by Samantha Searle | March 30, 2012 | Submit a Comment
We had a great couple of days at the London BPM Summit this month with over 350 attendees from not only the UK & Ireland, but Germany, the Nordics, the Middle East and even Egypt! A range of industries including financial services, government, manufacturing, technology, telecom and transportation were also well represented. Furthermore we had a 19% increase in attendance compared to last year which is fantastic, so a big thank you to those of you who made the time to attend the summit! The clients I spoke to certainly found it was worth their while.
As a Gartner analyst, you don’t get much (if any) time to sit in sessions as you are normally either presenting the session yourself or doing 1:1s with clients. However I was fortunate enough to introduce one of our case study speakers, Geir Dryan (Kredinor) who told a powerful and inspiring story of how BPM had saved their organization from potential bankruptcy. New government regulations severely impacted their profit margins, so they used process improvement and activity-based costing to remove non-revenue generating actions and produce a more profitable business model.
Finally thanks to those of you who tweeted your thoughts and comments during the conference and provided another dimension for interaction. We had a total of 494 tweets on #gartnerbpm over two days that reached an audience of 197,395 people! So I shall set a challenge to our US and AsiaPac audiences to beat this when they attend our upcoming BPM Summits in Baltimore and Sydney later this year. If you would like more information or to register for these summits, please follow the links below.
Gartner BPM Summit, Baltimore, 25th – 27th April
Our guest keynote speakers in Baltimore will be:
Patrick Lencioni (Author of “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” and Founder and President of the Table Group) who will make the case for why healthy organizations win and how you can harness your organization’s full potential.
Gabe Zichermann (Entrepreneur and author of “Gamification by Design” and “Game-Based Marketing”) will discuss how to transform your business with gamification.
We will also have 3 of our own Gartner analysts providing further, thought-provoking keynotes on:
“”Driving Organizational Success by Combining Social Media and Business Process Transformation” Anthony Bradley
“Business Process Management 2020” Jim Sinur
“The Next Frontier – People, Process and Things – Taking BPI to the Internet of Everything” John Mahoney
Gartner BPM Summit, Sydney, 20th – 21st August – watch this space for further agenda announcements!
Category: bpm process improvement process management summit Tags:
by Samantha Searle | March 12, 2012 | Submit a Comment
This Wednesday sees the start of the BPM Summit in London – will you be there? Our theme is People, Politics and Process – Breaking Down Barriers to Enterprise Success. So what exactly are these barriers and how can attending the summit help you understand how to overcome them?
Barrier #1: No clear results from BPM projects
If you don’t show results and ROI from the first few BPM projects, why would the organization fund you? Building a business case can help you avoid this common pitfall, because it sets clear targets for BPM and helps you achieve results.
Attend Jim Sinur’s session on “Building the Business Case for BPM” on Wednesday 14th March 16:15 – 17:15 to find out more.
Barrier #2: Not measuring your processes properly!
If you don’t measure how your processes are currently performing, how do you know which ones are performing badly and in need of process improvement? Once you’re doing BPM, how do you know by how much you’ve improved them (if at all)? Finding the right metrics to measure your processes is a critical success factor for BPM.
Learn how to choose the right metrics for your processes at John Dixon’s session on “Metrics for Success” on Thursday 15th March 8:00 – 9:00
Barrier #3: Lacking the necessary skills to do BPM
Our recent surveys have shown that a shortage of good BPM skills is a recurring challenge for clients. This challenge is even greater when you consider that BPM is often not a full-time job for those involved. How can find the right skills within your organization and how do they relate to the roles required to support successful BPM projects and programs?
Three skill sets are required to succeed in BPM; find out more in Michele Cantara’s session on Operational, Transformational and Technical Roles for Successful BPM Projects and Programs on Thursday 15th March 14:00 – 15:00
Barrier #4: Ignoring process pain points or shadow processes
Often BPI projects that focus on implementing a new tool can end up misrepresenting the real process because they neglected to consider how users really interact with the process. Some of this information can be hard to capture, especially for knowledge-centric and unstructured processes.
However this is where Social BPM can help! To discover which processes would best benefit from Social BPM and how to apply it, attend our workshop on “Where to Start with Socially-Enabled Processes” with Teresa Jones and I, Thursday 15th March 8:00 – 9:45.
Even better, if you have your own BPM story and challenges to tell then come and meet me at the summit – I’d be extremely interested in hearing your viewpoint. Look forward to seeing you there!
I’ll also be tweeting from the event – follow me on Twitter (@scsearle) to follow the conference as it unfolds.
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by Samantha Searle | February 23, 2012 | 8 Comments
“What tools would you recommend for our BPM project?” The Gartner BPM team still receives a significant number of client inquiries that focus on implementing BPM as a technology and miss the wider benefits of BPM. Technology can certainly be a key enabler of BPM, but treating BPM just as a technology won’t help you succeed; in fact it could do quite the opposite!
A colleague of mine shared a nice horror story with me where a company implemented a BPM tool without first gaining a thorough understanding of how their processes were currently performing. As a result, they succeeded in not only doubling the time take to complete the whole process but also quadrupled the number of errors!!
Just in case you need further convincing, here’s 5 reasons why BPM should be viewed as a management discipline, not just a technology:
- A key obstacle to succeeding in BPM maturity is people and politics. Technology won’t help you overcome that (unless it involves brain-washing, which is not a recommended approach!).
- Technology won’t help you guide the organization from functional silos to a process-centric way of thinking and overcome natural resistance to change. Organizational change techniques such as Kotter’s 8-step change model will.
- Installing a BPM tool doesn’t necessarily give you full visibility of the most important end-to-end processes. What about parts of the process that happen outside the system, especially manual workarounds and shadow processes that might conceal process painpoints?
- Technology doesn’t give you accountability for end-to-end process performance; establishing the role of the business process owner does. If you don’t measure how your processes are performing, how do you know which ones are operating poorly? Installing a tool blindly could make things worse, not better (see the “horror story” example at the beginning of this blog)!
- BPM is about agility and a tool alone won’t deliver this. It requires the whole organization to shift from a “build-to-last” mentality to a “build-for-change” mentality when it comes to finding solutions for existing business problems. BPM is crucial to enabling an organization to respond to rapid change effectively.
This is why people, politics and process is the theme to our 2012 BPM Summits – why not come along and discuss your BPM efforts with us? We can help you avoid the pitfalls that trip up other organizations and you can hear firsthand from other companies who have succeeded in BPM.
Our sponsors will also be on hand to advise you on how technology can enable you to achieve your BPM goals. Follow the links below for more details and to register:
Gartner BPM Summit, London, 14 – 15 March
Gartner BPM Summit, Baltimore, 25 – 27 April (N.B. $300 Earlybird discount ends March 2nd!)
Category: bpm process improvement process management technology tools Uncategorized Tags: bpm, business performance, business process management, process improvement, technology, tools
by Samantha Searle | February 3, 2012 | 1 Comment
Where did you do most of the Christmas shopping this year? Like many people, I avoided the crowded high streets and placed orders online. Internet shoppers spent almost £8bn online in December (16.5% more than in December 2010) and a record £68bn was spent online overall in 2011. One of the key advantages of online shopping is having your purchases delivered to your door within a reasonable timeframe.
However, one item I ordered before Christmas finally arrived this week! I know what you’re thinking; fortunately it wasn’t a Christmas present or I’d be in big trouble! Though I was relieved that it had arrived, I couldn’t help wondering what had gone wrong from a process perspective! I had placed the order with an e-commerce site and the delivery was due before Christmas. The order went through fine and was dispatched shortly afterwards, but then something clearly went wrong, when the logistics company tried to deliver the product.
This is a classic example of process pain points occurring at “hand-offs” between a business and its supplier. When I chased up the supplier to find out where my purchase was, it turned out that my telephone number had not been passed on to the logistics company so they couldn’t phone me to arrange a delivery. However they did have my address so given I waited 6 weeks for the delivery, it would have been better to send me a letter via “snail mail”!
I can think of several ways in which the use of BPM could have avoided this scenario:
- Visibility of the end-to-end process so that everyone understands the part they play, the key process inputs and outputs and the process and sub-processes they should follow
- Accountability for the process outcomes – in this case two key process outcomes were passing on the customer details (from e-commerce site to supplier and then supplier to logistics) and the delivery of the purchase. Who should have been accountable for this – the supplier, the logistics company or the e-commerce site? Ultimately I ended up taking responsibility for it because I had to chase up the order! Business process governance can prevent this by clarifying role interactions and revealing who is responsible for deciding how the process should be improved and redesigned in the future.
- Adaptability to changing circumstances, especially if something goes wrong like not having a customer’s phone number. Alternative options should be available via sub-processes to verify if other details were available and could be used e.g. email or delivery address, rather than nothing happening at all. If there are no contact details, or the given details are incorrect, an alert should be sent back so that someone can resolve the situation. This is where related areas like business activity monitoring and business rules management can also play a part in helping business to run smoothly.
Fortunately this e-commerce retailer was smart enough to reach out to me for feedback on the supplier and this is where the social BPM element comes into play. How many times does this situation arise without the retailer’s knowledge and consequently they might lose ? This is why it’s so important to invent ways to capture feedback from people who consume your processes, (especially external, customer-facing ones) so you can identify and eliminate any process painpoints or disconnects that could potentially damage your business.
I shall certainly help out by giving back my feedback to them this weekend, but I’m not sure if I would use that supplier or e-commerce site again…would you? On a more positive note, at least the delivery was free!
Category: bpm customer experience ecommerce internet process design process failure process improvement process management retail Uncategorized Tags: bpm, ecommerce, internet, process improvement, process management, retail
by Samantha Searle | December 7, 2011 | Submit a Comment
The Gartner BPM team is busy working with the Gartner events team to prepare for the Business Process Management Summit 2012 to be held on:
14 – 15 March, London, UK gartner.com/eu/bpm
The theme of the summit is:
“People, Politics, Process: Breaking Down the Barriers to Enterprise Success”
For those new to BPM, the Summit will help you to take the first steps, establish the skills required, and identify the right technologies. For those who are more experienced, the Summit will provide visibility into the future, identify the next generation of BPM and help you leverage new approaches such as Social BPM, Pace Layering and Intelligent Business Operations.
· Dealing with Politics and Silos
· Organizational Change Management
· BPM and Mobile
· Cloud Impact on BPM
· Intelligent Business Operations
The Summit will help you to advance your BPM projects, improve your own skills and deliver truly transformational BPM to your organization.
We look forward to seeing you there! For those of you who tweet, the hashtag for this event is #gartnerbpm and my Twitter username is @scsearle.
Ways to register
Web: gartner.com/eu/bpm Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44 20 8879 2430
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by Samantha Searle | November 25, 2011 | Submit a Comment
How mature do you think your organization is at BPM? Though it might seem a daunting question to answer, understanding where your organization’s strengths and weaknesses in BPM can be the difference between success or failure.
The first set of results on BPM from Gartner’s maturity assessment ITScore were published last week. They revealed some interesting truths about how organizations are progressing with BPM:
- Many organizations are still more functionally-orientated than process-orientated, and consequently they succeed at applying BPM to functional processes but stall when faced with cross-boundary processes.
- This problem arises from how governance and metrics are set up – if the performance of people and processes isn’t measured by metrics that support process improvement and the performance of end-to-end processes then this will limit the success of BPM, especially once it tries to tackle cross-functional processes.
- When applying BPM to cross-functional processes, conflict can arise between functional and cross-functional process performance metrics that requires the right governance in place to achieve resolution.
- There is a lack of the right process competencies such as process modelling and change management techniques to ensure the success of BPM programs.
- A significant number of organizations are successfully leveraging process improvement methodologies and appreciate the value of applying BPM technologies where appropriate.
The reports on Gartner’s ITScore for BPM maturity assessment provide a more detailed analysis and advice on how to address the issues highlighted by the assessment. Links to the reports are given below (please note that access is restricted to Gartner clients only):
Of course, you could always take the ITScore maturity assessment for BPM for yourself and discover how your organization is really doing at BPM! It only takes about 20 minutes, including the enteprise perspective assessment, which gives an evaluation of your overall enterprise IT maturity.
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by Samantha Searle | November 16, 2011 | 1 Comment
Our “Designing Socially-Enabled Processes” workshop at last week’s Gartner Symposium in Barcelona explored ways to implement social BPM whilst leading users through the change. We also discussed how to measure the value of socially-enabled processes. Part 1 of the blog (published yesterday) focused on roles and skills and suitable processes for social BPM.
How do you implement social BPM to drive awareness and ensure adoption of socially-enabled processes?
- Think in terms of value stream mapping to identify where social BPM can bring the most value to certain processes in the organization
- Get input from business users on what functionality they would like in order to select the right tool. Otherwise you increase the risk of a lack of user adoption if you give them a tool they don’t like!
- Run a proof of concept project that demonstrates how people used a socially-enabled process to collaboratively solve a problem or accelerate decision making.
- Educate stakeholders on how they can benefit from designing socially–enabled processes. Gain insight into how customers and employees really work and use this information to identify where socially-enabled processes would be the most beneficial to employees.
How do you define and measure the value generated by socially-enabled processes?
Create a forum for social BPM projects to take place and monitor the activity for candidate metrics. It is also wise to track who is involved in decision making processes and measure the impact of social BPM on these processes. The effective collaboration enabled by social bpm should make it easier to get the right information and people together to make better and faster decisions. Hence the time taken to arrive at a decision is a good metric for social BPM!
Approval processes (that can be improved by removing redundant steps to make faster decision/approval cycles) and project management processes are good candidate processes for testing out the “time to decision” metric. Evaluate whether the amount of collaboration and knowledge-sharing that took place meant that the project/decision delivered early or on time (compared to a similar project or decision process executed without social BPM).
Jim Sinur has also blogged the findings on “Methods and Measures” from the “Designing Socially-Enabled” Processes workshop run at Orlando Symposium.
Further comments welcome and you can follow me on Twitter: @scsearle
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by Samantha Searle | November 15, 2011 | 1 Comment
“Designing Socially-Enabled Processes” was the first topic that the BPM team covered with our European clients during a workshop at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona this week. Elise Olding, Teresa Jones and I ran a workshop aimed at helping participants to understand what is required to design socially-enabled processes. To understand what Gartner means by social BPM, Gartner clients should read “Social BPM: Design By Doing” and “Social BPM: Getting to Doing”.
The workshop explored how to design socially-enabled processes from a number of perspectives: roles and skills, candidate processes for social BPM, how to implement social BPM to drive awareness and gain adoption and how to measure its impact. This blog post (the first of two blogs on our Social BPM workshop) will cover the key workshop findings from discussions on Social BPM roles and skills and which processes are most suitable for social BPM.
What roles and skilled are required to design and implement socially-enabled processes?
Social BPM requires people to think different about how they get work done. A good suggestion was made to develop the role of an “insight manager”, whose purpose is to understand how customers, partners and employees interact with the company’s processes to get work done. Another idea was to provide reverse mentoring to those who are unfamiliar with social networking to help them adjust to a different way of working.
Governance is also key because social BPM encourages collective ownership for decision-making. Use it to identify and empower process owners responsible for process performance and output. When dealing with external processes, use governance to enforce a social media policy that discourages risk averse behaviour when interacting with customers in a public forum.
What areas and processes are best suited to social BPM?
Elise also ran the same workshop at Orlando Symposium with Jim Sinur and Michele Cantara. Jim summarised the key findings on roles and skills from their workshop in his blog post: “Social BPM Workshop: Roles and Skills“.
Look out for my second blog post tomorrow, entitled “Social BPM Workshop Part 2: Socially-Enabled Processes Accelerate Decision-Making and Problem-Solving”.
Any further comments are welcome here or via Twitter (@scsearle)
Category: Uncategorized Tags: bpi, bpm, collaboration, process improvement, social
by Samantha Searle | October 26, 2011 | 2 Comments
Processes usually don’t operate in isolation so when redesigning a process, it is vital to consider its context and how other processes interact with it, or depend on it. The other day I encountered a wonderful example of how not to do this!
Getting a doctor’s appointment is not an easy process and usually involves a long wait on the phone. So I was delighted to here that my local doctor’s surgery was taking a step into the 21st century with an online appointment scheduling process that spared you the pain of trying to get through on the phone.
“So, how can I get access to this system” I asked, expecting to be given the website address. The receptionist replied “You fill out this form with your details, but it will take a few days to process so you’ll have to come back next week to pick up your username and password”.
My jaw dropped. “Hang on,” I said “you’ve launched an online appointment scheduling system for which I can’t register online?!! I have to do it by paper and collect it next week?!!”. I was met with a blank face.
Thankfully before I was tempted to launch into a lecture on the difference between good and bad process design, a second receptionist came to my rescue and offered “I can process it for you now if you like?!” (which they did).
There are two main lessons to learn from this example:
- When making a process change of this nature, consider the entire context of the process and any dependencies to determine whether the consumer of the process has everything they need to complete the task. In the above example, online registration for new users (and log in for registered users) should have been the first step in the new online appointment scheduling process.
- Train your staff to encourage customer adoption of the new process. Rather than having to ask for access to the new process myself, the staff should help migrate customers over. If more customers book appointments online, the staff will spend less time answering phone calls and free up their time to concentrate on more important things!
Essentially getting the right process design and providing change management are two critical success factors to this project. Without these, no one will start using the new process and the project will not succeed.
Category: Uncategorized Tags: bpi, bpm, business process management, process, process design, process improvement
by Samantha Searle | July 18, 2011 | Submit a Comment
This is my first blog as a Gartner analyst so I’ll start by introducing myself. I previously worked at Gartner doing research for the Enterprise IT Leaders services in applications and outsourcing, where we helped senior executives (direct reports to the CIO) work through their current challenges (in a similar way to Gartner’s EXP model). Whilst working with this group, I found that BPM was a hot topic and I’m now thrilled to be part of Gartner’s BPM team since March.
One of my first tasks in my new role was to work on some research with one of my fellow analysts, Elise Olding, to help clients who are getting started with BPM. This is a big enough topic to merit three research notes and any Gartner clients reading this can access the documents via the link below:
• Getting Started With BPM: Are You Ready?
• Getting Started With BPM: Projects Form the Foundation
• Getting Started With BPM: Six Critical Success Factors
However I’m interested to hear your experiences of getting your first BPM project off the ground. Comments on the following questions are particularly welcome:
• Whose decision was it to start BPM in your organization?
• How did you select your first project? What was it and why?
• How did you secure business buy-in?
• Did you have a clearly defined outcome and how did you measure it?
• Or, more likely, are you still struggling with all of the above?!
Whatever your experiences, I would really like to hear from you. My Twitter username is @scsearle so feel free to follow/message/interact with me there.
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