Top elevator pitches for Business Process Management

How would you sell BPM to your CEO?

Business Process Management can come across as abstract and seem remote from the day-to-day realities of running a business. As a result it can be hard to communicate just why it really matters.

So a few months ago I posed this question in a BPM Professionals group on Linkedin: What’s your elevator pitch? Why does BPM matter?

I was inundated with many different responses. Some were less of an elevator pitch and more of a mini-novella. Others were laden with jargon and could perhaps be classified as an elevator pitch if you happened to be stuck in a lift with a nuclear physicist or rocket scientist. But there were several that really seemed to cut right to the heart of what BPM is and what it allows us to do.

BPM is sat nav for your business?

Brian Vinson, Operations Manager at TRC Services, offers up this pitch:

"Either you're in control of your business processes or they are in control of you. You manage your suppliers, revenue, cash flows, inventory, distribution and personnel. Why would you not manage the processes that make sure all these things work together effectively?"

Dimitar Giulev, GM, Antipodes Ltd. says that BPM is a way of "creating a business out of ‘just good efforts’.

Meanwhile, the mighty trilogy of lower costs, increasing efficiency and improving quality/consistency also came up – and remains an ever popular choice for pitching BPM. But sometimes metaphors can be an event better way of getting across a complicated point.

Steve Ball, a small business process design & improvement expert, considers BPM "a satellite navigation system for your business."

"Without it you probably will reach your destination," he says. "But the journey will take you longer, you'll find out there are a lot of dead ends out there, you will feel lost sometimes or worst of all (for the men) we might have to stop and ask someone for directions."

Hermes Sepulveda Jaramillo, Manager of Area Operations at PricewaterhouseCoopers Chile takes a more organic approach – likening BPM to an organization’s DNA: "BPM helps you to understand, assure and improve what makes your company successful .... this is because processes are what you do - the genetic code of your business".

Others took a more Socratic approach, citing the questions they would ask their CEO if prompted on why BPM was important.

Martijn Belien, Practice Leader for Business Process Management at Royal Philips Electronics would ask these questions:

"So you have a financial plan, and you have an IT plan, and have a product plan, and have a partner plan, and have a staffing plan, but for processes you are really going to wait till year-end to see what happened? Or do you expect well planned interventions delivering on business strategy and performance?"

But my personal favorite comes from Pieter van Schalkwyk, CEO at XMPro:

"BPM will help you sleep at night. It gives you control when you can't be in all places at the same time. It makes sure that the right people are assigned to do the right things at the right time which means less operational hick-ups, better control, happier customers and it should all add up to better bottom line. Now go back to sleep."

But what’s your elevator pitch for BPM? How do you sell BPM to your company?

PEX Network’s BPM Open House online event opened yesterday with presentations from Jabil Circuit, Shell, K2 and Pegasystems. Get practical ideas on how other companies are making successful BPM strategies a reality at