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Gartner Identifies Seven Major Guidelines to BPM Project Success


Analysts Share Best Practices for BPM Success at Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2010, 1-2 March in London and 22-24 March in Las Vegas

Egham, UK, Gartner, Inc has identified seven non-technology-based factors that organisations need to pay close attention to in order to attain business process management (BPM) success.

“Regardless of initial willingness to pursue BPM and a host of major opportunities for improvement, business leaders could do well to hold back and focus instead on a few projects that will deliver highly visible success,” said Bill Rosser, vice president distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Early, visible, concrete project success is especially important to the long-term acceptance of BPM as a valuable discipline.”

Gartner has identified seven key factors that organisations need to observe when selecting a BPM project to pursue. “Compliance with these guidelines will translate into a very high probability of project success and a major boost for business interest in adopting BPM as a programme,” said Mr Rosser.

1- Limited scope. For the best results, start small. This means a limited-scope project, not a major end-to-end process to improve, but perhaps a portion of one. The time frame should be relatively near-term, oftentimes no more than 60 to 90 days. It should not be a complex challenge, but rather one that is relatively straightforward for which organisations have the skills available. A small number of limited-scope projects is best to provide concentrated focus on achieving results and to spread the word regarding a high-value payoff. In order to surface smaller candidates, it is important to first create a higher-level contextual business process model to find the best opportunities.

2- High value. The business performance improvement must be seen as having a high value towards attaining the desired business performance results. Only a fraction of all business processes are perceived as having high inherent value in achieving end results.

3- Clear alignment to goals. Another parameter to consider for target process selection is that of alignment with important organisational or business-unit goals and strategies. If the BPM-based performance improvement that is being pursued directly contributes to the attainment of a targeted goal and fulfils the corresponding strategy, this will add positive attention to the BPM effort. The link to goals and strategies can occur at various levels of the business purpose hierarchy — from the high-level stock price down to the details such as employing Twitter — but the hierarchy should be developed and understood clearly.

4- The right metrics. Only through measurement can companies get the necessary awareness and credibility regarding the value of the BPM-based improvement achieved. The definition and the means of measurement, involving only a few metrics, must be in place, understood and accepted by the rest of the organisation. Furthermore, it is essential that performance-baseline data be available as a basis for comparison of current results versus prior results. The quantitative degree of improvement is vital to make a strong impression. This clearly requires a sound, disciplined post-project review and/or audit — and potentially even a longer-term review of results.

5- Goal agreement. All the relevant process stakeholders must work together to agree on what is the desired performance improvement. Although this may seem simple and obvious, it is not uncommon for different constituencies regarding a process to have different views about what “goodness” is for a particular process. Agreement towards a primary, shared, common performance goal must be worked out to claim success. In some cases, this work may take as much effort as that of the business process modelling.

6- Enthusiastic business sponsor. To get the project done promptly and well, and to spread the word across the organisation, an enthusiastic business sponsor is essential. The business sponsor is not in charge of the project, but rather is the primary beneficiary of the new, improved level of performance. This person is absolutely sold on the idea and encourages both the business operating staff and the BPM implementation staff to get things done. The business sponsor helps overcome any obstacles that arise and makes necessary decisions. Once one task is completed, this same sponsor, one who is ideally influential in the organisation, will continue to promote the great results to peers and superiors. This requirement is so vital that, if such a sponsor is not available, IT leaders should pursue another project.

7- Business user engagement. Getting the people who actually do the work of the process onboard can be an enormous help towards success. Getting them on board typically means offering a fresh perspective on how to look at what they do in their jobs, and making a process view easy to understand and intriguing. Success here can mean that users realise that they are the experts, they feel a sense of ownership about what they do and they engage in seeing how things could actually be done better. Generally, to accomplish this means bringing good modelling, good methods of visualisation and meaningful measures of performance.

More information can be found in the report “Seven Key Guidelines to BPM Project Success”, available on Gartner’s website at

Mr Rosser will further discuss how organisations can attain BPM project success at the Gartner BPM Summit 2010, 1-2 March at the Lancaster London hotel. For more information please visit

About Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2010
The Gartner BPM Summit 2010 provides organisations with tools and techniques to tackle large BPM programmes as well as first-time BPM projects. Gartner analysts will provide advice and best practices for successful BPM at the annual Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2010 in London, 1-2 March and in Las Vegas, 22-24 March.

Members of the media can register for the Summit in London by contacting Laurence Goasduff, Gartner PR, on +44 (0)1784 267195 or at For further information on the London Summit, please visit

Members of the media can register for the Summit in Las Vegas by contacting Christy Pettey, Gartner PR, at +1 408.468.8312 or at For further information on the Las Vegas Summit, please visit

You can also follow the event on Twitter at and using #GartnerBPM.

About Gartner:
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, Gartner is the indispensable partner to 60,000 clients in 10,000 distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4,000 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants in 80 countries. For more information, visit


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