BPM for Dummies

Like all good “…Dummies” books, lets start with the explanation of what the dummies books aren’t about, and that’s dummies. There are none. But they are centered around the idea that simplicity, which is really cool, is a difficult thing to get right. The authors work really hard to make complex things simple.

The books are so popular in part, because they relate to the anxiety and frustration that people feel about technology and other stuff by poking fun at the boring nature of the training. Coupled with a dose of personality and a dash of comic relief, the “…Dummies” books are insightful, educational and make difficult material interesting and easy.

So what is BPM? Business Process Management…pretty boring stuff. Okay, really boring stuff. So, who cares? We all do to some degree. It’s how we do the stuff required every day to make the job of “business” run smoother. It’s how we scale to do more. It’s how we get others to do stuff for and with us. Often, we know that things are pretty messy or more laborious than necessary and even I have to admit technology can make it worse. Yep! I, the girl who loves to apply technology to make commercial real estate an even more fun and profitable profession, will readily admit that technology can put a big kink in good BPM.

Why? Because all too often it gets purchased and improperly implemented. The same is true for endeavors both large and small. Everyone looks at the price of the software or the hardware and doesn’t leave enough in the budget for implementation and support. Changing this seems like common sense, doesn’t it? So what’s the problem(s)? Too many to address this week and you pretty much know as many answers as I do. So if you want to put your common sense hat on, here are three top questions to ask yourself.

  1. What am I/we doing now to change any business processes or practices?
  2. What do I /we plan to do in the near future?
  3. What tools, communication skills, and techniques am I missing that are needed to implement current or planned business processes?

Only after you answer these questions with honesty and clarity, can you apply some of the technology solutions that you’ve been considering or know you want to employ.

Workflow is the beginning of any technology solution, or at least it should be. Start and stay simple. Solve no problem before its time. It’s okay to be innovative, but know that if you are being innovative without a clear mindset of how it improves your customer’s relationship with you then you’re doing it for something other than the most important reason. Your goal is to make things simple in your work and workplace, so your customer’s experience with you is the best it can be!