We use cookies and other similar technologies (Cookies) to enhance your experience and to provide you with relevant content and ads. By using our website, you are agreeing to the use of Cookies. You can change your settings at any time. Cookie Policy.

Editor's Note: In "To reap BPM benefits, measure its results," ebizQ contributor Crystal Bedell offers expert advice for quantifying the results of current and past projects. Here, ebizQ Site Editor Anne Stuart offers additional guidelines for doing the job well.

Gartner analyst John Dixon has a simple formula for why it's important to gauge the success of BPM efforts: "No measures = No results = No justification." And ultimately: "No sustained improvement."

In other words, if you can't quantify the results of your BPM projects, you're unlikely to reap long-term benefits from them—or gain support for future initiatives.

At a recent international Gartner BPM Summit, Dixon offered the following best practices for applying metrics to just about any BPM undertaking:

1. Focus on outcomes. Measure results delivered, not steps taken. Identify the most-valuable contributions. Make sure that all stakeholders concur on the definition of a good outcome.

2. Limit the number of measures. "Focus. Don't scatter your efforts," Dixon says. "Concentrate on the measures with the greatest impact." What's the right number? He recommends using just two or three.

3. Set clear, specific goals. For instance, rather than saying "improved customer service," set a specific goal and a timeline for meeting it. Make sure everyone understands these objectives.

4. Measure current performance. It's hard to prove how far you've come without knowing where you started. Establish an accurate, relevant baseline.

5. Link metrics to strategy. Show how BPM efforts align with business strategies and help meet high-level organizational goals.

6. Look ahead, not just back. "Metrics that predict results that you can leverage by timely action are better than recording history," Dixon says. Specifically, watch for economic, competitive or market behavior that might prompt a quick course change.

7. Make metrics visible and accessible. Metrics can motivate people—but only when they can see or find them. Expect some initial reluctance to change, Dixon warns, but keep in mind that being able to demonstrate positive results goes a long way toward gaining acceptance.

About the Author

Anne Stuart, ebizQ's editor from mid-2010 to mid-2013, is now senior editor for SearchCloudApplications.com at ebizQ's parent company, TechTarget. She is a veteran journalist who has written for national magazines, daily newspapers, an international news service and many Web sites. She’s specialized in covering business and technology issues for 20 years. Based in Newton, Mass., she can be reached at astuart@techtarget.com. Follow Anne on Google+ and at annestuart_TT on Twitter. For general questions about ebizQ, please e-mail editor@ebizQ.net.

More by Anne Stuart, Contributing Editor



Explore Our Topics

  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)


Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More