The hard benefits of BPM

We work with many organisations looking for smarter ways of managing their process knowledge, and we are often called upon to help get the case for why organisations need to take business process management (BPM) seriously across the line with their stakeholders.

The question we're often asked: what are the hard benefits of a BPM?

You may well be able to provide some tangible, measurable benefits attributable to your BPM, but these usually consist of:

- saving time (re)writing As Is / To Be processes

- easier for teams changing, approving and publishing process documentation

- reduced audit times

- other benefits that may or may not be truly 'hard' at all.

We encourage business-case writers NOT to focus on hard benefits to justify an investment in process management. Sound like a sure-fire road to failure? You would think so, especially in an economy forcing so many to focus solely on hard costs and benefits.

Ultimately, it's a more honest approach, because the 'soft' benefits enable the real wins that are achievable by a shift in process culture. It also exposes what really needs to be done to succeed. Process improvement is a people challenge, it's about leadership, creativity, working together and communicating.

If you change attitudes, the outcomes will follow, and these outcomes will be delivered by people and their ideas - not necessarily your BPM. So don't fall for the temptation to justify your BPM with just hard benefits. A healthy process culture can re-invent your business, it can inspire your teams and delight your customers. Positioning it as a cost saving tool is like setting off on your challenging journey in the wrong direction.

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