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What's the toughest question you've gotten when starting a BPM project?

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From this blog post from Anatoly Belychook, What's the toughest question you've gotten from a company when starting a BPM project?

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  • When will you finish? And what will I get in return?

    Plus: the most annoying one:
    don't make me bring out all my paper works

    and the most embarrassing one:
    which new tool should I start learning to use?

  • "How well do you speak Spanish?" (a lot better after the project was delivered).

    A more serious one was, "Why do you need to spend so much time with our business users? They are very busy and don't really have time to spend talking to people who they think are going to change the way they work."

    It shouldn't be hard to explain why you need to understand what people currently do to help a company work better. But when faced with pure resistance such as this, the challenge is more change management, less business process management.

  • user-pic

    Easy question, tough answer - about 7 years ago in a kick-off session for a BPM project I was asked the following:
    "Can you ensure you do not model any organizational politics in our processes?"

  • "I want one model which the end users can understand, the analysts can use and which will execute in the workflow solution."

  • "How long is this BPM thing going to take," (followed by) "so I can get back to my real work?"

    Which should reinforce the importance of preparing for the culture change requisite for truly successful BPM initiatives. To do this (this is a whole other essay in itself) we literally began with basic organizational development learning.

  • "We haven't done any discovery, aren't really sure of all the moving parts. Many of the key actors are not available (or not cooperative), and the whole thing is kind of complicated. We really need to fix it but we don't want the users to notice any difference. (!)

    "So... how much do you think it will cost for your team to build this?"

  • How much gigabyte do we need on our server?

    I gave this job to a competitor.....

  • From a CEO came this
    "We need to be able to introduce and modify processes very rapidly,"

  • I'm with Anatoly and Tina. No one (technical or business) ever seems to grasp or understand that it's about "continuous process improvement," even though many pay constant lip service to it.

  • You aren't going to believe this, but this did happen:

    "Can you show us how to do Stimulation?"

    You might be tempted to laugh, but there is something very important behind that question.

    It shows someone who hasn't read about it, leave alone research its relevance in their firm. Someone who has likely heard (and maybe influenced by) a dramatic spiel by a Vendor and/or service provider selling the wrong ideas & benefits to potential BPM decision makers and users.

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