1 Feb 2012

SOA and BPM Training

Dedicating your business to the shift to a SOA or BPM architecture can be a very costly endeavor, especially for larger businesses. The biggest expense is often training your employees so that they are able to troubleshoot any of the problems and crisis that will crop up. Thousands of dollars can be spent – and often misspent – on preparing your employees for the change to a new business infrastructure. To limit these costs, several steps need to be followed to minimize wasteful spending on employee training.

Begin by Outsourcing

The first step in employee training is to show them how the business should be run by outsourcing the BPM or SOA processes to a professional group that specializes in restructuring businesses. This will show the employees how the business is supposed to run from the beginning and allow their training to be more driven in that they will know exactly where they are ultimately headed. By seeing the way the business is meant to operate employees can better institute their training, rather than going through a trial and error period in which employees are frustrated and the business suffers.

Learn by Doing

The best way to implement an SOA or BPM business model is to allow employees a hands-on approach, rather than spending large sums on training in the theory and background of your chosen business model. In much the same way as education is only a portion of any career and there is no substitute for experience, it is often better to allow employees to experience and experiment while being guided by a knowledgeable professional.

Listen to the users

The best training comes by listening to the customers who ultimately see where the holes are in the company. The experience of the customers is the best (and least expensive) training tool. The idea that drives SOA and BPM infrastructure is to avoid the archaic concept of trying to implement business practices and strategies devised in the boardroom which may or may not have practical applications. SOA and BPM do not and should not exist in a vacuum. The new business structure is going to be different for every kind of business, so it is imperative to hear the voice of the people to learn what is effective and what needs to hit the cutting room floor.

Use Seminars and Conferences

Seminars and Conferences give the best perspective on what structure works “in the trenches” and is significantly cheaper than giving employees whole courses that may or may not have practical applications. The best teaching comes not from a classroom but rather conferring with those that have already taken steps – and missteps – in the field. Theory and analysis has little use in the field, but there is no teacher greater than the experience of those that have already made mistakes. Due to the emergent nature of BPM and SOA, finding what way works best is constantly in flux, meaning flexibility is imperative, as is learning from the mistakes of others before doing them yourself.

Learning the best way to deal with a transference to BPM or SOA is never cut and dried. Every business is going to face new and different challenges, but by starting with outsourcing and learning from professionals, staying engaged in the learning process, listening to clients and customers, and gleaning knowledge from others already in the business will save time and valuable resources while you move your business into a BPM or SOA style of functioning while also saving money.

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