A key to successful Business Process Management
It seems to me that organizational change management (OCM) is a neglected subject in the business process management world. But I think this needs to change. BPM gives us the capability to meet changing business needs in an agile manner, implementing process changes quickly and efficiently. OCM can make a huge impact on the way these changes are accepted by the enterprise.
The business landscape and the markets we play in are in a state of continual flux. To be successful in this environment a business needs to be able to change quickly and efficiently, and this includes their business processes.
Don’t neglect your people
At the same time as the enterprise must manage changing business processes, it cannot afford to ignore the changes that are happening to the fabric of the organization. These changes impact the people, processes and technology, but they can also erode the organization’s capacity for change.
Every time a change is made you need to go and look at how this has impacted the organization and its people – this needs to be a part of your continuous improvement cycle. You must consider the end-to-end business processes and look at how changes you have made in one process may impact other processes and business functions.
Avoiding change fatigue
In an agile environment, where change is constant, it becomes increasingly difficult to motivate people to want to change and, what is even more dangerous, this environment can make your people start to resist change. They may start to suffer from change fatigue.
Understanding the organizational tolerance for change is an important component of BPM. Forcing more change on an organization than it has the capacity to absorb will cause staff burnout and will have a negative impact on the success of future process improvement initiatives.
At the same time as you are looking at the organizational tolerance for change, it is beneficial to investigate the business’s tolerance for incentivising change. Building a program of incentives with the HR department is one way of mitigating the danger of change fatigue. The more motivation you can supply for your people to embrace change, the more successful you will be.
Long term champions
The people you have selected as your change champions cannot view this as a temporary assignment. They will need to make a long-term investment in the success of the initiative. The people affected by change need to be able to rely on this support to help them through the change. People accept change at different rates, support them until everyone has transitioned to the new way of doing things.
Don’t underestimate the value of OCM
By definition, BPM brings with it continuous change. Manage this change effectively, with regard for the people involved, then BPM efforts have a chance to reach their potential.
Utilizing OCM principles will give you the ability to keep awareness high, reduce negative impacts, minimise resistance and improve adoption.