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The "Green Gov" Challenge: BPM Software Can Help

Ben Farrell
March 8, 2011

The Obama administration's focus on sustainability and new sources of energy will very likely redouble in the coming years, given the President's remarks on the future of clean energy innovation inJanuary's state of the union address.

Before any of that work can begin, however, a real change of attitude has to be made in the way agencies look at current energy use.

In a recent article in NextGov called "Green Gaps" reporter Charles Clark noted that some federal agencies are balking at the implementation of the sustainability recommendations that were part of Obama's Green Gov challenge. The problem seems to be an entrenched mindset among some managers that implementing even the most basic sustainable solutions are simply too complex to be worth the possible benefit. According to an expert quoted in the article, "Sharing printers, for example, saves money but it changes layout and configuration. Agencies must decide whether a printer should be shared by eight people, 16, or 20."

Fostering an attitude of change and innovation begins with making personal adjustments in work and life habits. While it's true that old habits die hard, the atmosphere for energy innovation won't take root in this country until individuals turn from ingrained behavior to new processes.

The notion of how to better-share energy resources across an agency or agencies (configuring printers being just a tiny example) does not need to be complicated ñ particularly with Business Process Management software, which is well suited to giving an organization insight into issues just like these. Through BPM, an organization can gain better visibility into its most sophisticated operating decisions ñ as well as improved control, documentation trails, and audits.

The changes proposed by the Obama administration are sweeping, transforming the way that Americans look at howourcountryworks. The example has to be set in government first before it can take flight. There is no reason why the complexities of entrenched processes should stand in the way of real progress on issues like energy consumption that are vital to the future of the United States.

Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications