The last session of the day at Forrester Business Process Forum (and the last for me, since I’m headed home tonight) is Alexander Peters on increasing business value from customer-centric business processes. Looking at a case study from the energy trading and retail sector, he described how the speed of change requires new ways of thinking, and how processes need to become more responsive and cross-functional.
He believes that process discipline – e.g., Lean, Six Sigma, change management and governance/COE – is the critical differentiator, combined with business knowledge and smart technology such as BPM. His focus is definitely on change management, and sees a change approach based on the level of process maturity, beginning with a maturity assessment. Being at a higher process maturity level means that an enterprise has moved from being fragmented, reactive and tech-driven to a more holistic, business-driven approach to BPM. There’s quite a bit of variability in process maturity levels within organizations, with business architecture receiving the lowest maturity score.
It was a bit late in the day (after a somewhat late night) to be using a lot of my brain on governance, but the basic idea is that governance establishes the roles, responsibilities and interactions of the process stakeholders, and the COE provides support to the business operations and projects. Also, apparently, Lean Six Sigma tools are critical to drive improvements at key points of the maturity curve. I’m not sure that there was anything strikingly new in this message; I also had the sense that the “customer-centric” message was overlaid on existing research and presentations that really didn’t have that orientation in the first place, making the titles a bit incongruous in some instances.