9 Steps for Launching Your BPM Program Successfully

Any process development program is a phased program. The first important phase is the launch. You need a plan in which the organization describes how it will roll out the Business Process Management initiative, selects processes for development and trains the people to lead the actual implementation.
Your plan for a successful BPM deployment should include, but is not limited to the following nine steps:

1. Choose a suitable BPM method. Not every process development method is suitable for every organization; you should make sure that you pick the one that helps your organization and then stick with it for long enough to get the benefits. If you have experienced help in BPM, you can combine the best aspects of different methods and make your own mix that best serves your needs. None of the existing BPM methods is the silver bullet.

2. Have executive workshops to train top-level people for BPM. It is very important to have top management on-board all the time. They should understand why BPM is important and how it can help to develop the business strategy further. Business processes are a way of implementing customer strategy and top-level people can be helped to understand that, by having workshops designed for their needs.

3. Training of people is important. If you are in service business, then train people to Customer Expectation Management. If you manufacture something, look into Lean or Six Sigma and train enough champions, master black belts and such. BPM is not any one method, it contains several methods, so train your people to whatever process method you decide to use. As a minimum, have every person in your organization understand the basics.

4. Create a clear statement of goals and a strategy for achieving them. There is no point in doing BPM, unless you have a goal to achieve. And since everything that is done in an organization is BPM, no organization can have success without a clear purpose. Keep your goals clear and your strategy for achieving them even clearer. Make sure that your business development efforts contribute to those. Everyone in your organization should understand what are the common goals and which strategy is implemented to achieve them.

5. Measure process performance and schedule them for review. You get what you measure, so make sure that you measure the outcomes that you want to receive. Many times organizations have KPIs that are internally focused and do not measure the right things. After you measure the right things, you need to follow how those results develop. Organize scheduled reviews for process performance to learn what you can do better and how.

6. Make a communication plan. Nowadays all works require communication and cooperation. You need to have a plan on how you are going to communicate the business developments to different stakeholders. Evaluate what information is important to whom and how to share it. If you manage to do communication well, other problems can solve themselves because of that. And if you handle communications poorly, you will get problems that did not exist before.

7. Create a system for identifying and prioritizing projects. You need to identify what process improvement projects are needed and then prioritize them. Here also the Pareto rule applies; you will get 80% of process improvement benefits from 20% of your business processes. Best way to optimize processes is to get rid of processes that do not contribute to successful customer outcomes and improve the rest.

8. Have a system for monitoring the progress of BPM projects and for auditing. You have to monitor not only processes, but also developing them. Make sure that your BPM projects stay on the right track. You can also organize internal and external auditions for BPM projects to maintain the quality.

9. Plan for rewards, incentives and recognition. Only pay for doing the right things. Reward useful innovations, give incentives on jobs well-done and give recognition on improving business processes. People do what they are paid for, so make sure that you pay them for the things that help your organization provide better customer experiences. Even little details matter, so do not overlook them, if they matter to the customer. Create a culture of positive change into your organization.


After the successful launch phase, it is time to move on to the management phase. It is important not to stay in one place, but to develop business processes all the time as customer expectations evolve. BPM is not a one-shot project; it needs to be an iterative, on-going process all the time. When you come up with really good ways to do things, your competitors will mimic it soon and therefore you need to be ready to take the next step forward when needed.


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By Janne Ohtonen @ For a FREE process leadership book - CLICK HERE | November 15, 2012

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