In my last blog post, I talked about the "BPM Tidal Wave" that often hits an organization after a successful initial project or POC. In order to support the tidal wave of projects, organizations often create a group responsible for the success of future BPM efforts. This group is often times called a Center of Excellence, but goes by many different names. Gartner calls it the BPM Center of Competency. I have been asked often what my vision of a BPM enabled enterprise looks like and one of the first items I tend to discuss are the components of the BPM COE.
Right or wrong, the responsibilities of the BPM COE are more often dependent on who is sponsoring the BPM initiative more than anything else. Because enterprise processes span across so many functional silos, the politics of strategic BPM initiatives can become rather complicated. Therefore, I've developed a model which outlines what an ideal BPM enabled enterprise would contain, but it can also be used to segment out particular areas of responsibility should there be too much political resistance to full adoption.
One of the most difficult, but important, aspects of a BPM COE is governance. Within the Governance component of the BPM COE are the most highly charged political aspects for a BPM Enabled Enterprise. Each of the three primary aspects of Governance, Strategic Alignment, Standardized Tools and Policies, and Administration each cause significant amounts of political strife as they tend to have the greatest impact on the overall direction and adoption of BPM by the organization.
Delivering a single project will not typically put a strain on the existing resources within an organization. However, after BPM projects are delivered and prove to be successful, the BPM Tidal Wave will necessitate a strong resourcing strategy to ensure the right resources have the right skills and the BPM pipeline can be handled in a timely manner. Therefore cohesive plans for the three key aspects of the Resourcing component, Training, Career Development, and Knowledge Management, must be created to ensure a consistent level of resources are available. The BPM COE is the logical place to consolidate all of the planning which needs to take place in order to ensure the resource bandwidth is available for the projected BPM pipeline.
One main factor in consistently delivering successful BPM implementations is to have well designed execution plans. The Execution aspect of the BPM COE is to ensure its three components Business Expertise, Technology Expertise, and End User Community are all well aligned and pulling in the same direction. If multiple projects are planned to occur in parallel, the BPM COE needs to provide clear standards on how best to execute and deliver each project. Without standards each project will develop their own approach and decrease the enhancement agility of future process enhancements.
Metrics and Monitoring
One of the primary advantages of utilizing a BPMS are the visibility and transparency aspects. By utilizing a BPMS, the IT organization can proactively be notified of exceptions related to system issues, the LOB process owners can set up dashboards that provided key metrics into the health of the process, and end users, either internal or external, can have added transparency into the process pipeline and status of specific items.
As with most things BPM related, I've found it is much better to start small and build credibility with success. It is much harder to stop a speeding train when everyone already on board is happy with where it is going! In future blog posts, I will dive deeper into each of the four components of the BPM COE and look at how they can be implemented either individually or as a complete system.