The talks to Craig Schiff, a pioneer in business performance management for over 20 years and CEO of BPM Partners…

Can you share an example of how BPM has significantly changed your (organization or client)?

I was surprised when one of our clients told us ‘we only run the numbers quarterly because we don’t trust them’. Then why run them at all? In our recent BPM Pulse Survey of 215 executives, a leading business pain identified by 40% of the respondents was “questionable data accuracy/integrity”. A true BPM solution instills confidence in the numbers throughout an organization. In our client’s case, I believe they are now running their reports at least monthly. This is one of the first and greatest benefits of a BPM initiative: accurate, timely, and consistent information throughout the enterprise.

What is your assessment of the role and impact of corporate Governance Standards like Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, in driving business performance management?

Government regulations play a role, but no one starts a BPM initiative simply because of Sarbanes-Oxley. Companies are using SarBox as an opportunity to review existing business processes and systems to go beyond compliance: doing what they need from a business performance perspective for their business, while doing what they must for government. With that said, the regulations often play an important role in helping these projects get funded.

What specific issues does your vertical market face in business performance management initiatives?

Our vertical is fairly unique: BPM expert consulting companies. The challenge for us as it relates to BPM is helping companies to understand the value of leveraging BPM expertise – and that having access to a BPM expert can go a long way. While BPM provides many benefits, the road to BPM success has many pitfalls – including missing the right business drivers and metrics, selecting the wrong vendor, and lack of end user buy-in and acceptance. It is very challenging and different from the typical IT project because of its heavy emphasis on the business side of the equation, the need for cross-departmental buy-in, combined with the latest technology. Leveraging organizations such as BPM Partners and BPM Forum can help companies avoid many of the typical trouble spots and get on a fast track to the benefits.

How has the BPM landscape changed over the past year? Where do you see it in 1 year from now?

On the vendor side we have seen more and better solutions. The products have matured to a degree, particularly in the packaged applications area. On the customer side there has been a parallel increase in the rate of adoption. Our BPM Pulse Survey noted that 39% of respondents had a BPM solution in progress and another 24% were going to start in the next 12+ months. I believe BPM will hit its stride in the next 12 – 18 months with more and more companies recognizing the benefits and implementing BPM successfully to strengthen their business focus and competitiveness.

What would you like to learn from an organization such as the BPM Forum?

The BPM Forum can play a vital role in helping disseminate information and best practices to and between member companies. This can help accelerate the success of BPM by helping companies avoid some of the pitfalls of BPM initiatives. For BPM Partners I see the Forum as a means to get feedback and validate our beliefs and research with a large and growing BPM user community.