May 21 2009   1:08AM GMT

Is a center of excellence necessary for BPM success?

Karen Guglielmo Karen Guglielmo Profile: Karen Guglielmo

Organizations that establish a BPM center of excellence have a much greater degree of success, according to Clay Richardson, a senior analyst at Forrester Research. Recent Forrester research showed that out of the customers who weren’t having success in their BPM initiatives, only 4% had a formal center of excellence in place. Out of the ones who were having BPM success, 67% had centers of excellence.


According to Richardson and other experts, a center of excellence is ideal where there are multiple players contributing to each project. A BPM center of excellence often consists of IT and business people and serves as a formal hub to coordinate goals, priorities and governance for process implementations.


If centers of excellence are tied to BPM success, why aren’t more people implementing them?


One reason might be credibility. For organizations new to BPM, it’s a business culture change. Justifying the value of BPM isn’t always easy, especially without proof. That’s why it’s often easier to implement BPM successfully on a couple of projects first and then set up a center of excellence as phase two.


“You can’t start with a center of excellence,” said Derek Miers, founder of “You have to deliver value on projects first.”


One could argue that a BPM center of excellence is like the chicken and the egg all over again: You need one for the other to work. But in the case of BPM, it’s better to start small, show value and then build your center of excellence.

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