Executive Buy-In | Comidor Low-Code BPM Digital Automation Platform

7 Steps to Get Executive Buy-in For a Low-Code BPM Solution

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To get an executive buy-in, start by never talking to an executive about Low-Code BPM. Instead, talk about what they care about : Results. Outcomes. Impact. Value.

Middle ranks managers and organizations’ prosperity

Organizations adapt slowly to change or not at all, unless managers in the middle ranks, like a project manager, business analyst or an operational manager, identify and promote the need for change.
People at that level gather valuable business intelligence from direct contact with customers, suppliers, colleagues, and even competitors. They’re in a position to foresee when the business falls behind the market for instance or detect early signs that a partnership with existing legacy system vendor won’t work out (see our article on Legacy Systems Modernization). According to McKinsey Global Survey on digital transformations (Graph.1), the success rate of the transformation efforts are positively correlated, with how well the management teams communicate a given change-story element during the transformation.

Emphasize    “What’s in it for the Business”

Executive Buy-in 1 | Comidor Low-Code BPM Digital Automation Platform

Graph.1: Unlocking success in digital transformations

Don’t focus on the Low-Code BPM system

While you researching the market, contacting solution vendors after solution vendor, doing platform trials and demos, trying to understand what solution could best solve your business pain, it is very easy to become excited from the features and technical details of a system and lead your conversation with your boss on those.
Don’t do this. Your senior management team (SMT) really isn’t interested in finding out how any systems work, what new features they bring to the market or what they can do. Giving them this information will switch them off before they get started.
The SMT is interested in business cases for investment in projects and systems which solve a problem, like cost savings, productivity improving, faster app delivery that they believe it is important to be solved. They don’t want to know the nuts and bolts of how you are proposing to do this, but just that you will and what the resulting benefits are.

Don’t focus on non-strategic benefits

Low-Code BPM, like Comidor low-code BPM, can deliver a lot of results at a lot of levels throughout your organization. If you are an Operational Manager, for example, installing a new easy to use, easy to customize Low-Code BPM system, will undoubtedly make your life a great deal easier – but explaining this to the  SMT will not make them reach for their  cheque books (metaphorically).
Oddly making your life easier is not at the top of the list of things that concern the SMT, so don’t include it in your business case. Instead of that, think how a benefit for you, might result in a strategic benefit for the whole organization.

Step #1: Simplicity is key – so be result specific

One of the reasons that low-code BPM systems make our lives easier is, because they save our time and money. As well as saving a Quality or Operational Manager’s time, a BPM system also saves the time of all its end users. Now that is more likely to get the interest of the leadership team – by explaining how each time someone makes a request (for example) they will save at least 15 minutes and as this is an action repeated 10 times a day, by 1,000 employees – that is 150,000 minutes or 2,500 hours saved each day – which results to millions of dollars of efficiency savings each day. Also, equally important is to quantify the cost of inactivity, your business opportunity cost, and have a benefit checklist ready to support your case in your discussions with your boss.

Step #2: Implementation risk – address outcomes and failure fears

Strategic cross-organizational low-code BPM implementations often involve political battles in terms of how the business will operate tomorrow. The fear of the unknown is a powerful and dangerous force. People and teams resist change with the fear of complicating old processes (the devil we know) with new technology that will probably hinder their day-to-day tasks or lead to new digital failures (Graph.2). Identify, communicate and commit the team and the resources needed to implement the solution, and set up a decision-making support plan so that the management has full control on approving each targeted milestone.

Executive Buy-in 2 | Comidor Low-Code BPM Digital Automation Platform

Graph.2: Gartner “Make Legal Digital-Ready”

Step #3: Target the topics your business executives are invested in

Before approaching a prospective sponsor for your low-code BPM solution need, have an idea what their priorities are, and what they view as being important. Target the topics they are invested in, the issues they care about more than other execs who are on the leadership team.
Your HR director may be focused on managing employee onboarding and developing teams spread across offices in different geographies. The major concern for your head of operations may be to control risk, while your director of customer success may envisage a platform that standardizes service levels, reduces time to market cycle that results in happy clients.

Step #4: The power of example – Competition pressure

The management executives identify themselves as business leaders, the ones with the responsibility and the opportunity to take their business forward and change their business model as needed. Two thirds of surveyed CEO’s in Gartners latest insight report “Make Legal Digital, said they are constantly adapting to change (Graph.3).
There is no better way to catch their attention than by presenting examples of successful low-code BPM projects in your sector, in other words, competitors that are riding the low-code BPM wave and are transforming their way of doing business. Connect the dots in their new products, services, client satisfaction and ultimately market share with the role the BPM solution played in your competitors’ growth story.

Executive Buy-in 3 | Comidor Low-Code BPM Digital Automation Platform

Graph.3: Gartner “Make Legal Digital-Ready”

Step #5: Involve Other believers-build a “coalition”

The more people you get in your corner, supporting your ideas and providing first-hand experiences, the more urgent and legitimate the initiative seems. Your BPM coalition should include those with a mix of organizational credibility and executional expertise. This likely means also enlisting IT leaders, managers, and some process participants.
Building a coalition generates organizational buy-in more quickly and on a larger scale, as more people contribute their own energy and resources. One “coalition member” might have access to important data to support your business case for example, and another might have a good personal relationship with one of the top managers you’re trying to present your low-code BPM pitch to.
Recognizing these advantages, you become more successful into supporting your business case.

Step #6: Bring in an Expert

Since we are in the process of doing something that hasn’t been done before in your organization, sometimes you need the support of an outside expert to break through a wall. An outsider, that could be a digital transformation team of consultants, has the independence to challenge traditional thinking and break down paradigms.
Use those experts to send a clear message on market awareness and trends and bring executives to their own aha moments regarding change management.

Step #7: Get the Timing Right

It’s very crucial to find the right moment to raise your ideas. That moment might be when organizational priorities shift, or when new executives come on board or when at times of business crisis. Successful project proposals are reported when they are related to greater sensitivity than others to timing. You should notice when more and more people begin to care about a larger topic or trend that’s related to your issue, to position your idea to “catch the wave.”
In addition to keeping a close eye on larger trends and events, it’s important to be mindful of deadlines. If an idea relates directly to an imminent product launch or software release, by all means speak up—now is the time to be heard.
As you support your business leaders in their efforts to transform the business for the better,  you find your business culture becoming more accepting to implementing those necessary systems to optimize the business function as a whole. See (Graph.4) McKinsey Global Survey on digital transformations.

Executive Buy-in 4 | Comidor Low-Code BPM Digital Automation Platform

Graph.4: Unlocking success in digital transformations

Conclusion

Sell the opportunity to leave a legacy. You will find out that many executives are passionate about what they do and care about making a lasting impact on their organization. Implementing a process improvement culture makes a real difference to business teams and to the success of an organization. Execs are uniquely positioned to leave a legacy with the support of engaged teams and professionals, who are executing processes aligned to the business strategy like yourself.

OPEX & Digital Transformation Event | Comidor Low-Code BPM Platform