Why Read This
In 2009, Archstone, a leading real estate provider, used a business process management (BPM) suite from Appian to streamline manual processes and eliminate paper forms so the front-line associates who manage buildings could work more effectively. As the team ascended the learning curve, it tackled a larger number of more complex processes while also improving the user experience and providing better access to data that drives business performance metrics. Over time, David Carpenter, director of BPM and a highly effective and resourceful operative (HERO), and two business analysts refocused the program away from process automation and toward a combination of quantity and quality. The initial lessons learned were to communicate to get user buy-in; recognize that the business can successfully drive BPM with minimal IT involvement; and not let forms drive the design — think process first. Lessons learned since then include to not just focus on the process but to look at how people use data and how it's presented; understand that improving processes requires constant iteration; and ensure that the user interface doesn't overwhelm businesspeople.