Report: When Does Business Process Management (BPM) Become a C-level Concern?

Adi Gaskell

Is Business Process Management (BPM) a C-level concern for you? Earlier this year Gartner published a report outlining 5 reasons why BPM projects can often fail:

  1. You're not prepared to demonstrate the value delivered - you've delivered some great results, but if they're not documented and recorded you won't be able to trumpet them to colleagues. All BPM projects should have a clear idea about how to measure success.
  2. Starting BPM without understanding BPM - It's no good attempting a BPM project simply because a technology vendor has sold you on the splendour of their latest tool. BPM isn't about technology and if you don't get that then your project will probably fail.
  3. Rely on facts, not perceptions - It's one thing to perceive a problem, quite another to know that there's a problem. Don't rely on hearsay or unsubstantiated opinions to form the basis of your BPM project.
  4. Don't forget your ROI - It's one thing to get really good at BPM, but unless you're delivering clear business benefits it's wasted effort. Get some quick wins and communicate them well throughout the organisation.
  5. Measuring rather than improving - Of course you need to understand the processes you currently have in place, but don't fall into the trap of stopping once you've mapped them. The whole point of BPM is to improve processes, not just understand them.

A new report by Cap Gemini has underlined the perceived importance of BPM, revealing that 82% of C-level managers believe BPM to be crucial to their organisations performance. There is a direct correlation in the report between how long companies have been doing BPM and the importance assigned to it by managers. They go on to highlight some risks to successful BPM implementation of their own:

  1. Functional silo culture
  2. Fragmented budget
  3. Perception of BPM as an IT matter
  4. Resistance to BPM from IT staff who have responsibility for existing systems
  5. A lack of readiness or willingness to tackle the changemanagement issues associatedwith BPM implementations

Having C-level buy-in is seen as crucial to overcoming these issues. The report revealed that C-level education on BPM issues was key to achieving that buy-in, with a direct correlation between director level knowledge of BPM issues and the success of BPM projects. You can read the report in full below, but the message appears clear. If you want to achieve BPM success you better get your senior managers up to speed on the benefits of it.