Gartner BPM Summit 2009: San Diego

Lance Gibbs
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I was out earlier this week in San Diego for Gartner’s BPM Summit. Dr. John Alden and I did a workshop on Process Measurement which was a three hour session spanning measurement strategy, the culture of measurement, as well as various frameworks and tactics using BPMS to help create a solid measurement capability in the shortest time frame possible. We did this at the previous summit in D.C. last fall. Gartner seems to really like the content so we will be happy to come back as long as they will have us! This time, what we did do different was to focus much more on processes that are truly customer facing  and talked quite a bit about what those measures look like; such as Net Promoter Score (NPS). The feedback was very positive with the standard outliers. However, the other thing we did was take out a walk through of a particular technique to build KPIs from raw Voice of Customer data. In hindsight, we probably should have kept that piece in as it provided more of a “how-to” and there were several comments about wanting to see something of that nature. We will just take that feedback and refine it for next time. The overall conference was the standard format, although I have to say the content did seem to step up a notch over the previous summit. I got in on day two thanks to a flat tire and missed Erik Keller’s case study; Erik is the CIO of Sirva and someone BP3 has worked with for some time. His talk track was about leveraging BPM to deliver mission critical applications from a CIO’s perspective. Erik is not only a fantastic CIO by all accounts but also a very personable guy and the feedback I heard about the session said as much. The other session I missed that I was really wanting to catch was Professor Jeremy Siegel’s talk on “What’s Ahead for the Economy and Markets Now?”. Professor Siegel is a very well known expert in Macroeconomics and an instructor at Wharton. The short story I heard on this was while it might have been viewed as overly optimistic to some, everyone seemed to agree that we are moving toward real stabilization sooner versus later. Whew! Glad to hear it! One of the coolest sessions I did hit was draped in a negative connotation known as “Unconscious Incompetence and Change: Worst Practices, How to Recognize Them and How to Avoid Them”. Matthew Hotle, a Gartner VP gave this session and it it was both informative and entertaining. The theme of it was really about how workers sometimes just do bad things in such route fashion that to effect change means breaking some seriously embedded habits, which in turn causes resistance even though its the right thing to do. I think Gartner was shooting for about 700 attendees, my guess is it came in somewhere around 300 or so (update: 500 according to Gartner). I was thinking it was going to be even less but I was surprised that many turned out with travel restrictions being what they are. Again, I think one of the best things was that the content really did come up a notch in my view and I hope that is our new baseline for these BPM Summits! I also caught up with friend and colleague Derek Miers who always has an opinion on these things but who is also in the process of writing yet another book so he hasn’t been blogging much lately (you can catch him here at bpmfocus).  I was looking for Sandy and others but it ended up being a much faster trip than I had hoped.

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