Business process management is an all-inclusive approach; which is systematic to making an organizational workflow efficient, effective and capable of adapting to the continuously changing business environment. This approach is especially helpful where the process is designed with reference to the set of activities that will accomplish the goals or objectives of the organization or project. Business process management (BPM) aims to reduce miscommunications and human error, while focusing all participants on the requirements of their roles towards the success of the business. BPM is mainly concerned with optimizing and maintaining the equipment, components and core operations of the business venture; in line to meeting the needs of the clients. BPM endeavors for innovation and change integration that many of the traditional hierarchical approaches in management (Cameron & Green, 2004). BPM is flexible and can take different approaches depending on the business in question. It is not a strict predefined series of steps, but a process that deals with the complex nature of people. One of the most significant components in guaranteeing BPM success is people change management. This paper discusses the relationship between change management and the process of Business Process Management; in a project, an organization or a business.
In BPM projects, the people involved are the main concern. This is especially important where the projects involve changes that directly affect these people. BPM provides the methodology and support, but it is not a change agent itself. People and planning are the major agents of change at this point. BPM and change management work together towards common goals, such as increasing organizational performance in productivity or reaching out to new clients. BPM enables efficient and effective organizational workflow while at the same time continuously improving support for the objectives and goals of the organization. In turn; change management supports the resources and organization throughout the process of transformation to embrace and sustain the new ways of working. Change managements help redesign internal workflows to suit the increasing business efficiency, improve quality and may also cut cost (process change). Structural changes such as the realignment of organizational structures and reporting relationships are essential in changing the workflow to suit desired changes. Change management also involves cultural change in terms of shifts in attitudes and behavior (Cameron & Green, 2004). These are the typical changes that have a significant impact on the different levels of the organization. The component of people change management here comes to action in terms of; the way people (both on the organization’s side and the clients’ side) react to the respective changes. For instance, if the two sides embrace these changes, the process becomes a success, but if the changes are met with resistance, the change will be difficult to manage and will end up failing. People only accept to embrace changes if they feel that these changes are best for their interests.
As a technique, BPM sets out methods and tools to enact; control and analyze changes in the business operational processes. The business operational process involves various vital components such as; people, organization, information and documents and application. Here; it is important to start remembering that BPM is neither business process reengineering nor strategic decision making. BPM seeks a continuous business development and evolution, while integrating essential factors such as information technology. One cannot explain the relationship between People Change Management without first recognizing the importance and the effects of the human factors (people) in business or project endeavors. Change management needs a focus on the orientation of the organization or business or project’s values, people, culture and behavior towards the desired results. For a change to be effective in the process of management, the change should occur and create an impact starting from the level of individual employee (or any other participant) in the organization (Cameron & Green, 2004).
Factoring in people, in BPM, first different people will have different and complex reactions towards changes. The manner in which these people (whether in managerial positions, employees, target population or customers) react to changes will have a deep impact to the direction the organization will take after affecting a change. It is significant to bear in mind that a change will have effects (either positive or negative) on the internal power structures. Changes made will affect the feelings of capability and competence on the part of the affected people. People need to feel confident and competent within themselves; for them to get along with changes. If people think that the changes were put in place as a result of their incompetence or their failures; it will affect their attitude in a negative way. However, when they think that the changes will offer them a window to develop and move to a higher level in business; the effects are positive and they will embrace the change (Hiatt & Creasey, 2012).
Functional change needs personal re-invention. While making a change, one should look for people (or a person) with an understanding of the organization. They should also have a comprehensive consideration of the implications brought about by these changes. They should have concerns for the implications of the change for groups or individuals within the organizations, especially those people that the organization relies on to effect change. They should also be capable of systematically implementing the changes, whether in a problem solving approach or a whole organizational change or whatever the organization requires a change for, it should be systematic and not sudden. Another staff attributes that influence change management include talents, abilities and developmental capacity and requirements of individual employees. The person or people with qualities and capabilities as described in this paragraph will be successful in affecting the BPM compared to those with little or without the capabilities. This in turn will affect the business or organization’s performance in line with its targets (Hiatt & Creasey, 2012).
Suggestively; an overall change management tactics and approaches get developed and then linked to the BPM work program for the change management tools to work efficiently. The core to the success of change management and BPM is having the right people doing the right jobs according to a previously properly laid down plan of action. The plan should be well set out with well-defined projects that are realistic and deliverable within the set time frame. If the project is long term (taking years), it might as well be broken down to separate deliverables well spread throughout the overall period. There should be accurate and clear communication and flow of information for change management to succeed. Another critical aspect is integrity and trust amongst stakeholders. The success of the changes taken up in an organization largely depends on; the condition of the underlying relationship amongst the different stakeholders (Michaelalaxelsen.com, 2014).
There is another group of people that contribute a great deal in changing management in BPM. This group is the clients, customers or in general; the target population. In most cases, the necessity to make or effect any change comes from the drive to satisfy the clients. Without a change in the taste or requirement of the client, there would be no need to make any changes. Change of clients, desire to expand and conquer more clients or change in the tastes and requirements of clients are the main reasons for changes in the business environment. In short; clients are the reason for a change, and therefore; the changes are made according to their requirements and desires. The need for change-(that in this case is the clients) is the point of reference in change management approach as well as the BPM strategy, and all the aspects of change management toolkit (Glykas, 2013).
The outcome and results of changes in management and BPM are intrinsically and inseparably tied to individual employees having their job done differently and efficiently, in a perfectly laid out overall plan. A perfect plan of a process that the individual employees do not follow will never yield desired results. The perfectly laid out plan results are as good as the individual people who take part in the implementation of the plan. In any organization, project, business or even in government or community, the link between a set out quality solution and benefit realization is the individuals; those implementing the change, and those affected by the change. They should all embrace and adopt the changes towards benefit realization for the project to successful. It is the bridging link between the solutions and results – which is fundamentally about people and their collective role in the process of transformation, which change into successful outcomes for the organization or project(Glykas, 2013).
In conclusion, with all the principles discussed in this paper, it is valuable to consider how to make a change management method in the process of business process management (BPM), by first having the right personnel in place to ensure success of the project, business or organization. People are a very necessary part of any organization, project or business. BPM and change management cannot succeed or fail without the involvement of people. For this reason; change management and BPM are entirely dependent on people. People change management is an essential part, like many other components that are also dependent on people in the world of entrepreneurship and projects. The component people change management can be used to elaborate on the significance of the human factors (people) in making changes in organizations, businesses or projects. Without the right people, changes in the Business Process Management cannot lead to success.
Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2004). Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools & techniques of organizational change. London: Kogan Page.
Glykas, M. (2013). Business process management: Theory and applications. Berlin: Springer.
Hiatt, J. M., & Creasey, T. J. (2012). Change Management: The People Side of Change; an introduction to change management. Loveland, Colo: Prosci Learning Center Publications.