Toby Cappello ran through slides very quickly in his presentation, as he had a short time slot to cover a big topic. The room stayed crowded for this talk though a few people trickled out, and people in the hall trickled in. Felt like we needed a door man and a rope to do crowd control.
The point of the COE: drive greater business value. Prioritize, select, and enable the highest value process improvements. Align process measurement with business performance goals. Ideally, reduce solutions implementation and management cost, and create a predictable and scalable operational performance experience for users.
Toby likes three-part phases, so naturally he has broken down COE into three phases, depending on where you are in your BPM journey.
BPM Journey: Validate -> Adopt -> Transform
COE Journey: Define -> Develop -> Execute
But, he says, something happens at some point along this journey – you hit the wall. It looked so much easier in the sales cycle! (He gets a laugh for that one) This is the time for an intervention – organizational drag has kicked in, as you have expanded outside your original core of believers and early adopters. You need help to extend out into the organization and break down those barriers (note, the Sirva CIO Erik Keller’s presentation on their roll-out of APEX reinforces this – they ran into a big stumbling block as they rolled out to users in sites 2 and 3, but were able to address their concerns and bring everyone into alignment). Filling that gap between capability and demand is hard – and that’s often when you need to bring in some outside help (consultants rejoice).
How long does it take? Toby says the truth is, the journey takes 1-2 years for organizational change and adoption. I agree. Some orgs adopt faster -but that is because they already had the right organizational culture, they’re just adding tech to it. But if process and improvement aren’t part of the culture, this takes a lot more time. Someone asked if there was a good case study, and Toby’s answer was that typically we put people directly in touch with other customers who have done it (and he called out a few who were in the room). I think if someone wants to write this case study on organizational change- go talk to Disney and Allianz, but also talk to Navin Kekane at Stubhub who does a great job describing the organizational drivers and shifts they underwent to become a process-focused organization. Note: it isn’t 1-2 years to deploy, its 1-2 years to make organizational changes to support ongoing change.
Unfortunately there wasn’t time to get into a discussion of how social media and collaborative technologies (including Blueprint) might disrupt the traditional governance and control role of COEs. It would have been good to give this topic a refresh based on what has changed in the last year in the landscape of technology everyday people are using.