When rolling out new process automation the greatest challenge is the human change. It is natural to expect great things from “the new system” but the reality is, all too often, wildly underestimated complexity, un-budgeted project overruns, initial deployment errors and user disappointment. All this then clouds the resulting successes and delivery of real value that does, ultimately get delivered.
Proper preparation of all concerned from the users to the managers to the executives and, especially, to the development team will result in a less fractious roll-out and more realistic expectations.
The bell curve shown is how projects usually play out. Keep this in mind when you are delivering your systems.
To begin with we assume we have fewer processes than we actually have but, as we dive into what actually happens in an organization we discover the exceptional and special processes individuals have created to deal with unusual and unexpected situations.
Then as we automate our analysis deepens and we discover the inconsistencies and incompleteness of the processes and we add more unique paths to deal with those.
As we roll out the automation and monitor the paths that are actually followed we begin see commonalities and find ways to merge processes. We also use the telemetry we gather about exceptions to walk back along the process path to try to eliminate the creation of exceptions in the first place. Steadily reducing the processes along the way.
With experience and growing confidence in the system the users then start to suggest optimizations that will streamline their work and improve efficiency and now the once byzantine processes are simplified reducing the complexity once again.
We rarely see this actually in action because we are too often blinded by the increasing number of processes that we add daily as we expand the footprint of our BPMS solution. But, taken in isolation, you will see the bell-curve effect on team or departmental level. What is required though is a willingness to allow organic change to the processes.
A best practice I always encourage is to create, as the first piece of process automation, the Process Change Change Process. So that when users have an idea about a change it is captured, reviewed, approved (or rejected) and then implemented (or not). Tracking the metrics here where you can see the bell-curve in effect.