Posted by: Adam Deane | 10/11/2011

BPM: Keep my butt out of jail

Get out of jailAlthough the standard mantra for BPM value is efficiency, compliance, agility, visibility.. at the end of the day you deal with people, each with their own agenda, each with their own motivators.

Knowing what makes people tick helps you find them the right solution.

Buzzwords to use: Growth, compliance, regulation, revenue, politics, resource management, risk management

  • Keep my butt out of jail
  • How does it help me grow revenue (or cut expenses)
  • Keeping staff and managing resources – the war for talent

The CFO (large organisations)

  • Keep my butt out of jail
  • I need help in complying with regulations
  • I need to develop a strategy to deal with the competitive pressures
  • I need to deliver the numbers contained in that strategy
  • How does it help progress my own career

The CFO (in small organisations)
CFOs in small organisation have the same issues as above with an additional hump on their back – they are responsible for HR

  • I need to find and keep good staff – the war for talent
  • I need help in managing their time effectively
  • I need help in managing my own time effectively

Middle Management
From department heads to project managers. These are the people that deal with the day-to-day operations.

  • How does it help me get rid of the slackers
  • How does it help me get more done with less people
  • How does it help me with visibility
  • How does it help me Locate problems before they turn critical

Business Users

  • Can it help me bypass IT
  • How fast can I get it up and running
  • How can it make me a hero in the eyes of the management

The Average Joe

  • Make me look good!
  • Make others look bad!
  • Make me look good and others bad, without increasing my workload
  • Decrease my workload, but make it look like I’m still busy

Process Improvement, efficiency, optimisation, reducing waste… yeah right..


  1. Hi Adam, while your description of human tendencies is realistic, it is in many ways jaded and cycnical. What it clearly portrays for me is that BPM is not meant to improve the ability to innovate and empower people. It shows that BPM is sold to deal with very negative human aspects. Also very disappointing, but much in line with my experiences and my reason to reject orthodox BPM approaches.

    With an empowerment approach I also get such responses, but you might be surprised how many people ON ALL LEVELS I meet who are really interested to change things to the better.

    Regards, Max

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