How to measure the success of a BPM program
There is no dearth of articles and blogs that will tell you about why you should implement BPM in your organisation. One of the key benefits of implementing BPM is also to better understand the organisation since when you implement this, it lays bare all your current processes and opens them up for improvement. It is important to understand that unlike many other programs that you may implement in your organisation, implementation of BPM is an ongoing process and not a one-time activity. It is not that you can simply automate certain repetitive workflows and then leave it at that. So, that raises an interesting challenge, where do you draw the line and conclude that your BPM process is a success?
KPIs & Process Performance Metrics
What you cannot measure, you cannot improve. That’s been true centuries ago and it’s true even now. Measuring is an important aspect of accessing whether a particular activity is successful or not. The simple act of measuring is not enough, with the limited resources that every organisation has, it is important to understand, what to measure? Processes and activities, that will make a change on improving the business are important to measure. When such an activity like the implementation of BPM is taken up, there is a lurking danger of measuring metrics that are either feel-good or easy to measure. If the right metrics are not measured, you may end up tweaking the wrong processes and which can have a far-reaching impact, where you could amplify the damage a wrong process automation would do to your organization causing pain to multiple stakeholders and even carry it to their day-to-day operational tasks by complicating it.
Assuming that you have figured out your goals for automation clearly and are tracking the right metrics, a lot of BPM vendors provide multiple dashboards with colourful graphs and metrics to measure the KPI’s you want to track. You can customize these to the needs of your own organisation and metrics you want to measure. Examples of these include Time taken to complete certain processes ( eg. Has the time taken to respond to customer support issues improved ? ) . However, think about it, are these the real measure of the success of a BPM program? It may give you an operational level insight into how your processes are getting carried out and the data can tell you if there is a certain amount of improvement. However, this may not give you the complete picture. There is a big gap between just seeing some incremental improvement in these numbers and the real success you are trying to achieve through implementation of the BPM program.
The Measure of Success
In order to measure the real success of the BPM program, it is important to answer some fundamental questions that made us decide to go for a BPM program in the first place. Automation is an obvious and inevitable step and that is mainly done to free up resources from doing repetitive, manual jobs that are time & resource intensive. So what after that?
Besides the obvious benefits of automating the processes for improving the efficiencies in the repetitive tasks, it is important to see if the implementation of the BPM model has made any difference in the cultural working of the organisation. Has that helped the organisation become more employee-centric? Is the employee energy now better channelized into activities that are more productive? Has it helped the employees and the organisation become more customer focused?
It may not be the best thing to tie the success of a BPM program to a short term revenue goal only, even though the cost savings is one of the indicative measures of the success of the BPM program.
One of the key success metrics of a BPM program in today’s day and age is to make the organisation more agile and adaptable to change. There are numerous stories about how large companies can be disrupted by much smaller and new start-ups because of the former’s lack of ability to foresee and adapt to change. This change does not necessarily mean a new idea, it can also mean changing customer expectations. In this highly connected social world, where customers are usually well informed, customer expectations of service quality may be very different from what it was decades ago. Can your organisation quickly adapt to this kind of changes? With that idea in mind, your BPM goals should also be aligned the same way in order to achieve that. An organization can prosper only when it can achieve customer goodwill when there is promptness in service and value in delivery.
One popular school of thought says that the employee is internal customers. If they are happy, they will work better and keep external customers also happy. Hence for a successful implementation of the BPM program, it should have the complete buy-in of your internal customers. It is hence essential that the program makes life easier & things simpler for the stakeholders of the processes you have chosen to automate & improve. Building a more employee-efficient & a customer-centric company through proper structuring and managing of business processes is the real success in executing a BPM program
About the author
Jaiprakash Singh Hasrajani ( Co-founder & CEO, ValeurHR )
Jaiprakash is an multiple Award Winning Entrepreneur with business ventures and serious interest in HR Consulting, Software Product Development, Education Management, Skill Development and Capacity Building.Jaiprakash speaks at various forums, Business Schools, around India in the areas of HR, Education and Skill Development viz. at ISB, IIT Kharagpur Entrepreneurship Drives, Google G-Day Conference, SCMHRD Summit, Vibrant Gujarat National Education Summit, at Institute For Competitiveness (part of Harvard Business School)
Jaiprakash can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaiprakashsinghhasrajani/