In the social media world a new social network emerges seemingly every other week. 2012 has been the year of Pinterest as the latest technology that you simply must use or your business will surely implode. Consultants and evangelists will wax lyrical about the need to use every tool available.
What they fail to take account of though is whether there is actually a need to use these tools. Does it fit in with your business? Are your customers using it? Can you add to the conversation by being present? It is letting the technology tail wag the process dog.
The BPM landscape shares many similarities. Salesmen will have you believe that buying the latest piece of software will solve all of your problems. What invariably happens is that the newly acquired BPMS becomes the focal point of all effort and automating everything or as much as possible is the overriding quest and definition for success.
The thing is, the chance to play with a new tool (I hesitate to say toy) is all too attractive. I’ve seen managers of all levels of experience gush excitedly at the chance to play with the latest bit of technology, and of course with that emotional investment the technology simply must be shown to do something of benefit.
I suspect deep down they know this approach won’t work, yet it remains too tantalising to ignore, which makes the fact that almost 70% of process improvement projects fail a bit easier to understand.
“Just as we have found in the past, it’s not really implementing the software that’s the problem. What is the problem is that you’re changing the way people work, and making sure that two years from now, they don’t go back to their old habits while also trying to circumvent [what they were told to change],” Elise Olding, research director, BPM group at Gartner said in a report earlier this year.
That’s not to say you should ignore the technological advancements happening all around us, far from it, but just as you should when deciding whether to use a particular social network, you should first decide how this tool will help your business first.