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In an organization, who tends to resist the introduction of BPM?

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From Scott Menter: In an organization, who tends to resist the introduction of BPM, and who tends to most support it?

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  • Let's be annoying again: as every company is already doing BPM (maybe not well or aware), are we talking about BPMS or about bringing BPM on a higher level?

  • OK, at the risk of sounding flip, people who perceive that they have something to lose -- work, status, control, whatever -- will resist change, period. I don't care if it's BPM, ERP, BI, CRM, or your current preferred technology.

  • I'm with Faun. Many people resist BPM efforts if the initiative is seen as disruptive to the status quo (which it invariably is).

    This is BPM's biggest challenge. To be effective, it needs to be disruptive. The decision needs to come from the exec level and it needs to be viewed as long-term and not quick-fix.

  • Indeed Faun, an organization has processes, but people just go to their job every day.

    So the wish for having more grip on your processes will always come from someone with the role process manager.

    Having said that, that can be anyone. For my process 'deliver training' I am the executor but also the process manager.

    So what kind of people will have the role process manager? Probably some higher levels than the people doing the work but that is not a prerequisite.

    I hope people with that role, won't resist the opportunity of getting their process perform better.

    And the next step is of course; what kind of grip is needed and how will that be created.

    But to answer the question; I think it everyone who feels responsible to make a process to deliver what it promises.


  • You are correct Faun that anyone at any level may resist BPM/BPMS for political, work load or other reasons.

    The individuals that will support it will be the ones that have been educated as to the benefits to their organization, department, individual position, given incentive or otherwise motivated and most importantly consulted and included. In my own experience these individuals will be far less likely to resist and you will probably get the support and outcome desired.

    This is pretty much the same of all things (technology or otherwise as Faun also points out) as this is basic human nature. No one likes things forced upon them and we all want our views and opinions to be considered and to matter.

  • Ten points to Griffendor for Faun and Chris. Having been at this a while and coming from a content-activated workflow platform perspective I can tell you that many users are as attached to their processes as they are their paper. Almost invariably when doing a BPM solution you find broken processes, but people still find a way to get their job done, work around the idiosyncrasies and limitations in their systems and processes both. And they know HOW to do that and once they do, they're not so necessarily receptive to changing that how.

  • So back again, the notion of resistance and its opposite -- flexibility -- has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Poor @BouncingThots has tolerated my thrashing about this for weeks. I posted a short discussion on my blog: http://processconnectionsblog.com/2013/01/20/a-case-for-flexibility-over-resistance.aspx Monday morning, how serendipitous, right?

    I'd be interested in discussing this topic further with all of you as I'm starting to lean toward the idea that resistance potentially sets us up for nonexistence, in one form or another.

  • There is a good reason why people resist BPM or BPMS .. because they are intelligent beings and do not want to be treated like monkeys.

    It does make sense to make 'how people work' transparent and help them to understand what they do how and why they should be doing it. But that has nothing to do with analysing process flows.

    To make a business work better requires adoption by its people. Forcing something on to them is the worst thing any manager can do. Efficiency is secondary to effectiveness and employee motivation. Cost cutting is done by clueless beancounters that ruin the business in the long run.

    People are lazy so give them an opportunity to achieve well defined goals with less work and they will do it without being told. Make it easy and intuitive while ensuring that the three elements of moitvated and happy employees are fulfulled: autonomy, job security and recognition.

    Most BPM efforts kill all three!!! And you want to tell me that this is good for a business in the long run? Anyone suggesting this has never managed people or run a business ...

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