There is the general belief that all that’s needed is some kind of social gizmo, and people will start collaborating.
Collaboration software has come a long way in the last decade: Email, Twitter, Yammer, SharePoint, Wikis, mobile phones…
All are excellent software solutions and all help with the issues of company collaboration and internal communications, but the problems remain the same: internal politics and human nature.
Some things can’t be solved by software. Take brainstorming for example. Brainstorming is part of any innovation, be it designing a new technology or starting a new BPM initiative.
Brainstorming is easier said than done. Too many people participating, and you’ve got a babbling session that will lead to nowhere, but if you’ve got one or two other participants that are on your same wave length, that you can throw ideas back and forth with – you’ve got a winner.
Brainstorming in BPM usually appears at the start of a project.
A small window of opportunity to change the way before committing to a project plan.
Once you’re committed to a project path, it’s too late to rethink or change.
Brainstorming can be around choosing the correct first process to begin implementing, it could be a decision on the way to interact with the client stakeholders, the way to publicise the BPM programme inside the organisation.
Deciding that BPM projects need stakeholders is easy. Finding the right person is hard.
Deciding that Business and IT need to work together is easy. Planning a way to avoid the internal politics is harder.
Deciding that BPM needs to solve business pains, is easy. Locating the true business pain and thinking of a smart way to tackle it is harder.
It’s nothing to do with project management. Dealing with scope creep is normal day to day project management. If you’ve got a good enough project manager it will work.
Brainstorming is required to ensure the correct strategic decisions are taken at the start of the project. The ones that will cripple the BPM initiative if wrong.
Meetings for the sake of meetings are not productive.
And yes, if you’ve got enough experience in BPM projects – you will probably make the right decisions, but having brainstorming sessions at the critical junction of a new BPM initiative is priceless.
There is no brainstorming software out there yet.
Trying to run brainstorming sessions via email, social media or any other gizmos doesn’t work.
It’s all in the eye contact, the tone of the voice that tells you that your idea is rubbish. It won’t work. Try another way…