Selling BPM Projects from “the bottom up”

Speaking to the C-Suite about BPM


What’s at the top of the C-level agenda and how does BPM added-value align to strategic vision?

There have always been a number of ways to manage processes in organizations:

  • the tried-and-true mix of spreadsheets, emails and Post-Its
  • the ambitious projects to “reengineer” the whole company every couple of years
  • and there is the daily pain of just doing what needs to be done.

Astute managers figure out a way to cope with the process issues, taking them off their shoulders while improving efficiency. BPM, which can be implemented at any level, can be a “local solution.”

Thus BPM implementation often begins and grows locally. BPM is an empowering tool at all levels of an organization. When you are responsible for departmental goals and objectives, you may see clearly how your organization can gain direct benefit from BPM automation.

Yet wide-spread adoption needs the buy-in of top management. Selling the value of BPM implementation is “not all about you.” Instead, it should be “all about the strategic objectives of the enterprise.”

So how should you talk to executive management about BPM?  Address the issues at the top of the C-Suite agenda. Here are 6 specific issues; in this post I’ll address the first 3, and in Part 2 of this blog series I’ll address the rest.

  1. Quality of service & customer satisfaction
  2. Operational excellence & productivity
  3. Business agility
  4. Governance & sustainability
  5. Risk management
  6. Employee motivation & collaboration

1. Quality of service & customer satisfaction

BPM allows you to design and quickly implement inter-related customer-facing processes with all involved stakeholders, to collect data from customer interaction and to report results. This can be done in incremental steps, to aid adoption by building on success. Change is made easier and the customer experience can be improved continuously.

2. BPM is the path to operational excellence & productivity

When an organization is achieving results – good or bad –you can retrace how those results are obtained by using BPM. Management can easily replicate successful processes in other departments or subsidiaries. Where there are issues, you can quickly identify bottlenecks, understand root causes and apply fixes.

Thanks to this continuous improvement loop, your company’s processes can be optimized to best serve your markets at any time, leading to great operational efficiency and higher customer satisfaction.

3. BPM improves business agility and speed-to-market

To remain competitive in the fast-moving global economy, your company needs to be able to anticipate changes and act before competitors. If your processes are clear, robust and efficient, your company will be better prepared to tackle tomorrow’s market challenges.


Your company may well get a higher ROI than your calculations anticipate

BPM can have a positive impact on many aspects of a company, from governance and sustainability to motivation and change management, to agility and collaboration, to compliance and risk management.

Is this something that can be quantified? Definitely.

Classic ROI calculation builds upon:

  • efficiency models measuring cost savings, lost productivity, rework and duplication, and
  • statistical and probabilistic model for risk evaluation.

The good news is there’s a very good chance your company will get a higher return than your calculations will anticipate. And you will be able to show this with process measurements.

Once the company’s processes are structured, optimized and automated, management can focus more on defining and implementing strategy and less on logistics. Teams have time to get customer insights, and to anticipate and get ready for the next challenges.

The C-suite and the Board of Directors are better prepared to work on their vision of the future.

For details about these and other examples, see the BPMLeader featured white paper Speaking to the C-Suite About BPM.

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By Ruth Cernes Fagebaume @ Bonitasoft | May 16, 2013

2 Responses to Selling BPM Projects from “the bottom up”

  1. Pingback: Sometimes BPM gets started at the bottom - Appian Insight Blog

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