1.0 The Business Process Management-Discipline

A rapidly growing number of organizations establish a Business Process Management Discipline (BPM-Discipline®) to move their strategy into execution, fast and at low risk. The concept of Business Process Management is not new but has a renewed relevance as the most effective way of helping organizations remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic business environment and the related digitalization. In a world of change it is imperative to have a good understanding of what processes should not, or only rarely, change and which need to enable the responsiveness required by the market.

In order to develop the management discipline of BPM it should be approached just as with any other management discipline. In the same way you develop, for example, a human resources (HR) management discipline by implementing HR processes and systems, you develop the BPM-Discipline by implementing the “process of process management” (PoPMa) with the relevant BPM information and systems. This includes all sub-processes necessary to manage the lifecycle of a business process from design, through implementation, execution and ongoing controlling of a processes (Franz, Kirchmer, 2012-1). The overall BPM-Discipline® is visualized in the BPM-D® Framework in figure 1 (Kirchmer, Franz, 2014).

Figure 1: The BPM-D® Framework

The PoPMa can be segmented into different groups of sub-processes to simplify its company specific implementation (Scheer, 1994) (Kirchmer, Franz, 2014). PoPMa sub-processes consist of

  • Project-focused sub-processes, focusing on improvement initiatives; and
  • Asset-focused sub-processes, focusing on creating and managing assets to enable efficient and effective project-related processes.

Each segment of PoPMA sub-processes can again be divided into

  • Planning sub-processes; and
  • Execution sub-processes.

Hence, you end up with a 2 by 2 matrix including all PoPMa sub-processes establishing a BPM-Discipline®

Project-focused planning processes are all about developing a process management strategy: targeting the strategic value drivers; understanding which processes have the most impact on delivering these; identifying those actions that will systematically enable the execution of the business strategy; and developing the right BPM capabilities to realize the business benefits.

Project-focused execution sub-processes are those that ensure the proper conduct of improvement projects and BPM operations, ensuring e.g. the value-realization of business process improvement projects.

Asset-focused planning sub-processes provide the enterprise architecture to store all information models, necessary to improve business processes, as well as the critical business process governance sub-processes.

Asset-focused execution processes provide pre-defined improvement methods that can be used in improvement projects, e.g. an approach for process transformation or for incremental improvement, people enablement processes, e.g. supporting change management, as well as tool and technology related processes, providing the necessary information technology (IT), such as repository tools or process automation engines.

Figure 2 shows the BPM-D® Process Framework, a reference model for the PoPMa that can be used as starting point to develop a company specific version of the PoPMa (Kirchmer, Franz, 2014). It illustrates important sub-processes that an organization may address in order to establish a BPM-Discipline®. Not every organization will need each of those sub-processes and there may be additional processes required for a specific company. In each situation, the BPMD® Framework helps in shaping this discussion and coming to an enterprise specific solution quickly and at low risk, benefiting from the years of experience summarized within it.

Figure 2: The BPM-D Process Framework – The Process of Process Management

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