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Should power users automate business processes?

Today I had a discussion with a consultant on who can or should automate processes. Would you give power users access to the tools to automate processes themselves?

Let me start with the example the consultant brought up: A large company took a look at a BPM solution and found it very easy and intuitive to use. A senior manager then stated that this would be ideal for power users, since they would be able to implement their processes themselves, without having IT to get involved. Triggered by the experiences of large scale BPM implementations that require architectural discussions before implementing processes, the consultant pushed back on this idea.

I have heard this many times and I believe there are many projects in the IT space that failed due to a lack of experience and knowledge. But isn’t this a great place to start? Why don’t we make sure experience and knowledge becomes part of every implementation and empower people to develop processes themselves?   Children lose confidence in themselves when parents do or arrange everything for them. They miss out on experience and confidence that they can accomplish tasks themselves. Just like overprotective parents harm their child’s development, we limit business people’s capability to solve their problems and limit the competitiveness of the company.

Therefore the question is not whether power users should be able to implement processes themselves, but what we need to provide them with so every project they start becomes a success. This starts with training but continues with knowledge transfer, project support and recommendations for best practices implementation. BPM is the first technology that allows business to build their applications themselves. Empower them to be successful and force vendors to make BPM as easy as possible!

Other thoughts?

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