Foreword: Having recently completed the design and implementation of an operational BPM Competency Centre for a Global Insurance company, I thought I would share a bit of my recent experience on the subject. The Competency Centre initiative formed part of the extremely ambitious IT and Business Transformation programme that is fundamental in redefining the organisation and laying the foundation for its expansion strategy across Europe.
Over the decades, the search for IT and/or Business ‘Excellence’ has led to a concept that is often misunderstood and can be very amorphous in definition and execution – Business/IT Transformation.
A term also commonly used in the same context is that of a Centre of Excellence or ‘CoE’ aka ‘Competency Centre.’ In this post, I will not attempt to redefine either, but rather explain a bit more about how the various constituent parts of a CoE can support Transformation projects and more specifically Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives.
The purpose of a CoE is to act as a nucleus for promoting and managing the collaboration of people, processes and technologies around key organisational objectives by ensuring the application of best practices, education and training, support services and technology awareness.
In most organisations, this is an extremely complex challenge, especially if the level of organisational maturity is low and their existing operational model is disjointed. That said, more mature and integrated organisations find the exigency and necessary focus for adopting a CoE a challenge.
As already stated, a CoE performs many roles and as an enabler underpinning a foundation for continued improvement, in most cases, is not always a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Deciding on what functions it provides to the organisation and how these are created, implemented and provisioned to wider cross functional teams is therefore a key consideration in the early stages of planning.
Typical core functional areas that form part of any CoE include the following:
- Resource Management
- Skills Management
- Knowledge Management
- Standardisation and Reuse of Assets
- Development, Implementation and Governance of Standards and Frameworks
- Implementation Support and Advisory Services across the Software Development Lifecycle
- Marketing and Communications of the CoE Objectives and Values
The list is just an indication of some of the primary considerations, but to ensure that value is derived on an ongoing basis, a clear focus should be kept on when and how the CoE capabilities are implemented and evolved. Governance is therefore essential in ensuring a consistent alignment with the organisational objectives and BPM Adoption and Improvement Strategy.
Originally posted July 2010 @ my Virtusa blog.