The BPM Checklist for Successful Digital Project Execution

Newton’s Third Law says that, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In this same vein, for every digital interaction your customer has with your product or brand, there should be an automated business process reaction.

We call this the “Process Experience.” It’s putting the goal of the digital product in context with the business process it will be supporting; or, Newton’s reaction to any given digital activity. The Process Experience is arguably the most important determinant of success for your digital projects. But it’s often overlooked amidst the hype and speed of implementing exciting new applications, websites, and features.

In my first post in this series on “Why Digital Projects Fail,” I explored the often overlooked role of business process in the digital equation–and how it can make or break your project. In this post, I’ve outlined the Top 6 Ways you can prevent digital project failure by aligning more closely with your organization’s business processes.

Use this checklist to define your Process Experience and ensure your digital projects succeed:

    1. Identify the business process the digital product will support.
      Include a process map from the perspective of the external user-customer, plus an end-to-end swim lane (flow diagram) of the internal business process itself. This should include interactions, inputs and outputs, and suppliers to the process.
    2. Set goals around how the digital app will facilitate and improve the process.
      These goals should include CTQ (Critical to Quality), measurable characteristics of the process which must be met from the perspective of the internal customer and the external customer. You should also include performance indicators for control and monitoring—metrics used to address cost, quality and speed factors associated with the business process.
    3. Include BPM experts on the execution team.
      Prior to initial planning and scoping, BPM experts can collaboratively envision and storyboard the future process experience (including workflow steps, critical inputs/outputs, key controls, etc.) Every digital project should have someone with business process management skills to help scope and plan the alignment between the customer journey and back-end operational processes.
    4. Get buy-in from the project team around the process.
      Make sure they understand the operational and business needs of the new implementation. Once the team can fully articulate the process experience, then the goals/objectives and tasks can be accurately defined for the project.
    5. Ensure the process should be automated.
      The business process being automated must be stable and/or defined prior to digital automation; otherwise, you’ll just be creating more garbage, faster. If you’re not sure, check out this post: “Is Your Business Process Ready for Automation?”
    6. Define the future state process experience.
      What parts of the process will need to change in order to improve the process performance, transparency, and control? While it may be impossible to predict all the future requirements, BPM can provide insight into many critical process variables and account for them in the digital design.

At a minimum, understand how the new digital automation impacts/changes the process experience, and assess how to bridge these gaps with current state. Ideally, envision the potential 5-year business process improvement roadmap and articulate the gaps to current state that will need to be addressed by the digital automation. The ability to articulate future states directly impacts decisions made by the digital execution team. Visit our recent blog post on BPM, if you are interested in implementing BPM with Agile methodologies.

For a real life example of how Celerity recently helped a client build its digital strategy around BPM best practices, check out our most recent case study: Digital Roadmap Helps National Association Improve Customer Engagement.