Business Process Management Technology: Is your company ready for the Sistine Chapel?

The Sistine Chapel is considered to be the apogee of Western painting. Some of the greatest artists ever to walk this planet – including Raphael, Michelangelo and Botticelli – graced its halls with complicated paintings and intricate tapestries. The detail and workmanship has rarely been rivalled before or since.

It would have impressed the pants off our ancestors labouring away on pictures of animals and people on the walls of caves. Even had they been able to envisage something like the Sistine Chapel, our cavemen ancestors would have been unlikely to replicate it.

To some extent, this is analogous to the challenges of implementing business process management technology in businesses today. As one PEX Network advisor once put it, "the software vendors are offering us the Sistine Chapel and we’re still down in the caves trying to draw stick men on walls."

Not bad for a caveman

There’s a lot of cool technology out there that promises great things for businesses: big data, social, mobile, RFID, real time analytics, business rules management. These technologies can help us make better and more informed business decisions, manage risks, understand detailed insight into our customers, become more efficient, automate boring stuff, and the list goes on.

But it’s also possible to sink a lot of money and effort into technology and not realize any of those benefits.

So how can you avoid being a caveman trying to paint the Sistine Chapel?

Ahead of next week’s BPM Open House, Neil Ward-Dutton, an analyst from BPM advisory firm MWD Advisors, presented a webinar on what you need to consider when buying BPM technology (if you didn’t catch it, you can watch it on demand here).

Interestingly, instead of focusing on the ins and outs of the technology, Neil really emphasized the importance of understanding both your business core requirements. He looked the four big key BPM technology assessment areas (including core implementation lifecycle, change management, support for different kinds of work, and engagement scope and scale).

I won’t try to summarize the full webinar as there’s lots of great detail in there and Neil does a much better job at explaining the concepts than I will. However, there was a great point he made that merits pulling out. It was this:

"Adoption trumps design perfection."

By this he means that regardless of how perfect, how beautiful your process models may be. No matter that you’ve achieved process optimization nirvana. If your business users don’t adopt what you’ve done, then you’ve failed.

Good advice for anyone looking for BPM Technology or even just making process change in general. So perhaps we don’t all need the Sistine Chapel. Just good cave drawings that everyone can do.

Are you in the market for BPM Software? Hear how companies like Shell, Lockheed Martin, Jabil Circuits and more have put BPM Technology to work at PEX Network’s BPM Open House. This free, online event brings you daily real-world BPM case studies and snappy product demos to help you make BPM Software selection a snip. Sign up here.