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How does introducing a BPMS change the corporate culture?

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How does introducing a BPMS change the corporate culture in a company?

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  • It doesn't. It's how you introduce process into an organisation that does.

    The technology, ANY technology, is an enabler and engager of the work force but it doesn't define or change corporate culture.

    That's a human approach and as such technology agnostic.

  • Remember when you used PowerPoint for the first time? No more "foils" or 35mm slides. Taking on a BPMS is the same game changer, it allows you to express your ideas in a new way and see them come to life almost immediately. But you have to have ideas.

    As Theo says, in and of itself BPMS is inert but when embraced by the organization it makes possible much of which was only dreamt about.

    So it facilitates a cultural change but does not determine it.

  • I may be interpreting the question differently (as in the result of introducing bpms) and while I appreciate what you both are saying, I think technology itself does have an impact on culture.

    Technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Mobile devices and endless others in and of themselves have changed both business and popular culture. In that same way, I think the introduction of BPMS does in fact directly effect corporate culture as it alters workforce attitudes, interactions, behaviors and so on (in its applied form of course).

    - I have seen business and IT teams greatly improve their ability to collaborate and communicate.
    - I have seen managers who complained about having to perform administrative approvals show genuine enthusiasm when they could perform those tasks on their mobile phone.
    - I have seen the elimination of frustrations between departments and a change from viewing process improvement initiatives from a big yawn to fun,exciting and beneficial.

  • I agree with Daniele on this, the two can impact each other.

    If you talk simply about bits and bytes, silicon and electrons then it doesn't really have an impact. But if you consider a 'technology' to include not just the physics but also the thought that went into the design of how that product is delivered. Then absolutely it can have an impact just as the examples above have.


  • Can I agree with everyone? After all it's Friday . . .

    Theo is right in that a specific product or technology can't overcome the limitations of a given corporate culture. To paraphrase the popular aphorism, "culture eats technology for breakfast".

    On the other hand, Daniele is suggesting that the material reality of implementing a new technology might make it easier to conduct business in a new way. I agree with Daniele, and would like to take the analysis a step further.

    Consider the work done by business analysts, business leaders, EAs, programmers, and front-line operational staff in any organization. And, putting on our Taylorist hat (but only for a minute), examine with a microscope the actual activities of work through the day. Any day consists of productive and unproductive work; a shockingly high proportion of any day consists of what might be considered unproductive work, especially in disorganized environments where even "finding that report" is difficult. This is the daily friction that we are all subject to.

    Elsewhere I've written about this question relative to my own work, which is as a sales person. Apparently according to an interesting study by McKinsey, as much as 75% of a sales rep's day is spent "not selling". I suspect this is true of many occupations.

    Here's the proposition. Technology is renowned for being particularly helpful in making the heavy lifting easier (machines and hydraulics for example) but also helping to lighten the drudgery and mundane tasks of office life. It's simple arithmetic then that if BPM software frees people up to focus on the important, then there is the possibility of more attention to process governance and data governance, or just getting on with business.

    Whether that opportunity is seized is separate -- another question of culture. If technology affords more time instead for unproductive conflict, that's not a win.

    There's quite a literature going back a long way looking at the question of the effect of technology on human life, including business life. For me, the key is in the freedom and control that technology makes possible. How that freedom is used is a separate question.

    I've also written elsewhere about the pressure that this new freedom puts on executives. With a broad BPM program in place, executives now have no excuse not to "look inside the black box" of process. There is more responsibility and control available. And not everyone wants to step up.

  • The two are definitely influence each other. To me technology should've more considered as a facilitator for culture. It will give wider access to thing that people would have not get access to otherwise. E.g the Louvre museum is easy to go and visit if you leave or come to Paris... Having access on Internet / through DVDs... To the Louvre's gallery is easing its access for the would never made the effort to go so far...

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