Business Process Improvement vs People

Business Process Improvement vs People

Posted on March 25, 2011 0 Comments
Please Note: OpenEdge Business Process Management (BPM) has been retired. For information on OpenEdge, visit our Progress OpenEdge Application Development page.

Pam GazleyDo you think we can actually improve business processes if people are involved? I think the answer is yes… at least I hope so. Back in May 2010 I completed the introduction of a single sign-on (SSO) project that I had been working on for over a year. I admit it, it was painful. During the planning and execution phase, I experienced, firsthand, the difference between the goals of the business and the needs of IT.  It wasn’t the first time but it made me realize what I wasn’t missing… CONFLICT.

Well, two months following the implementation we saw a huge drop in leads. Why? Because people didn’t want to “join our group”. They just wanted a simple white paper or archived webinar. This is what I would call “people process intelligence”. In this case, the process intelligence that we instituted for our visitors wasn’t really wrong or broken, it was wrong because we based the new process on how we “thought” our people would interact or respond to SSO. I have no doubt that SSO still makes our customers, partners and employees happy because with a single UID and password they can access public website assets, Community assets, updates & downloads, and even technical support apps, but from a prospecting point of view, it doesn’t make sense.

For most businesses, their processes (or business events) are much more complex, but I would wager a bet that anyone owning a critical process still needs to bring together business goals and the technology requirements imposed by IT.   As I embark on Phase II, I find myself being a bit of a bully about certain things, like whether we include a Progress ID image or not (NOT). I also find myself annoyed because what I hoped would be a “short form” for guests is now 8 fields.  However, as annoyed as I am, those “extra” fields are critical to our being able to properly route and nurture a lead. It’s justified so I’ll zip my lip on that. What else am I doing? I’m getting to know my Omniture tracking powerhouse a little better. Once we go live, I want to clearly understand how my people are interacting with my form(s). I want to know when they are abandoning it (perhaps that 8th question bummed them out), and what happens after they click Submit. Do they register for additional assets via the pre-filled form?  Do they come back at a later date and take advantage of the pre-filled form? Do they decide to “join our group”? Is anyone really sad we got rid of the big green Progress ID image? Basically, I want metrics to lead the process, not our opinions.

The fact of the matter is that people will always be involved in business process improvement. They’ll be part of planning and deployment, optimization and reporting, and ultimately “a people” could very well determine if your process is a successful one. Now, Progress Software can’t do much about "a people", but we can help improve process intelligence by giving you some of the tools you’ll need to be successful. We provide solutions for business process management (BPM), complex event processing (CEP), and application performance management (APM), just to  name a few.

Give us a call. We welcome the opportunity of telling you how we’re helping our customers bridge the gap between the business and IT, and improve operational  performance.


Pam Gazley

View all posts from Pam Gazley on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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