<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1907245749562386&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Leonardo Blog

All Posts

Improving BPM capability and credibility


Essential for all of practitioners leading Business Process Management is to maintain the right balance between capability and credibility. BPM leaders must demonstrate, not only that they have the knowledge and tools to deliver effective change, but that they also merit the trust of the organisations they seek to change  

Increasing Capability

A common emphasis in organizations is on the development of BPM capability. This can be seen to have two related streams of activity: training and practice. There is a great deal of BPM training available. This includes  courses both on general process topics as well as specific http://www.leonardo.com.au/bpm-software-trainingBPM tool training. Personal reading and research, membership of “roundtable” or special interest groups and conference attendance are other examples of capability development via the ‘training’ stream.

The second stream for capability development is just as important. Genuine capability comes from practice and experience.

Practice usually comes in the form of project work – analysing, modelling, improving, explaining and implementing process improvement strategies. Another very important capability enhancement practice involves development and delivery of presentations on BPM topics and discussion of process issues with colleagues and peers.

Improving Credibility

Increasing credibility is a different, and often more difficult, task. Building credibility within an organisation is an internal marketing process. The objective is to have the idea of Business Process Management take route in the organisational culture.

There is no better marketing strategy than to continually report and promote successful projects. Success breeds success.  Project selection therefore becomes critical.  The “ideal” projects are those  that have a reasonable chance of delivering noticeable outcomes. A balance needs to be  struck between risk and relevance. Particularly in the early stages, a failed BPM project can sound the death knell for process work. It is equally true that successfully delivering a result that is inconsequential does not promote, and can even damage, credibility.

Senior executive support is needed if a process-aware culture is to develop.  The ‘executive floor’,  where the credibility needs to be highest, must be a key target of internal marketing.

Other activities can add to the development of credibility: briefings, newsletters, internal BPM forums, invited speakers from external organisations, support for formal study programs, explaining and celebrating successes. It’s about communication - communicating the core messages of BPM, relating them to the particular enterprise and telling the success stories.

Developing credibility is not about spin doctoring. The credibility must be genuine and not just a perception built via slick marketing. Undeserved credibility will not last long but it might just last long enough to do damage to the organisation and to the ‘process idea’.

Sustaining Credibility

Achieving high credibility is not the end of the story. Credibility needs to be sustained.  After ‘easy wins’ it may get harder to sustain the attention of the organisation and its senior decision makers. It is also possible for ‘quick wins’ to create unreasonable expectations for following projects. If credibility (and capability) are sustained long enough, process awareness becomes second nature and part of the culture.

An interesting characteristic of high levels of BPM maturity is that process-based management is so ubiquitous as to tend towards invisibility in the sense that there is less conscious awareness of “doing BPM”


Practical and pragmatic plans can be developed and implemented to nurture both capability and credibility. Organisations seeking to achieve effective process-based management should actively manage both vectors.

Making an organisation change-able. Making radical change unremarkable. Allowing change to happen more often, not less. These are hallmarks of contemporary management best practice. Effective BPM requires a continuous balance of Capability and Credibility.


New Call-to-action

Roger Tregear
Roger Tregear
Roger is a Consulting Director with Leonardo. He delivers consulting and education assignments around the world. This work has involved many industry sectors, diverse cultures, and organization types. Roger briefs executives, coach managers, and support project teams to develop process-based management. Several thousand people have attended Roger's training courses and seminars in many countries - and Roger frequently presents at international business conferences. Roger has been writing a column on BPTrends called Practical Process for over 10 years. This led to the 2013 book of the same name. In 2011, he co-authored Establishing the Office of Business Process Management. He contributed a chapter in The International Handbook on Business Process Management (2010, 2015). With Paul Harmon in 2016, Roger co-edited Questioning BPM?, a book discussing key BPM questions. Roger's own book, Reimagining Management, was published in 2016.

Related Posts

The Process Life — What's It All About?

What's it all about? If you google "what's it all about" you get 4.5 billion results. Seems that we are keen to answer that question. Of course, it would be much more useful if there were just one answer. I have a similar experience when I ask people what they understand by "business process management" and related phrases. [2.5 billion, in case you were wondering.] It would be of significant benefit if there were just one answer here also. Good news! There is just one answer. The bad news is we all agree with that but have a different version. The great news is that we can solve this problem — if you all repent and agree with me!

Why BPM Maturity is an Untapped Organisational Superpower

  Processes deliver Every organization makes promises to customers and other stakeholders. Such promises are its reason for existence and are shaped as value propositions in the organizational strategy. Traditional management follows the organization chart with most management activity directed up and down that chart. But how do we get work done? How do we deliver on those promises? We work in collaboration across the organization, not up and down. Is there any box on that chart that can, by itself, deliver products or services externally? No there is not, that’s not the way it works. Processes deliver on our promises.

How To Replace Random Acts of Management With a Metamodel of Improvement

The simple existence of a problem is not enough reason to invest in fixing it, perhaps not now, perhaps not ever. Organizations need a systemic approach to define what good looks like, assess current performance, and make evidence-based decisions about which performance gaps to close. The Tregear Circles replace random acts of management with a metamodel for continuous process improvement. I have recently encountered several examples of the idea that higher process performance target scores are obviously better than lower ones, just because they are … well … higher; that setting a target of, say, 95% is, without doubt, better than a target of 88%, and in striving for improvement we should go 'as high as possible'.