5 Reasons Why Business Process Improvement Initiatives Really Fail

So much has been written about the value of business process improvement—and the resulting need for change management—and all of the reasons why organizations fail to implement meaningful improvements in their business processes.

There are many significant reasons why making even minor changes to the processes people rely upon can be fraught with failure. However, we believe, when you boil it down, the failures stem from one or more of these key sources:

1. Forgetting it’s a process.

Implementing a business process improvement initiative isn’t a one-time flip-of-the-switch. The “improvement” is a process in and of itself. It’s a process of changing from, “This is how we’ve always done things” to a better way of working. Change doesn’t happen overnight as it requires people—who can be a bit stuck in their ways—to explore this new or refined way of working, let go of old patterns, and commit to a new process. When leaders set out a new process expecting a “ready-go” response, it’s bound to fail.

2. Failing to look deep enough.

Surface-level business process improvements are easy to identify and fix. But the gains that can give a company true competitive advantage are found deep within various business processes where only the most experienced specialists can pinpoint if using traditional approaches. We’re talking about the points in the process where hidden breakdowns are happening and costing an organization serious time and money. 

3. Not knowing where to start.

Oftentimes, business processes present so many opportunities it’s difficult to determine where to begin. And the answer may not always be what you think. The temptation to go with the path of least resistance may actually lead an organization down the path of false rewards. Alternatively, when you are able to identify the best opportunities based on a clear understanding of what the potential change will bring to the organization you can weed through the “incremental rewards” and the “exponential rewards” to put your resources where they belong.

4. Lack of collaboration between the business experts and the process experts.

There are people who know the business. And there are people who know how to evaluate and improve processes. And if ne’er the two shall meet, you’ve got yourself yet another real reason for business process improvement failure.  Experienced specialists who know how to model business processes are something to behold. But without insight from the people who know the business and its processes, they are doomed for failure. Together, they hold the lock and key to successful business process improvements. So failure to bring the two sides together spells trouble for any BP initiative.

5. Failing to validate the need for change.

From the top of the organization to the bottom, when you’re asking people to change the way they work or to invest in a change initiative, you’ve got to be able to validate it. There needs to be a clear business case for change.  You need to be able to model the “if-thens” and demonstrate a clear and direct correlation between the change in process and resulting business (and individual) reward.

So, how can you avoid making these mistakes and ensuring the success of your next business process improvement project? Leading organizations and consulting firms rely on Bluespring to empower process improvement teams with the Business Process Analysis (BPA) tools they need to initiate change and impact the bottom line.  ProcessView for Visio easily reveals opportunities to cut costs, make better decisions, and boost productivity.  Get details here.

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About Bluespring

Bluespring is a software development arm of Ascendum Solutions with a singular focus on helping organizations make work flow in Microsoft SharePoint.  We provide software and services that boost an organizations use of SharePoint to get critical information to the right people at the right time ... Read More

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