Think Like A ‘Lean Startup’ For Business Process Management Success

11 Nov

As more and more companies look to BPM initiatives, it’s important they fully understand the risks/rewards involved. In an article posted last month by Clay Richardson on, an interesting comparison was made between start-up companies and BPM initiatives. The author puts forward the suggestion that start-ups share the same risk/reward profile as BPM initiatives. Just like start-ups, BPM initiatives promise high returns to investors and stakeholders. Additionally, they both pose many potential risks such as inadequate funding, low adoption, and the difficulty of attracting skilled resources (Richardson, 2012)

This article came about as a result of a conversation the author had with one of his students. The student believed a business plan was a waste of time and wanted to launch his own business without a plan. This conversation about the importance of business planning seemed to mirror conversations the author often has with business architects launching or retooling their BPM initiatives. Most tend to overestimate the BPM’s potential rewards and downplay the risks involved with launching a BPM initiative (Richardson, 2012)

However, for the most successful BPM initiatives, the author found that their leaders tend to have a ‘lean startup’ mentality. It means these leaders approach BPM excellence as a business in its own right, not just as another technology or business program in the organisation. They realise that BPM has investors and stakeholders. These leaders realise they must drive broad adoption for BPM over time in order to achieve success. Most importantly, they ascertain the need to generate a business plan that highlights how they will deliver results quickly in order to continue growing and expanding the BPM initiative (Richardson, 2012)

The ‘Lean Startup’ business approach was coined by entrepreneur Eric Ries and the diagram below is a basic visual representation of the approach.




3 Responses to “Think Like A ‘Lean Startup’ For Business Process Management Success”

  1. cmcoughlan November 13, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Hi aplusk22, interesting blog. From reading other blogs and from the research I have carried out on the IT industry, it seems inadequate planning is often a reason for failure of many initiatives including but certainly not limited to BPM. Companies need to understand the importance of planning when adopting a new practice or taking on a new project or initiative to ensure it fully understands the risks and rewards involved and ensure it has adequate funding and necessary resources to be successful in its efforts.

    • aplusk22 November 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

      Appreciate the comment cmcoughlan, thanks. Most definitely, I get the sense that some companies get too caught up in the latest trends/buzzwords in terms of new IT initiatives and fail to plan accordingly. Having a plan is essential for almost any endeavour, not just business.

  2. Praizion November 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this website.

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