Most companies and public sector organizations spend a huge amount of money in projects every year in order to develop their business so that it will work better. The projects vary from internal efficiency boosting projects to customer facing projects. The purpose with a project is to create a lasting value over time for business; one of the most difficult parts in implementing the project is to ensure that you get a maximum value of the investment you make.
Has it happened that projects within your organization are implemented with a focus on the technical solution and not focus on creating the business value and how business will use the solution? Does it happen that you overlook to anchor and educate those in the business that will use the solution as part of their daily operation? Have you seen that after the project closes, the value of the solution degrades due to lack of focus on how you really should use it? I have, in several businesses over the years.
The answers to the questions above and to increase value in your projects are to use Business Process Management (BPM) and Organizational Change Management (OCM).
BPM will help you with gathering the requirements before the technology solution designed for the project. This is done by identifying the processes, and then from there create the technical solution that is needed to support the processes from a functional perspective. Of course this can be a standard type of system like CRM, ERP, and SCM for example. It may also be a development in Java or .NET. The best solution however is a BPMS system, a platform designed to support processes to 100 percent and deal with future iterative improvement of business processes in a very good way.
BPM is also the solution that will help you to further refine and enhance the value after the project is closed. After the solution has been put into production the solution is handed over to a process owner. An important part of the hand over material is of course the process maps and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). The process owner will be responsible for all further development of the processes and the technical solution that will support the processes. By doing this, you will create a continuous increase in value and minimize the chance of a new project or program in the same area is necessary in the future. Remember; processes needs to be under continuous improvement otherwise they will deteriorate and stop producing the value that you want.
OCM is about preparing the business for a new solution, i.e. business readiness. Why do we need to do this project? Establish a vision, what to accomplish. Communicate during the project the benefits of the project, i.e. why it is implemented. All this is made as part of the anchorage process. This applies to all stakeholders within and outside the organization (staff, customers, partners) affected by the new solution. In addition to anchoring held training sessions for the employees who will work in the new solution.
The major challenge in project is usually to get the three pillars of the projects, people, process and technology to have a balance. Unfortunately it’s very often that one these, the technical solution gets more focus rather than on those who will use the solution and processes around the solution. The key to success lies in BPM and OCM. Focus on balancing people and process up to the same level as the technical solution, then the probability that your project becomes a success much greater. At least that’s my experience from all projects that I’ve been involved in.