavio, you can easily reboot an initiative that is going the wrong way. To find out more, check out our white paper on this very topic!