Today, many managers shield their teams from the BPM (Business Process Management) roadmap or application decisions during the planning process. Their thinking is that their workforce needs to be productive and not disrupted. That is understandable. Too often, BPM enhancements are rolled out with minimal forethought to user training and the deployment becomes a surprise and users feel overwhelmed. However, what is needed is upfront communications and upfront training on new BPM deployments that affect the workforce. Process owners should think about communicating their change management plan in parallel when they are requesting the change from the business process management team.
Here is a three point plan for increasing work user adoption for BPM related initiatives.
1) Prepare a communications plan that includes demoing, training, release date, and support procedures.
2) Demo and socialize the BPM application and get their feedback.
3) Prepare a pilot when complex functionality is introduced.
By communicating the milestones to the impacted audience, this prepares them for the training and the rollout. Users feel respected when the changes are forthcoming. If you have users and partners located in a geographically dispersed area make sure they are included in the communications as well.
Process owners are quick to request a demo for themselves, but they need to include the user audience impacted by the change. By demoing the application to the impacted user audience, weeks before the release, the higher the likelihood that user adoption will increase. Small issues with usability can be detected in the user interfaces as well as gaps in the training procedures.
Finally, for simple functionality, communicating early, and working with your team will gain the users support. However, if you have complex functionality going into production, you want to conduct a pilot among a small group first to make sure that the new features are working effectively, the audience team is confident, that they can begin to transition to this new functionality. If the application has defects, or hard to use, you have time to correct, and roll it out.