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Is BPM gaining ground in the C-suite?

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From Scott Menter: Is BPM gaining ground in the executive suites, or is it just another technology that executives are barely aware they have?

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  • According to analyst surveys every year, BPM is the #1 priority in the C-Suite agenda yet when you actually talk to anyone at that level they haven't a Scooby Doo what it means. So that just suggests surveys are useless in telling any real story other than what analysts want you to hear.

    As far as executives go, they are barely aware of any technology, only fads and trends they're told or read about that look exciting and perhaps can plug a gaping hole in their strategy.

    BPM needs to gain ground on the ground with the troops who are facing the problems day in, day out. Perhaps when the top level decide to let themselves be educated by those under them then BPM will breach the boardroom walls.

  • For the last 15 years I have been battling to get C suite execs to understand the importance of BPM - as a concept, and approach, a way of working. In the terms that Gartenr describe it. But my one voice is drowned out by the noise of the bickering between Lean, Six Sigma, process improvement, independent consultants, the Big 4 SIs, BPMS and Case Management vendors who all have "their way" of doing it.

    So is is gathering momentum? Possibly, but like a glacier gathers momentum. Infinitesimally slowly.

  • I'm with Theo ... many executives are of the "management by magazine" variety, and unfortunately for us, BPM never gets the coverage enjoyed by other, more populist notions like social media and anything with an "i" in front of it.

    Besides that, I don't think we do ourselves any favors by talking about BPM as a technology, a characterization that immediately paints it as a commodity and instantly kicks it over to IT. So I will go to my grave – at this point perhaps sooner rather than later – positioning it as a business practice affecting certain technology decisions. But even then it is probably more suited for a COO than a CEO. Does that count as the executive suite?

  • From conversations over the last few years, BPM is no question in the c-level discussions and gaining ground. The gap is between the strategy efforts and the execution. Totally agree with Steve, BPM should not be talked about as a technology but as a discipline and business practice. The technology is just an enabler and part of the execution layer.

  • Definitely. As BPM Suites provide more and more functionaity, CXO's see their overall usefulness applied to many more areas than just one-off departmental process challenges. And the savvy CXO's see the value of flexibility and visibility offered by BPM across the enterprise, especially in areas of change management, compliance, and reporting.

  • We don't worry about whether the C-suites get it or not - until we get engaged with a customer. I've definitely seen an increase in exposure of BPM at the executive (C) level over the last 5 years, but I can't tell you if that is the market evolving or a result of BP3 evolving as we grow, or combination of the two.

    All I know is that C-suite exposure isn't handed to you on a silver platter, you have to earn it one-by-one. If it was easy what fun would it be? :)

  • Yeah, I think Scott has it right. The customer engages at whatever level is appropriate for them, and it's up to us to earn their business.

    That said, the short direct answer to the question is yes. If you're in the BPM biz today, you need to have somebody who can speak directly with the CFO/CTO or even CEO in their language, because the frequency with which those individuals are involved in BPM acquisition is on the rise.

  • C level get it when business speak is used. Indeed wonder why do it any other way then they remember IT are the internal blocker recognising need to digitise to be sustainable. Maybe the question is does IT really understand? Once that interpretation gap is closed then progress will be rapid.....just a question of time but needs supporting technology both sides understand.

  • Enjoy the discussion, The reason C Suite is more interested in BPM: as process underpins business capabilities, and business capabilities underpin business strategy, so digital process maturity can become strategic issues for forward-looking organizations today, as it is directly decides organization's digital capabilities and overall digital maturity. thanks.

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