Here are some change management warning signs to watch for when implementing a new BPM tool.
When companies look to implement new Business Process Management (BPM) tools, they do so to enable a better process, ensure better data quality, provide better visibility of processes, or streamline resources.
While most of the focus of BPM is to introduce and implement new tools, it’s still important to consider the impact these changes may have on employees, customers and vendors. These gaps affecting our human counterparts should be addressed by proper change management.
Organizational Change Management is a structured process to help people adapt to tomorrow’s new reality. To be successful, company leaders need to capture the hearts and minds of all impacted groups.
As new tools are implemented, it’s important to look for warning signs that indicate inadequate change management and address issues right away. Below are five risks and examples to watch out for.
1. Productivity Declines as Change is Announced
Whenever a new process or product is introduced at a company, it is human nature for the impacted groups to focus their attention on the new project/shiny object, rather than their daily work.
When correct change management procedures are implemented the impacted audience will understand why these changes are being made, what their role will be in this change and what they can expect next. By clearly communicating impact, employees can better focus on their daily work.
2. Both Passive and Active Resistance Emerges
In just about every implementation that I have been a part of, the initial users almost always argue that the new BPM tool is not needed and that it is just like the one that they are currently using. Even if this was true, the biggest impact comes from the improved process that underlies the BPM tool.
With proper change management, these types of arguments can be managed early in the process to ensure stakeholders are aligned prior to the announcement in order to stop and/or address rumors and misinformation. Speaking of….
3. Rumors lead to low morale
In one past experience implementing a new BPM tool, there were several people within the company that were either related or married to each other.
As a result, struggles with the tool were literally talked about over the dinner table by spouses. Before the tool had a chance to show results, people started to have a negative stereotype of BPM.
Without a controlled message, the conversation can shift to focus on the few negatives items (such as the need to use a certain web browser) and the benefits of the tool can be lost (such as better data quality and faster processing).
Because we didn’t have effective change management in this instance, 25 percent of my time was spent trying to quell the rumor mill.
4. Workarounds Are Developed to Avoid a New Way of Doing Things
For one complicated onboarding process, there was a request to alter some business rules by a downstream user group.
After reviewing their request, it was discovered that what they were requesting was already part of the process.
After further inquiries, it was discovered that for the past year this group was going entirely outside of the new process and had rarely attempted to utilize the new BPM tool.
Without proper change management, the company lost a year of taking advantage of the improved process and having their employees gain valuable experience with the tool.
5. Changes are not fully implemented or canceled due to the lack of support.
During one process improvement project that I was on, about a third of my time was spent on convincing people that the recommended approach would work, and that we would have multiple releases.
The company’s IT department had a trust issue with the business because of a failure to follow through on previous projects. A great deal of energy was expelled in convincing people that they would eventually get everything they needed in a timely fashion.
In the end, we were able to convince this group to adopt the correct methodology, and they have had two years of consistent quarterly releases. While there is a success story here, the time and effort spent could have been saved by having proper change management in place.
I hope that these real-life examples have provided some insight as to the importance of proper change management while implementing a new process or BPM tool.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
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