Gartner 2013 BPM Summit: Insights, tips and highlights

"Change" was the word of the day at Gartner's 2013 BPM Summit in National Harbor, Md.

Nearly 600 business and IT professionals from around the world attended the intensive three-day event to learn about how business process management and related technologies can "drive breakthrough business performance."

Specific sessions covered everything from cloud-based BPM to change management to building a business process competency center to selling C-level executives on process-improvement projects.

Following are just a few of the insights that Gartner analysts and other speakers shared during the event:

On change: "By definition, you're all about creating change. It's why you're here; it's what you do, day in and day out. When you create change, you create conflict…The very nature of change triggers a political minefield."—Tina Nunno, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, in her keynote address on how organizations can avoid political "land mines"

More on change: “By 2015, the ability to embrace and master continuous change will define competitive advantage.”—Darryl Plummer, Gartner managing vice president, chief of research and Gartner Fellow

Statistics: By 2016, fully 60% of BPM initiatives will fail unless they can demonstrate direct positive impact on organizational strategy.—Gartner research cited during conference

More statistics: By 2016, 70% of the most profitable companies will manage their business processes using real-time predictive analytics or extreme collaboration.—Gartner research cited during conference

On leadership: "If [people] don't trust you, the minute something goes wrong, you're done."—Tina Nunno

On stalled BPM projects: "The best BPM project is, frankly, useless if we can't move it forward. —Tina Nunno

On dealing with limited resources: "See if you can give them at least a piece of the project so they're not just hearing 'no.'"—Tina Nunno

On automation—or lack of it: "We feel like the world has missed [the message] that we never use the word 'automate.' BPM is not just about automation. It's about coordinating your resources, about orchestrating interactions of all those resources."—Janelle B. Hill, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, BPM Summit Chair

On cloud: "Cloud is very, very shiny today. Don't get distracted by it....Moving your business processes to the cloud is not the goal. Using the cloud to optimize business outcomes is the goal."— Michele Cantara, Gartner Research vice president

On BPM: "You can use BPM as a way to surround your processes, whether they're on-premises, in the cloud or outsourced. You can essentially create a BPM control tower."—Michele Cantara

On getting started with BPM: "Run a proof of concept project, demonstration value to the business and communicate your success loudly. Find another opportunity and do it again.—John Dixon, Gartner managing vice president, on getting started with BPM

On metrics: "Baseline everything before you start."—John Dixon

On resource optimization: "If you do resource optimization, you will be a hero."—Jim Sinur, Gartner Research vice president

On the long-term view: "It's important to understand that today's mission-critical system could easily become tomorrow's legacy system." —Alan Trefler, founder and CEO, Pegasystems Inc.

On in-house BPM expertise: "Don't skimp on transformational skills. These can make or break a project."— Bruce Robertson, Gartner Research vice president, in a session on establishing a business process competency center(BPCC)

On communicating the value of a BPCC: "We've got to get specific about value propositions. That's what metrics are for." — Bruce Robertson

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Anne Stuart, ebizQ's editor from mid-2010 to mid-2013, is now senior editor for 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 Follow Anne on Google+ and at annestuart_TT on Twitter. For general questions about ebizQ, please e-mail

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