Appian World 2013 Business Track — Managing Risk and Driving Organizational Change Management

Continuing the Business track at Appian World, Appian CTO Michael Beckley moderated a panel discussion on the topic of “Managing Risk and Driving Organizational Change Management.” Appian provides an Agile development environment with template solutions to manage risk and organizational change. This panel discussed how to leverage a BPM platform to involve designers and end-users at the start of a project and initiate a change-management campaign to ensure user adoption. The panel also examined how the cloud and pre-built solutions can be used to mitigate risk and ensure a successful rollout.


The panelists included 3 seasoned partners:
Marck Aghnatios, Director, KPMG
Sunil Shamlal, President, Horizon Industries
Preetpal Singh, President, Persistent Systems

Marck Aghnatios from KPMG spoke first, about leveraging BPM for compliance. He introduced 6 key principles for compliance solutions:

  1. Compliance is not only a reporting problem but it is primarily a process problem – Adopt a process-centric approach
  2. Compliance impacts People, Process and Technology – Consider investing in a solution architecture upfront
  3. Regulations will continue to evolve and change – Build flexibility in your solution
  4. Reporting requirements will continue to mature – Build traceability and audit trail in your processes
  5. Implementation of rules and regulations will continue to evolve – Extract the rules from processes and leverage a rules engine
  6. A BPM-centric compliance solution will expose inherent flaws in the areas of People, Process and Technology – Plan for change management and post-deployment stabilization efforts

Many organizations currently take a reporting-centric approach to try to fulfill certain compliance requirements. To avoid this trap and get ahead of the compliance curve, Aghnatios said that organizations need solutions that can help them take a more proactive approach and allow them to plan for — instead of reacting to — the rapidly changing compliance environment.

Aghnatios stated that process-centric compliance is enabled by BPM. Benefits of using BPM for compliance include increased responsiveness to compliance mandates, improved efficiency for compliance audits, and reduced risk of non-compliance.

Next up, Sunil Shamlal from Horizon Industries talked about Risk Management. He recommended that organizations use pre-developed applications for project management (available on Appian Forum). By using these pre-developed apps, users can get familiar with Appian software, and designers can gain experience through customization. Create the risk register, assign responsibilities, and relate risk with prioritized functionality.

The Risk Management process template automates the activities and documentation required as part of the formal risk assessment for any project in an organization. It enables organizations to perform risk assessment in a standardized way, calculate key metrics, and gain visibility into the entire process.

Shamlal also touched on Change Management. According to him, the requirements of change management are:

  • Manage the people side of change, not just the business side
  • Develop a change management strategy for your project
  • Create a communications plan
  • Actively manage resistance to change

He stated that by using the iterative Agile development approach, Appian inherently brings change management into the process as part of the effort.

Last but certainly not least, Preetpal Singh from Persistent Systems talked about best practices to follow during development, including:

  • Motivate Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to participate throughout the development process
  • Follow Agile development practice to deliver functional work packets
  • Design workflows with SMEs using Appian Process Modeler
  • Build Proof of Concept to gain management/customer confidence
  • Frequent demonstrations to get continuous feedback from SMEs/End Users
  • “Human Centered Design” for successful user experience
  • Use of pre-defined templates to capture system requirements (such as Form template, Security template, Integration Data Mapping template, etc.)
  • Integrate 3rd Party systems to build a complete ecosystem
  • Frequent releases to get end user feedback

Singh also shared some use case examples of how a well-defined implementation approach can prevent and mitigate risks. Workflows, forms and application designs can be finalized during the requirement discussions using Appian Process Modeler, while pre-built solution templates can quickly demonstrate platform capabilities and functional proofs of concept. Building re-usable components such as Process Models, Expressions, Smart Services and Rules will reduce the development time and drive consistency.

The panel featured a lot of practical advice from seasoned BPM implementation pros. If you’re looking for assistance with your BPM initiatives, we invite you to check out our partners’ offerings!

Alena Callaghan

Web Marketing Manager