How BPM COEs Increase The Business Technology Maturity Of Your Organization

I am including the text of a recent customer inquiry, which nicely summarizes a common challenge among IT executives:

“Within our current IT organization, we have a team whose function is to provide technical project business analyses, project management and quality assurance.  The same team handles the project portfolio and capital project budgeting.  Within the team are account managers, whose primary function is to act as the liaison between IT and business units.  The account managers spend time with the business unit leaders to understand their technical needs and look for business processes that might be automated.  That information is what is ultimately used to build the ongoing IT project portfolio.

We are looking at re-aligning the account management role into more of a "business technology service delivery" model.  Does Forrester provide information that might assist our efforts to mold into a service delivery organization?”

The short answer to this question is yes, Forrester provides this kind of advice. The place to start is with a recent report showing the most common types of actions IT executives have been recently taking to increase IT's business orientation and cut costs through the adoption of standard management processes, shared services, and coordinated IT governance. Another recent piece of research has identified six role profiles required to span the gap between traditional IT and business process management (BPM) functions, and realign the traditional IT account management into more of a business technology service delivery model.   Both reports also display comprehensive lists of references to Forrester‘s most relevant research around the question of how to make IT more business relevant.

Last but not least, I would like to suggest two Forrester teleconferences addressing this question from an organizational perspective. During the Forrester teleconference of March 30 we introduced three types of business technology (BT) organizations and suggested an approach for assessing their maturity with respect to the ability to support and manage business processes.  The follow-up teleconference of May 6 will continue the discussion starting from the assumptions illustrated in the attached Figure:

 IT to BT

Please join me for the teleconference of May 6. I will present several case studies of IT organizations which deployed BPM centers of expertise (COEs) to increase the maturity of their BT organization. Their effective implementation requires mature governance executed through focal points for business process management BPM, technical expertise, and value delivery.

In the meantime I look forward to hearing your related questions and comments.


Flavors of BPM COE and maturity models?


I have heard people say that governance and the COE models are sometimes too inflexible and bureaucratic to get the agility in the environment required to move in a timely manner from IT-centric efforts on governance to BT-centric ones.

From that perspective, I think this is a worthwhile topic and very relevant to the common struggles in BPM.

I have seen, in my experience various flavors of COEs, briefly covered in my post at

I have actually found enterprises using one or more flavors at the same time, albeit unconsciously. I feel an effort to make these flavors and models come to the fore at conscious level would make a big difference to their ability to move from IT centric COEs to BT centric COEs. Do we have any other detailed COE maturity models that explain the specifics on the various flavors and how an organization could move one to the other? (I might actually spend some effort to detail out mine!)

I have also realized that COE is often looked upon as a governance-oriented concept, while in reality it is also, if not more, about collaboration, synergetic efforts, and overall BPM capability drive in an organization. Some thoughts on that as well here:

Looking forward... :)

- Ashish