Change is hard. Have you ever heard the following objections to innovation from your organization? “My department is unique.” “That sounds great in theory, but it wouldn't work in our environment.” “An outsider doesn’t understand the way we operate.”
Business Process Management (BPM) consultants hear these objections at the beginning of virtually every project we undertake. It’s true that we’re not experts in every field; but we are experts in process improvement and efficiency. We understand that every business is different and that most organizations are, at best, minimally resistant to change.
By partnering closely with your team’s stakeholders, listening to their needs and understanding their positions, consultants prove that fresh tools and strategies can be implemented in harmony with existing structures and cultures to produce incredible results.
Here are five reasons why organizations should make external BPM consultants an integral part of a continuous improvement culture:
1. They break through internal politics with objectivity.
Real improvement projects require short term pains to achieve long term gains. When faced with change, established silos within organizations can generate a significant negative impact. Senior leaders often are wedded to managing operations a certain way, and departments have their traditional ways of doing things.
BPM consultants ask the questions that an internal employee can’t ask objectively, or in some instances wouldn’t dare to ask. By using consultants you create a vehicle for change that’s free from all environmental/political baggage.
2. They take a more comprehensive approach to problem solving.
BPM consultants come equipped with experience and expertise built from:
- Engaging multiple clients in the same lines of business as you
- Engaging multiple clients facing similar problems
- Working with the entire organizational structure, from front-line employees to CEOs
- Being part of the workforce
This combination of experience and exposure makes BPM consultants problem solving experts. It enables them to easily recognize common operating issues, and then apply tried and tested solutions. This skill set has universal appeal for a reason: it can be applied from the shop floor to the board room, and it provides fresh insight and accelerated results. Forward-thinking leaders are increasingly building dynamic workforces that combine incredible internal talent with an “in-the-trenches” approach that consultants provide.
3. They give you extra muscle.
When speed pairs with expertise, alchemy occurs. With just a bit of additional consulting muscle, long-term, lumbering projects can become focused, short-term wins that fuel a continually improving operation.
BPM consultants provide that critical mass of resources required for a project to be successful. Without both the right resources and the proper amount of resources, projects are rarely successful. Some projects will never get off the ground, because “no one has time.” These require an infusion of extra muscle to regain the momentum of initial resources that was lost to competing priorities.
This combination of expertise and muscle provides the speed and drive required to sustain a competitive advantage.
4. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of your organization.
Visionary leaders recognize that what got the organization to where it is will not necessarily take it to the next level. Companies often need a fresh set of eyes to look at what’s working and what’s not. You’d be amazed at the amount of value consultants can add, based solely on everyday observations and insights.
Employees can become too close to their business problems, and easily fall into routines that don’t cast a critical eye on measurement, analysis, and improvement. BPM experts lend the objectivity and situational awareness required to bring operations back to highly effective and efficient levels. They can often visualize problems and provide original solutions for new setups, methods for success measurement and resolutions to common stuck points.
5. You need Change Management expertise.
If I asked 10 executives what makes a successful project I’d probably get ten different answers, most of them revolving around increased financial performance, decreased cost, etc. The element that is often overlooked is sustainability.
If employees don’t buy into the change you want to enact, even the best strategy will be short lived. Every successful consulting project must incorporate client training as a major ingredient. Consultants can work with management to craft meaningful and impactful communications to the affected populations. This involves your employees in the journey and ensures they take ownership of the change. Thus, a large part of what consultants do is provide education on necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to sustain improved results.
If you’re still not sure whether or not to hire a BPM consulting team, consider this:
Business Process Management consultants can tackle the unpopular but necessary challenges that upper management knows are crucial.
By partnering with experts, you tip the odds for success in your favor by creating a genuine sense of urgency, a culture aligned to change, and the extra muscle you need to deliver bottom line results.