With the successful hosting of the Olympic Games and the ongoing Paralympics, the British are riding on a high. The pre-event fears around transportation, security and infrastructure have been swept away, as the British worked together, to deliver an exuberant celebration of sports. Volunteers lifted the spirits of all and the army stepped in to address last minute-security concerns. Above all the investments in sports, paid off with a larger than expected haul of medals for the host nation (29 Gold, 17 Silver and 19 Bronze). As a result, Team GB finished third in the medals table behind the sporting superpowers of the US and China, but ahead of the likes of Russia, Germany and Australia.

This got me thinking around the implications of this, for those us who help deliver BPM engagements for clients. What were the key factors that made the Olympics a success and could we apply those lessons to BPM?

  • Start well: The stunning opening show by the British director, Danny Boyle, set the tone for the amazing two weeks which were set to unfold. In BPM it’s critical that your initial engagement is a success, to build confidence and support, therefore it serves to start small to improve the odds and avoid the common issues with a large-scale engagement
  • Invest in BPM professionals: In the same way UK Sports identified and invested in elite coaches and sportspeople, and saw an amazing return in terms of medals, it’s critical to bring in people who are experts in their field. Be it process change experts, domain leaders, and BPM/process architects, identifying the right folks and team composition is critical to the success of a BPM engagement
  • Discover your BPM Champions: Volunteers were one of the major successes, their friendly behaviour improving the experience for all. Identify those ‘volunteers’ in your client organizations, those who will serve to push the BPM mantra, to help serve customers better
  • Planning is Key: The stadiums for the games were ready over a year in advance; key folks were identified and trained. In the case of BPM, we often we see clients excited, but not having the ‘infrastructure’ ready, and we don’t necessarily mean, about having environments ready for BPM technical implementations; but for instance do they have the time booked for key process owners and stakeholders. As the saying goes “he who fails to plan, is planning to fail”
  • Minimize Risk and Maximize Success through Collaboration: LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), were lauded for their achievements in helping bring disparate groups together, including transport authorities and security forces to deliver a safe, fun event for participants, spectators  and the media alike.  In BPM, there should be a focus on collaboration not only with internal stakeholders but (like LOCOG) with external ones such as customer, partners and suppliers, which can prove more beneficial in the long run


One of the major concerns in the UK, is that can the feel-good factor, be taken forward to ensure a lasting “legacy” (one of the buzzwords in winning the 2012 Games for London) in the aftermath of the games. The same holds true for BPM, a BPM engagement does not end with a successful implementation, but it’s about taking it forward and inculcating a spirit of continuous improvement in the client organization and building on that success.

Above all as the Olympic motto goes, the aim should be

Citius, Altius, Fortius