Fifteen Skills Critical to Success With Business Process Management

Ahead of the Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2014, to be held in London on March 19-20 and in Sydney on May 19-20 2014, Gartner has identified 15 skills critical to the success of any BPM project. They can be grouped into three types of critical competency: transformational, operational and technical (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. Top 15 Business Process Management Skills
 Source: Gartner (February 2014)

Samantha Searle, research analyst at Gartner, said that organizations often focus on the obvious skills for BPM, such as process modeling, without considering other crucial skills, such as those relating to organizational change. 

Ms. Searle said: 

Based on the results from our latest five-level BPM maturity model — the ITScore for Business Process Management —we found that 27 percent of respondents said that employees were given training in business process modeling. In general, only 4 percent of employees were comfortable using graphical process models to understand how their business works, so there is a clear need for further training in this area. Few offered training in other key areas, such as process analysis, discovery, benchmarking and methodology (68 percent responded “not at all” or “minimally”). 

Regarding the amount of staff skilled in communicating process-related issues, most replied “few” (39 percent) or “some” (45 percent). While it is encouraging that 73 percent of respondents indicated that employees were given project management training, only 46 percent were also provided with training in organizational change techniques, which is also critical to project success. 

It is the transformational competencies, including knowledge of organizational change techniques and the ability to build a compelling business case, that are most important for achieving strategic business outcomes. Without the ability to articulate and communicate business value and process-related issues, most BPM efforts will fail. 

Business process directors and senior IT managers need to conduct a BPM skills gap assessment within their organizations to determine what skills they lack. This means looking beyond IT or the business area where BPM is focused, since there might be suitable skills elsewhere in the business. Once this is done, they should develop an action plan to train their BPM team in the required skills. 

More detailed analysis is available in the report “15 Skills Critical to Business Process Management Success.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at

Ms. Searle will also present on BPM skills and program maturity at the Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2014, March 19-20, in London and May 19-20 in Sydney. More information is available at (London event) or (Sydney event) or by following news on Twitter using #GartnerBPM.

About Gartner Business Process Management Summit 2014

The Gartner Business Process Management Summit will help BPM practitioners exploit the forces of digital disruption to improve organizations’ performance, prioritize investments toward projects that will drive growth and innovation, and build the skills to establish them as a leader for digital process transformation.

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