Since the emergence of Business Process Management (BPM), organisations adopting it have had a wide variety of experiences – some successful and others less so. Some would argue that because BPM is so amorphous that any project is considered to be analogous to ‘boiling the ocean’ and therefore the outcomes may vary from exceptionally successful to, in some cases, disastrous.
Typical challenges that often cause concerns during a BPM initiative include:
Focus on automation supersedes process excellence and continuous improvement
Complex transformation programs end up in failures, as the business scope is not prioritised and the program roadmap not defined in advance
Traditional Waterfall business requirements & process analysis phase takes an average of 6 – 9 months with no results to show in production for at least a year and as a result, business sponsors often get disillusioned with BPM
Lack of alignment between the investments across business strategy, process improvement and automation activities
Having personally done extensive work with many Organisations over the years to help them create, adapt and implement various types of SDLCs for specific transformational needs, I found the recent article by Mark Kennaley very insightful as a categorised summary of the types of Methods that exist.
Mark describes how the various Software Development Methods (used during an SDLC) often reflect the culture, structure and processes of the Organisation and promotes either positive or negative characteristics when it comes to Delivery of Solutions that meet Business needs.
He states that the typical negative impact on an organisation manifests itself in various costly ways:
…Each time an organization embraces a new methodology, it triggers a large change management exercise. Within IT, this change typically involves a three-to-five year process that results in the following direct costs for a 1,000-person IT organization:
Consulting, training, and mentoring costs to go from novice to competent, and even expert, using Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus’ skill acquisition model. For 1,000 people, this can cost $1 million to $2 million.
Knowledge management, to avoid the risk of relying on tacit knowledge in the heads of coaches and consultants. If performed, the capture of standard work, or “our way of working,” results in more than $1 million in costs related to process-related software.
Changes in approach can also trigger the need for new process management tools. Cost can range from free to $1 million or more.
Costs related to putting a new software delivery infrastructure in place. Hitting the reset button can cost upward of $5 million.