Organizations Are Not Ready For Sustainable BPM Change

Last month I launched an online self-assessment and survey tool to help you — business process change agents and architects — determine the sustainability of your business process management (BPM) change effort. The source of inspiration for the assessment criteria I used is the conclusion of the Harvard Business School's Evergreen Project.

Evergreen analyzed the impact of 200 different management "best practices" on the performance of 160 business organizations over a time period of 10 years. The researchers studied broad areas such as strategy, innovation, and business processes, as well as specific practices, and concluded that organizations that truly produce superior results excel at four fundamental practices:

  1. Devise and maintain a clearly stated, focused strategy.
  2. Develop and maintain flawless operational execution.
  3. Develop and maintain a performance-oriented culture.
  4. Build and maintain a fast, flexible, flat organizational structure.

To date, 124 business process pros have kindly answered my survey. My conclusion? The majority of organizations are not ready for sustainable BPM change. A few data points supporting this:

  1. 63% of participants view business process change as a strategy to implement cross-functional optimization through common best practices, standards, and shared insights. This is good news. And now the bad ones:
  2. In 52% of the surveyed organizations, business process change initiatives pursue different objectives and are executed without coordination.
  3. 59% of participants admit that most business process change projects are measured through project timeliness and budget, but only some provide operational measures.
  4. Only 34% of the organizations apply architecture frameworks for business processes, insight, and decision-making to help structure and prioritize business process change targets.

The survey is still open, but I plan to close it at the beginning of next week. If you wish to assess your organization, please take a few minutes to get your maturity score. Your responses will be kept strictly confidential and will only be examined in aggregate with the others who complete this survey. If you identify yourself with your email address and provide valid answers to all questions, you will receive the survey results. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

Thank you very much for your participation!


Dear Alexander, this is very

Dear Alexander,
this is very interesting. According to my interests could be important to know:
1. What is "fast, flexible, flat organizations" in practice?
2. How many organizations delegate rights to process management and improvemed to process executors?
3. How this organizations manage current knowledge from processes? How this knowledge influence strategy, operational processes and measurement?
Best wishes. marek

Thank you Marek - please have a look.

1. A fast, flexible, flat organization operates with processes and structures, which simplify work and reduce bureaucracy. With repsect to business process change I have sampled three organization-related capabilities: a) business architecture; b) collaboration; c) skill management.
2. According to the survey results one-in-five business process change initiaitves are lead by external experts.
3. According to the survey numbers, most organizations manage business processes quite inconsistently: with strategy being more advanced than execution, performance and the structure supporting change.