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Business Process Transformation Is A Marathon. Are You Ready For The Race?

Blog: Forrester BPM Center of Excellence

As some of you know, I am hopelessly addicted to golf. I can already hear you asking, “What does golf have to do with marathons, and what do marathons have to do with business processes?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Before becoming a golf addict, I was a runner – running 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. My goal was to work my way up to a marathon. This is still my goal, but I learned a while ago that you can’t be a serious golfer and also be a serious runner – they both compete for long stretches of time on Saturday mornings (although I did have someone recommend that I combine the two into “marathon golf”).

When I was a runner, I quickly learned that how you run a 5K or 10K is different from how you run a half-marathon. It seems obvious now, but when I trained for my first half marathon I didn’t realize how critical it was to hydrate all the way through and to also change your breathing technique. Ultimately, I found a training program that helped me get ready for my first race, and I ended up crossing the finish line in pretty good time and without killing myself.

When I speak with process professionals about plans for their BPM intiaitives, it reminds me of when I took the leap from running a 10K to running my first half marathon. Most process professionals don’t have a good game plan for transitioning from departmental process projects to delivering large-scale process transformation. And others struggle to figure out which level of process maturity (i.e., which race) they should aim for with their BPM initiatives. Sticking with the running analogy, I’ve seen process teams train for a full-on marathon (implementing process transformation) that only end up running a 5K (implementing a small process project).

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