While laying the groundwork for a business process redesign, potential pitfalls must be identified and addressed beginning as early in the process as possible. Whether creating the current state assessment, or engaged in planning and road mapping activities, reasons for failure should be identified, documented, and managed as early in the project as possible.
Because the project will at times lose steam, new initiatives will take priority, resources may change roles or leave, or the effort may be turn out greater than initially envisioned a management ‘Champion’ is an absolute requirement. Executive level support must not be fleeting; managements drive through the duration of the project will motivate the team and ensure the project retains the momentum required for success.
Beyond the obvious pitfalls of scope creep, delivery delays and cost overages; poor project management can sink a project for a myriad of unforeseen reasons. To ensure project management isn’t a reason for failure, the management must be selected based on skills, experience, familiarity with approach or methodology, and proven ability, not purely availability or eagerness.
Lack of Employee Support
When key players and their management cannot adapt to a new way of doing business, or refuse to accept and embrace the change, the redesign is doomed for failure. The current state organizational analysis helps quantify and identify the ‘People’ who will make the initiative successful, and the change management plan should leverage those people to help champion the project.
Attacking the ‘wrong’ problem can cause a project to self-destruct. A process that is inefficient because of a technology will not be enhanced, or will require organization or logistical changes that are impossible will be a no win proposition, and even if it is perfectly redesigned, insurmountable hurdles will cause the project will fail.
Misunderstanding a solutions capabilities or how a solution functions, or selecting a solution that doesn’t align with the enterprise’s technology strategy may lead to the implementation of technology that cannot satisfy the business needs and will exacerbate the problem. Just because a sales team says a product can satisfy a requirement doesn’t necessarily mean it will, and if it can, it may not be in the manner you are expecting. Always do your homework!
To avoid failure, support at all levels from executives to line managers is required, but ultimately success will be dictated by the employees.
A strong change management plan will help engage and motivate your employees, and robust communication updating the company of the project’s wins will go a long way to promote the awareness and drive required for a successful reengineering effort.
When an organization is ready to adapt to a new way of doing business and accept and embrace change, a business process redesign initiative is poised for success.
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David Meehan is an Associate Director with Paragon’s Advisory Services team where he leads high profile management consulting engagements with a concentration on customer experience. Prior to joining Paragon in 2010, David was a management consultant for CSC where he was an instrumental in leading several large-scale, multi-year engagements, including a legacy modernization effort for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture. David received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rutgers University, NJ. He is a United States Air Force veteran having served in Oman for Operation Enduring Freedom.