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Posted by Connie Moore on December 23, 2009
By Connie Moore
After talking to you and your Business Process peers this summer, we’re planning to focus our 2010 research in the following 6 areas (each crucial to Business Process success):
Forrester’s Deep Dive Into Business Process
Last summer Forrester embarked on an ambitious project to interview individuals in each of our 20 targeted roles. As you may know, four years ago we shifted strategy to focus on individuals in a specific job function (or role), rather than continuing to write about technology topics irrespective of who does what with them. This most recent project supporting that effort, internally called the Role Deep Dives, was a fascinating look at the people in specific job functions. My part in this effort was to interview individuals in 28 companies who are responsible for business process projects.
The results were fascinating. We talked with individuals in nine countries and on five continents. Each company was greater than $1 billion (US) in annual revenue but most were significantly larger — several of them in the Fortune 100. Yet, the results were largely consistent across industries, company size, and geography. The results? Business process professionals are mandated with a huge responsibility to transform one or more business processes, improve business performance, and/or streamline business operations, yet many of the people I talked to find they lack the requisite business insight, skills, frameworks, experience and peer-to-peer networking insights to get the job done. This skills shortage is what keeps them up at night — it’s not a technology issue — whether they are in India, Brazil, the UK, the US, Australia or elsewhere.
Process Professionals Cut Across Business And IT
Our interviews uncovered specific responsibilities within the business process professional ranks. Altogether, we uncovered six sub-roles for business process professionals and gave them descriptive titles: 1) the business “stakeholder;” 2) the “change agent;” 3) the “guru;” 4) the “prodigy;” 5) the “wannabe;” and 6) the “operator.” More specifically, these individuals were:
One thing is clear:
Business process professionals’ jobs and responsibilities are in transition — largely moving from IT into the business, with a heavy focus on increasing the overall process skills up and down the organization. In the most mature organizations, the business process improvement group is a well-established group within the business that helps other business units with business process transformation. In most aspiring organizations, the business process sub-roles have solid/dotted line relationships between business and IT, and the reporting relationships are evolving.
The role deep dives gave us awareness and insights into the daily issues, strategic initiatives, and key problems that business process professionals wrestle with. These insights allowed us to develop the success imperatives (outlined at the top of this post), which will guide our research initiatives in 2010.
Taken collectively, we will focus on three broad efforts to help business process professionals:
That will be our focus in 2010: helping the business process professional succeed beyond his or her wildest imagination.
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