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Instead, Long favors an effective process architecture that provides context to a process-improvement or development effort. Typically, this involves many moving parts across the enterprise.

Mistake #5: Not identifying key stakeholders early in the process.

When key business stakeholders aren't engaged early on, "their needs and requirements are not known or made part of the solution," Long says. That often results in having to put the project on hold while managers decide how to respond to those requirements. In some cases, lack of knowledge about stakeholders' needs may even stop project development or halt implementation.

Long's advice: In all process discovery projects, make identifying the stakeholder a top priority, even before completing definitions for the project. Pay special attention to identifying stakeholders in more complex projects involving multiple departments or divisions of an enterprise, she adds.

Mistake #6: Involving the wrong people.

While it's important to make contact with everyone with a stake in the process, BPM proponents often get entangled with vested interests that could slow down or sabotage their projects. "You get executives who are very powerful in their world, all competing with the other executives in the organization for power and control," Burlton says. "The processes of the organization span their departments as well as others."

The solution: Keep the ultimate customer in mind and make decisions about participants accordingly, he advises. "Your customers couldn't care less about your org chart. They couldn't care less about your internal stuff. They just want to see the services or product you’re delivering, they want it to work well, they want to get it on time. They really should not be exposed to your internal dysfunctions."

Mistake #7: Failing to identify interfaces for processes.

"This includes interfaces for inputs and outputs but also for classifications of information called guides and enablers," Long says. "'Guides' are things like events, policies, procedures, key performance indicators, knowledge, requirements and criteria. 'Enablers' are things like systems, tools, resources and assets of any kind that are required to transform an input into an output."


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