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Bottom-up BPM: Three reasons to start small but think big

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There are many choices when you decide to implement BPM software to help better manage your process activity within your organization. While beneficial to look at the big picture when deciding to put technology to use for managing processes enterprise-wide, it is wise to take a pragmatic approach to rolling out a new BPM system enterprise-wide. Considering that you have already decided that there are improvements to be made, identified some specific high pain point areas that need to be addressed immediately and documented how those processes exist today, you should then consider how you can roll out a system to effectively get you started with making process improvements. A bottom up approach works. Here are several reasons to start small but think big:

End user buy-in and feedback: So important! Identifying where processes can be improved upon through user feedback is crucial. Before rolling out to new processes and departments, you can limit the hiccups and headaches to one area and make user experience changes where needed. Users get used to a new way of working and collaborating within a new system and will then be more comfortable in adopting future processes with which to work.

Less risk by first keeping the new system in a silo: Trying to rethink and redo many processes across many areas all at once will only lead to lengthy delays and a long wait to see your ROI. Start with one or two well defined processes and put together a limited set of stakeholders and end users. Get some traction with these first and your success will help get buy-in when tackling larger processes that involve a wider user base with multiple stakeholders. Remember, processes live with the employees that have to manage them. There is a learning process for everyone involved when implementing a process. A smaller group that learns how to successfully automate their process will be a big asset for other groups who are looking to implement the benefits of BPM.

Immediate ROI: See results and save money. Why pay more than you have to and learn the hard way? Deciding to spend a lot of money to tackle all processes without a proven case at a department level is a recipe for frustration and potentially, failure. Put resources on the project but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Spend less up front, get a solid test case, see results and show an immediate return on your investment.

Thinking big is a good thing but starting with a bottom up approach will reduce your exposure to failure and increase your chance of success.

David Willsey has been the President and CEO of Integrify since co-founding the company in 2001. A graduate from James Madison University, David has been involved with building and growing Integrify’s software for business process management (BPM) for over 10 years. David's primary responsibility is formulating long-term strategy, managing the growth of Integrify and interfacing with investors, customers and suppliers.

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