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Use a COE to optimize BPM success

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
September 9, 2013

Business process management is a critical process for every company, regardless of size or industry. Understanding how to optimize workflow and reach out to employees in ways that make then want to improve their own productivity is essential, and by investing in high-quality BPM software, an enterprise can streamline these efforts without creating confusion or increased stress in the workplace.

Of course, investing in BPM and optimizing the success of these solutions are two distinctly separate matters. Companies have to ensure they are utilizing the right strategies and approach to process management, not just modern tools. Any company can use software, but fully understanding and optimizing it for workflow will create an optimized work environment that will benefit the firm as a whole, as well as employees on individual levels.

Using a COE

One key way to enhance process management software is to utilize a center of excellence. BPM solutions with COE provide flexibility and support in key areas, and approximately 49 percent of enterprises that utilize a COE in connection with their BPM strategy saw greatly improved results than those that did not. However there are types of COE that businesses need to consider. A "grassroots" COE evolves naturally from team members working together, and while it saves money and optimizes the flexibility benefits of COE, it can require extensive administrative work to align it with COE standards. On the other hand, a fully-formed COE strategy planned out in advance eliminates this issue and provides more well-rounded BPM support, but forces companies to push back schedules in order to ensure the COE is properly in place.

Optimizing a COE

The first step for any company looking to implement a COE is to figure out how it will benefit the most from using one. Then, a firm has to assign roles within it - such as chief process officer, project manager and process analytics. This will help keep tasks organized and boost overall efficiency. However, companies also have to consider the advantages that a COE provides and ensure they are focusing on them. Improved skills assignment, project governance and overall process management will only be achieved with the right focus on these factors.

COE is an excellent way to enhance the benefits that BPM solutions bring, but companies have to ensure they are putting their all into this approach just as they would any other business-improving strategy. Efficiency is a two-way street, and going the wrong way down it can cause more problems that the strategy was initially intended to solve.

Malcolm Ross

Vice President of Product Marketing