A few weeks ago, on the BPM.com forum, a fairly simple question was posed.  It was, “In your experience, which key step is most often overlooked in achieving success with BPM?”

There were a multitude of responses, clearly indicating that there is no universal missing link to BPM success.  Just like unique clients, projects, industries, and implementations, the pathways to success are varied in what may be overlooked or missed along the way.  It also indicates that BPM products and projects, though easier, faster, and more agile to build with, still require thorough planning and management to ensure successful outcomes.

So, are you missing something from one of your BPM projects?  Here are some of the “most often overlooked” steps to successful BPM projects:

What's missing?

1.  Not knowing what “success” looks like.  The project at hand will have specific milestones to success that should be defined and followed throughout each stage of development.  If you don’t know where you are aiming, how will you ever hit your target?

2. Failing to maintain focus on project objectives.  As a project moves into development cycles, objectives can become distant concepts that get pushed to the wayside.  Not keeping objectives in the forefront can mean that development gets skewed away from the original intent of the project.

3. Going into projects with unrealistic expectations for the particular BPM product being used.  Each product has its own set of features and capabilities.  Expecting every product to perform all capabilities or even non-BPM capabilities, is unrealistic.  Clients need to understand the true capabilities of their specific product prior to project initiation.

4.  Lacking implementation planning and backup/backout steps, in case things go awry.  When it’s time to “go live” each step of literal product implementation should be spelled out and clearly documented, including how to backup any existing systems, as well as how to “undo” an implementation that fails or runs into unexpected errors.

5.  Not having management buy-in (and therefore, support and backing) for a project from initiation to release.  In short, if your client and/or it’s leadership fails to support the project before or during development, chances of your project succeeding are greatly reduced.

6.  Starting with a project that is too small and low impact or too big and high risk.  For a BPM project to really shine, it’s best to start with a “goldilocks” project that marries just the right scope to just the right scale.  When projects are too small, your return on investment (ROI) won’t be realized until two or three or more projects down the road.  When projects are too large and complex, delivery dates are usually distant and finalizing an actual functional product can also have a delayed ROI that taxes the budget and the patience of the client.

7. Leaving the project without a maintenance plan.  A product is only successful if it stays in a functional and up-to-date state.  If you do not provide your client with the keys to maintaining the product, performance will begin to downgrade, and then your product becomes the next loathsome application that “doesn’t work right” for your client.  What may have seemed successful on release becomes a failure upon usage.

Please read about other missing links in the forum discussion here.

architech 2ArchiTECH Solutions, as BPM solution experts, are well-versed in the potential pitfalls of BPM projects and can help your company avoid them.  If you have an upcoming project and would like to invest in a BPM solution, we can provide our broad management knowledge and deep technical experience to ensure that your project is a success.  Our partnerships with three industry giants, Pegasystems, Appian, and BPM’online, also ensure that you will get the best and most up-to-date expertise available.

Contact us for your next BPM project by email at orangebpm@architechsolutions or by phone at 703-972-9155.