BPM Program Implementation – An Important Checklist for Success


Since the emergence of Business Process Management (BPM), organisations adopting it have had a wide variety of experiences – some successful and others less so. Some would argue that because BPM is so amorphous that any project is considered to be analogous to ‘boiling the ocean’ and therefore the outcomes may vary from exceptionally successful to, in some cases, disastrous.

Typical challenges that often cause concerns during a BPM initiative include:

  • Focus on automation supersedes process excellence and continuous improvement
  • Complex transformation programs end up in failures, as the business scope is not prioritised and the program roadmap not defined in advance
  • Traditional Waterfall business requirements & process analysis phase takes  an average of 6 – 9 months  with no results to show in production for at least a year and as a result, business sponsors often get disillusioned with BPM
  • Lack of alignment between the investments across business strategy, process improvement and automation activities

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State of the Consulting Industry – Customer Demand, Salary Survey & Trends 2011

In response to some developments over the past few years, the Consulting Industry has been undergoing some interesting changes.

As an example, the author of the article “Two threats facing the consulting industry” is of the opinion that:

As the consulting industry gradually emerges from the dark days of the Great Recession, the numbers are creeping back up to pre-recessionary levels: utilization and billing rates are up, pipelines are bulging and recruiters are busy. But even now, with all signs pointing skyward, new trends are emerging that might threaten the industry’s return to lucrative prominence.

It goes on to mention some of the opinions held by Industry Analyst – such as Fiona Czerniawska:

In a concise, well-argued piece, Fiona Czerniawska, founder of sourceforconsulting.com, discusses two emergent trends that could shake the consulting industry’s tree: internal consulting units and consultant-managers.

As further research and for those who have not come across it, Top-Consultant.com is a specialist careers website offering jobs in management consulting and internet consulting, consulting news from the big firms, industry analysis, get head-hunted facility, career information, salary survey and salary calculator, and online marketing.

This free report presents basic salary, benefits and bonus levels reported by type of consulting and seniority level. Separate data is presented for the geographical markets of UK, US, Europe and Australia – with expert commentary both from the Top-Consultant team and from our sponsors Huntswood.

Click here to download your PDF copy of the 2011/12 Salary Benchmarking Report.

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I welcome your thoughts and experiences.

Software Development Methods – Selecting a Pragmatic Approach

Having personally done extensive work with many Organisations over the years to help them create, adapt and implement various types of SDLCs for specific transformational needs, I found the recent article by Mark Kennaley very insightful as a categorised summary of the types of Methods that exist.

Mark describes how the various Software Development Methods (used during an SDLC) often reflect the culture, structure and processes of the Organisation and promotes either positive or negative characteristics when it comes to Delivery of  Solutions that meet Business needs.

He states that the typical negative impact on an organisation manifests itself in various costly ways:

…Each time an organization embraces a new methodology, it triggers a large change management exercise. Within IT, this change typically involves a three-to-five year process that results in the following direct costs for a 1,000-person IT organization:

  • Consulting, training, and mentoring costs to go from novice to competent, and even expert, using Stuart and Hubert Dreyfus’ skill acquisition model. For 1,000 people, this can cost $1 million to $2 million.
  • Knowledge management, to avoid the risk of relying on tacit knowledge in the heads of coaches and consultants. If performed, the capture of standard work, or “our way of working,” results in more than $1 million in costs related to process-related software.
  • Changes in approach can also trigger the need for new process management tools. Cost can range from free to $1 million or more.
  • Costs related to putting a new software delivery infrastructure in place. Hitting the reset button can cost upward of $5 million.

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Who’s next on the HP BPM Aquistions list?

After the recent news that Open Text is to acquire Metastorm, it has been revealed that the long rumoured HP talks with Tibco have not gone as planned.

According to a Reuters article,

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) had considered buying business software company Tibco Software Inc (TIBX.O) until two weeks ago when talks fizzled, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Reuters article goes on to say that

It was not clear why the talks fell apart or if they will be resumed, although the tech giant is currently scouring the industry for other software targets, the sources said.

Tibco has been the subject of takeout rumors for the past several years, yet the company has never disclosed that it has been in talks to sell itself.

The question now is who will HP target to fill its capability gaps? Doug Henschen (InformationWeek) thinks that

If HP is now shopping for other companies, as Reuters’ report suggests, Software AG and Progress Softwareare both potential targets, given their integration, SOA infrastructure, and business process management software. Software AG is larger than Tibco, with about $1.4 billion in revenue last year. Progress is smaller, at $156 million in 2010 revenue.

What are your thoughts?

Transformation through Tribes – Challenging the Status Quo

Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. In this very insightful talk he asks 3 questions:

  • Who are you upsetting?
  • Who are you connecting?
  • Who are you leading?


In a related talk, David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form — in schools, workplaces, even the driver’s license bureau. By understanding our shared tribal tendencies, we can help lead each other to become better individuals.


Gartner Predicts Lack of BPM will topple many Global 2000 Companies

In a recent article from Gartner, they predict that:

Between now and year-end 2014 an intensifying focus on process-related skills, competencies and competitive differentiators will increasingly separate process excellence leaders from the laggards among the Global 2000, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner has identified some of its key predictions for business process management (BPM) in 2011 and beyond.

“A key theme in our BPM predictions for 2011 is the rising focus on making business process improvement (BPI) a core competency of the organization — and on the capabilities and tools required to gain that competency,” said John Dixon, research director at Gartner. “Increasing process skills in the Global 2000 will further separate the companies with enlightened process experts from those that are simply competent in the basics — and will intensify the negative repercussions and devastating consequences from public exposure of process weakness.”

It goes on to state that:

  • Between now and year-end 2014, overlooked but easily detectable business process defects will topple 10 Global 2000 companies.
  • By 2015, context-aware computing will be used to rejuvenate at least 25 percent of “commodity” enterprise processes that are currently perceived as “low value.”
  • By 2014, process templates from “nontraditional application vendors” will be included in the shortlisted options for 70 percent of application purchases.
  • General BPM certification will grow in value but will not be materially relevant to BPM hiring decisions before 2015.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how well prepared your organisation is.

Further reading:

Yet another BPM acquisition – Metastorm bought by OpenText

OpenText announced earlier this month that they have entered into an agreement to buy Metastorm.

According to the press release OpenText said:

“Metastorm will add complementary technology and expertise that enhances our ECM solutions portfolio,” said John Shackleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of OpenText. “We look forward to welcoming its employees and customers to OpenText.”

Metastorm commented that:

“We are excited by the opportunity to join the OpenText team,” said Robert Farrell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Metastorm. “Combined with OpenText, Metastorm will be able to provide a broader and deeper range of offerings to our customers, while leveraging the strength and stability that comes with being part of a larger global organization.”

Follow the various opinions and comments here:

Interested in hearing your thoughts.