Knowing the problems and risks that you may face in a BPM project – is half the battle.
From my experience, these are the 5 main problems and risks that give me grey hair.
Missing the Business Pain
The top reason for a BPM project “going cold” is missing the business pain.
Unlike IT projects, where creating an application with “lots of functionality” is enough, a BPM project must tackle and solve the main business pain.
If the finance department still needs to spend the same amount of time filling in “an electronic form” (instead of a paper form), or if the workflow hasn’t cut down the time it takes the sales team to approve a quote – the project will go cold.
Trying to use BPMS software for something it wasn’t designed for
The temptation to try to use the BPMS wizards to create a non-workflow application (like creating an appointment diary or a search engine) is very risky.
90% of the development takes no time at all. The BPMS wizards create the workflow quickly and easily.
The last 10% can take forever. This will happen when you try to implement functionally that is not built-in to the BPMS software.
A good “give-away” of this problem is when developers start opening up Visual Studio “to write something small”.
Most of this customised functionality is not critical and could have been avoided.
We have all been there before… Everyone is happy with the workflow.. “it just needs a few tweaks..”
Agreeing with every nice-to-have request will cause delivery delays, additional bugs… and the project will never go live.
Creating the workflow, even complex scenarios take me no time at all. Nowadays everything is done by wizards.
That’s why it is so frustrating when the project stalls due to things beyond our control.
These are things that should have been completed before even starting the workflow development:
Installation: Not set up properly / missing a component / missing a service pack…
Security: The system administrator has blocked everyone from accessing the database server / external server / ftp / local machine …
Integration: Cannot access a remote server / customer’s web service not ready / application blocked…
BPM projects change the way an organisation operates. They change the way employees work.
People don’t like change (Worry from the unknown, worry about losing their job, prestige or power)
New technology scares older employees (Will I be replaced with an automated system, “teaching an old dog new tricks”).
Success of a BPM project is influenced by the speed employees embrace the new technology and work methodology.