Dear BPM, Brace Yourself for Big Change

    • A few weeks ago I read an astounding article and watched in amazement a project feat of monumental proportions. A Chinese construction company was able to build a skyscraper in 19 days! Now that is indeed an elegant execution of true big change.

      You see, although this is metaphorical, I believe the business world can learn a thing or two from this construction company:

      1. “Just do it”. With such a short time-frame, no matter what the driver was, there is no time to think, “I can’t do this”, Or “it’s impossible”. Tight timeframes elicit two responses in us – creative thinking or frantic searching for a new job! It invokes our fight or flight response.
      2. Speed is an investment. Imagine the cost going into getting it up that quickly. However, imagine also the speed of returns the investors get by simply being able to start leasing out the offices in a shorter time.
      3. “Pre-fab” everything. The video footage showed a warehouse where they pre-built a lot of the skyscraper. In business sense, I do not mean getting commercial-off-the-shelf systems or ERPs. That’d be like trying to glue and chiseling stones together, hoping that it would form a skyscraper. Skyscrapers signify the entire enterprise, not just a solution issue. Instead, I mean look for technologies that allows process-driven, rapid, modern application development. Then look for pre-built process architectures to fit into this technology. (i.e. pre-fab processes!)
      4. Premium Project Management and resources. Being a Chinese company, I guess that labour cost might not be an issue. However, think about the resources required. Imagine the project management behind this construction! They would require no-nonsense-good-people! There is no room for confused, non-producing, lazy resources here.

      The main idea though, is that in order to produce high-value transformations, rapidly and at lower cost, I believe our BPM thinking has to change radically. Step one could mean changing our thinking so we can prepare our stakeholders to change their thinking. Step two could be rearranging the way we go about embedding BPM.

      The four points highlighted above are there for us to stimulate thinking. I’m sure there are lots more. Can you think of more? What challenges do you see if you were to adopt a changed BPM approach to big change and business transformation?

      Watch a skyscraper being built in just 19 days. Made in China indeed!

  • About the Author

    Mervin Chiang

    Chief Operating Officer

    As Procensol’s Chief Operating Officer Mervin brings more than a decade of experience in strategic thinking, software, systems and process-centric design for business transformation to the operations of the organisation. Mervin is responsible for Procensol’s Asia Pacific region. Originally from Singapore and now based in Brisbane Australia, Mervin has held positions ranging from strategic BPM consulting, channel management, CIO, CTO to vendor management.

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