Business Process Management – The process centric organization

How do you get the traditional organizations with the “silo” business function view to innovate, optimize and work together with the whole process view in mind? The answer has been around for some time now and is Business Process Management.

What is Business Process Management (BPM)?

According to Gartner “BPM refers to a set of management disciplines that accelerate effective business process improvement by blending incremental and transformative methods. BPM’s management practices provide for governance of a business process environment toward the goal of improving agility and operational performance. BPM is a structured approach that employs methods, policies, metrics, management practices and software tools to manage and continuously optimize an organizations activities and processes”.

According to Howard Smith and Peter Fingar “The contemporary BPM concepts is a third generation process management concept. The first wave was driven by the early scientific management movement and the second wave by the business process re-engineering thinking. The third wave – BPM – enables companies and workers to create and optimize new business processes on the fly. Change is the primary design goal. Through agile business processes, value chains can be monitored and continuously improved.

It is important to note that BPM does not require a specific IT platform per se. In fact BPM can be implemented without any IT tool. However, as commercially available tools are becoming much more mature, the benefits of using these tools are eminent.

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How to run a Business Process Management project

So where to start? Do you go out and document all your processes, assign process owners and optimize the processes at once. Not likely. Start small by identifying problem processes or core processes and take one by one. There is more than enough work for a process office to start with one or two processes.

Use the recommended Business Process Management Framework to work from: Analyze, design, implement, Run/monitor.

Business Process Management - The process centric organization

Analyze

  • Identify business goals and define requirements for an existing or new process
  • Perform strategic process analysis
  • Identify Best Practises
  • Analyze AS-IS processes
  • Prioritize improvement areas
    & perform scoping

Design

  • Design one or more TO-BE processes
  • Estimate impact of alternatives on PPIs/KPIs
  • Estimate impact on ressource allocation

Implement

  • Prepare for and perform the implementation project
  • Enable measurement of KPIs, PPIs
  • Perform change management and establish process ownership
  • Roll-out the process
  • Publish process model and related content

Run/Monitor

  • Execute the business process
  • Measure & monitor the business process
  • Gather and analyze variances
  • Perform consequence management
  • Initiate a business process optimization cycle if necessary