How to Beat Common Arguments Against Process Management

Written by Lucas de Boer | 3 min read
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As a process management champion, you can feel things are going well in your quest to introduce effective process management into your organization. Of course, there are always a few last-minute hurdles… Read on to discover how you can anticipate and neutralize common arguments against new process management initiatives.

Building on buy-in

One of the recommendations in Signavio’s recent guide to the best tactics for achieving buy-in for your process management initiative was to anticipate specific questions your colleagues would have about the value, implementation, and cost of your process management program. Now, we can dive more deeply into that topic, providing you with the information you need to overcome five of the most common arguments against process management.

5 common arguments against process management

All new ideas are bound to be met with at least some resistance. In some ways, this can present a constructive opportunity, as answering concerns from your colleagues 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 following five common arguments against process management, here's what you need to know to persuade the doubters in your organization.

1) We don’t have the money

BPM initiatives don’t have to be expensive! Small- and medium-sized businesses can absolutely profit from smaller-scale process management initiatives, especially with the rise of cloud-based solutions. You should also mention in your response to this argument that one of the biggest benefits of process management is the reduction of operating costs through automation and increased efficiency. A well-run process management initiative will always quickly recoup its initial investment. In fact, the more cost-conscious you are, the more you should love process management!

2) We don’t have any modeling experts

With the right process management tool, you don’t need to be an expert to get started with mapping and modeling your processes. For example, the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite is designed to be intuitive to use, with drag-and-drop features that require no programming background.

There is also a 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 process management newbie to get up to speed quickly. If you do a bit of modeling homework beforehand, you will be able to impress colleagues by communicating the basic principles and mechanics of process management quickly and convincingly. Showing how easy it is to get started is also a very practical and effective way of overcoming other common arguments against process management.

3) 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, effective process management frees up your employees to use their most valuable skills, automating repeated, labor-intensive work, and outlining responsibilities clearly.

If a process needs to be updated because of an external factor like new regulations or shifts in demand, companies without a process management framework can often be left scrambling to figure out exactly what needs to change. 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.

4) 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. Process management 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.

5) There’s nothing wrong, and change would be too difficult anyway

In other words, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 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.

One example would be 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.

Next steps

If, despite your best efforts, one of these common arguments against process management takes hold in your organization, there’s one tactic that should be a surefire solution: a free trial! Check out Signavio’s 30-day trial today, and use this time as a testing ground to prove your process management initiative is a worthy one.

Published on: July 5th 2019 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020