Business Process Management and Reengineering – Hype Cycle

25 Oct

How do companies avoid being sold ‘Hype’ by consultants?

Organisations today try to achieve profit in any way they can and making their processes more efficient is certainly a way of achieve those extra margins. Outside help in the form of industry gurus, consultants and software/hardware vendors try to sell your company a vision or design in which to reach these new goals.

Companies have fallen victim to the ‘Hype’ built up by these outside parties, using flashy new terms and ideas to sell to the firm such as; ‘Black Belts in Six Sigma’ and ‘Kaizen’ and ‘SIPOC’. Before they know it a company may become overrun with improvement initiatives (Power 2012). A major contributor to this ‘Hype Cycle’ is that many new companies have new leaders, due to sackings and the loss of shareholder confidence in the recession. These new CEO’s, CTO’s, CIO’s try to implant their image and direction on the company, often leading to bad results. Sometimes even firms dismiss old practices that worked perfectly well in because they were sold on the ‘Hype’ of what could be. “Each generation of leaders seems to rediscover process improvement in a different package.” (Power 2012)

These new processes like Total Quality Management and BPM can become very personal to a company and especially their hierarchy, Brad Power in this article in the Harvard Business Review compares the process of the company to that of its religion. For example companies like Motorola are synonymous with their process/religion of Six Sigma.

So how does a company avoid being getting trapped in the ‘Hype’?

They can start by understanding what works well in their firm, using their workforce to continuously appraise their process, they can then see what is working and not working in real time. Eventually they may choose to tweak what is currently working well to attain greater results, but they can’t change the process. New processes may take months to get up to speed, due to employee training, operational problems etc. EMC has recently changed from Oracle to SAP, it will be interesting to see how this change effects EMC’s quarterly results.

And if there are processes that don’t work then by all means change and fix the issues, I’m sure there are many consultants who can recommend a good alternative, I would recommend this man in particular.

Any thoughts??


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