An interesting question on the eBizQ website this morning got me thinking.

“If BPM is so necessary, how come so many 100 to 300 people organizations do fine without it?”

There is a process maturity curve which starts at the bottom end with low process (BPM) maturity which is a stage called Heroics.


Many of you work in companies like this. Staff heroics day in day out make up for poorly defined processes.  Inefficient, but it gets the job done.  But at what cost?  Financial: Wasted time and cost  Reputation: Client errors & security Emotional: Staff morale & burnout

The question said these companies are “fine”.  They are, but only by the definition of FINE from the last Italian Job film.

F= f*cked up
I= Insecure
N= Neuroitic
E= Emotional

The challenge is making clearly defined and govenered processes easy enough to achieve and maintain for SMB organisations. That requires Board level commitment, and funding, to first get the processes defined and then funding a FULL TIME Business Excellence / Quality /Compliance role to support the continuous improvement.

This requires a leap of faith by SMBs, but the results are worth it. Whilst you can calculate the costs of documenting your processes, or even in the marketing effort to get  them used and adopted by end users, sometimes it is tremendously hard to calculate the benefits – as my blog Harry Potter and the Leap of Faith suggested. But the results can be measured in efficiency, ability to grow, to punch above your weight, and the human cost of all those heroics.

Let’s put this is real terms.  Nimbus is an SMB and needed to get ISO27001 to give our global clients confidence of our Nimbus BPM Cloud service. Because we have implemented BPM (Nimbus Control + Salesforce.com) we have saved huge amounts just in the ISO27001 audit process.  But Security comes free with a well run business as we have discovered.

But to finish on a quote from the auditors:

“It should be noted that in our extensive experience with a range of client ISO Gap Analysis projects, of those at a similar stage of ISMS development, Nimbus have demonstrated one of the highest levels of compliance we have seen.”

That is why BPM is important to an SMB.  You need it to play on the global stage, and Nimbus does not intend to stay an SMB for much longer.

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