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Strategic aims integral to BPM success

Ben Farrell
July 6, 2012

Business process management software offers so many gains that many executives look at the technology as a panacea that will immediately solve all of their operational problems and set them on the right track. While this perception is firmly rooted in reality, a recent Business 2 Community report explained that, like other technological solutions, BPM software will enable better processes and improved operations. Those improvements still have to be employed effectively to ensure success with the solution.

The news source explained that businesses can sometimes get themselves into trouble when they do not take a strategic approach to BPM. Instead, executives automate everything possible to such an extent that more time is spent nitpicking over what can be streamlined than actually integrating those process improvements into everyday operations. As a result, the technological improvements offered by BPM software are unable to spread to the workforce, preventing the solution from having its full impact on operations.

Business process management solutions are designed to lay a technical foundation that enables real-world improvements. For example, the technology is able to integrate the social and mobile tools that employees use to ensure they can get the data they need, when they need it. This leads to considerable process improvements on a day-to-day basis by helping employees optimize their work functions without being limited by their devices or by whichever department created the data in the first place. These gains, however, are fueled by the technology and created by operational process improvements. The solution does not ensure the potential offered by BPM software is realized.

According to the report, it is vital that businesses do not look at BPM software as the source of improvement. BPM is the enabler that makes it possible for employees to integrate processes and work more effectively. Having tunnel vision and focusing on using BPM software to blindly automate everything without worrying about real-life processes will limit the solution's effectiveness.

Because BPM solutions function optimally in the role of a technological catalyst that makes change possible, it is vital that organizations educate their managers and leaders well in what the software can accomplish, the report said. Being able to use BPM strategically to improve real-world processes is heavily dependent on education, not just automation.