Posted by: Adam Deane | 15/03/2010

BPM Projects – Top 5 Problems & Risks

BPM Projects - Problems & RisksKnowing 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.

Change Creep

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.

Missing Prerequisites

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…

User Acceptance

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.


  1. […] BPM Projects – Top 5 Problems & Risks « Adam Deane A good list; I can definitely relate to some of these, such as "trying to use BPMS software for something it wasn't designed for". (tags: bpm) […]

  2. The subject is fully clear but why does the text lack clarity? But in general your blog is great.

  3. Embarking on design, development, implementation of Business Process Management System (BPMS) application is a challenge for an enterprise. Surveys consistently show that BPMS is a top priority for Business organization. Yet after years of investment and implementation, BPMS has failed to become pervasive among business users; Estimates that no more than 20% of business users actually use BPMS proactively. This means that BPMS is not being effectivelly used to manage Business Performance. So, what is the problem and why are’t Business organizations doing better with BPMS? I sees business organization facing challenges in several areas: Sort a standards practices to establish BPMS Processes and set themselves on the path to self-improvement.Global business organization use variety of frameworks, standards, methods and guideline principle to manage it. This research is to determine the most frequently encountered requirements in Process Approach of BPMS applications along with the recommended solution based to resolve these requirements using the Standardization of Best Practices on BPMS.

    Defining a BI and Performance Management Strategy
    What are the best practices in building a BI and performance management architecture?
    How should analytics be integrated into business processes and applications?

    What new emerging technologies should be planned for? Why, and when?
    What are the effects of technology advancements on data management and integration strategy, architectures and practice?
    What are the best practices for developing the organizational competencies and user skills?
    How can BPMS teams drive adoption of BPMS across the enterprise?

    How do businesses leverage information and analysis to improve performance?
    How can organizations identify the right performance metrics?
    What is the best way to govern a portfolio of analytic applications and BI platform capabilities?

  4. Reblogged this on the BPM freak !! and commented:
    Here is a Quick Snapshot of the Challenges faced in a BPM Implementation.

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