As some of you may already be aware, I joined Forrester Research a little over a month ago. Some will wonder why, after many years of plowing the independent field, I decided to join the competition. Well, I don’t feel I have joined the competition.

I know it sounds a little sickly, but I feel like I have finally come home. I got so used to working by myself, I forgot what it was like to have colleagues. I really came here to help build a business that caters for the needs of Business Process Professionals. I have known Connie Moore for about 17 years and we have been erstwhile collaborators throughout that time. Clay and I had been exploring partnership opportunities before he joined Forrester.

My first experience inside Forrester was to attend “Starting Blocks” – a 3-day program where the Executive Team come in one at a time, to meet with all new employees that had joined the organization since the last program. What a fantastic eye-opener that was. Here we had the thinkers and strategists sitting down and engaging in a dialogue – exploring what they were doing and listening to feedback – quite an unusual behavior, and a reflection of the culture of the organization.

Now I work in Connie’s team, bringing my own perspectives and capabilities – complementing the skills already here. My research focus could be summarized as follows:

“I am specializing in the methods, approaches, frameworks, tools, techniques and technologies of Business Process Management (BPM), Business Process Improvement, Business Transformation and Organisational Change; with a special emphasis on an outcome-based, customer-focused approaches.”

That is a pretty broad spectrum, and although my base is London, I work as part of the team with a world-wide remit. That means that I see a tremendous opportunity to help major brands get to grips with the critical issues affecting their change programs. And to be honest, that is not so much about technology; it is much more to do with the engagement model. Technology is just table stakes – and after that, to quote the CIO of the CIA (speaking at a conference in 2008) “all problems are people problems.”

After you get past your first BPM Project, the agenda starts to change. It is no longer an issue of which technology is better, or which modeling tool shall I buy. The discussion moves on to “how do we help the organization progress on the maturity journey.”

And there are a great many challenges and domains to overcome as we build “The Discipline of BPM”:

  • Building organizational BPM Capabilities – How do we go about building the appetite for change? What are the key roles, skills and capabilities required for a BPM Center of Expertise? How do I go about building the roadmap?
  • Exploration of Methods & Tools – What else is there apart from BPMN? Where do Lean and Six Sigma fit? What about the Balanced Scorecard? What methods and techniques are available for Process Architecture? What about Case Management – how does that fit and what are the critical factors for success?
  • From Project To Program – How do you go from a series of disconnected projects to an enterprise-wide engagement? How can we manage a portfolio of change programs? How do we build the enterprise engagement program? Dealing with the inevitable politics – what are the best practices and pitfalls?
  • Focusing On Customers – How can we go about designing the organization outside-in, delivering the outcomes that our customers really care about? How do we go about inserting “customer” into the cultural DNA of the enterprise? How can we help people imagine a different way of delivering things our customers’ value?

And that’s clearly not an exhaustive list. Since arriving at Forrester I have found myself advising on the approaches that can help post M&A; even the organizational structures associated with how to establish the business model such that the client can plug in newly acquired businesses.There are so many different angles and issues to deal with. 

Anyway, over the coming months, you will see a stream of research emerge from me and my colleagues – all designed to help the organization develop the “Discipline of BPM.”