Strategic Business Process Management Marcello La Rosa Queensland University of Technology 2 George St, Brisbane, Australia
ABSTRACT Improving business processes is on top of the agenda for chief and senior executives. This requires a solid understanding of current and future business processes and their alignment with the strategic objectives of the organization. Business Process Management (BPM) is an integrated set of principles, methods and tools to manage business processes with the ultimate goal of improving them. The demand for BPM is driven by the need for increased operational excellence and cost-effective compliance practices. BPM forms a widely recognized foundation for IT projects and is a key issue in discussions related to outsourcing and mergers. Not surprisingly, global analyst firms have identified BPM as the number one priority of CIOs for a number of years. This tutorial discusses the strategic skills required for leading BPM initiatives within organizations. Participants will learn the principles underlying BPM and apply these to develop a strategy for implementing and running BPM projects, and assessing their progress. Further, they will learn how to secure support for BPM and dissolve resistance within the organization. The content will be illustrated through the use of several case studies.
Categories and Subject Descriptors K.6.1 [Project and People Management]
General Terms Human Factors, Management
Keywords Business Process Management (BPM), BPM maturity, strategic alignment, governance
Business Process Management (BPM)  is an integrated set of principles, methods and tools for improvement of organizational performance, based on the principle that all work in an organization is part of a “process”. In a nutshell, the recipe proposed by
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BPM is to improve business processes by continuously managing them through the so-called “BPM lifecycle” in order to achieve operational excellence. The BPM lifecycle consists of six phases : i) process identification, where one or more business processes are scoped and selected for management based on their relevance to a business problem; ii) process discovery, where the current state of such processes is documented, typically in the form of as-is process models; iii) process analysis, where issues associated with the as-is processes are documented and where possible, quantified using performance measures; iv) process redesign, where different change proposals are evaluated, typically using to-be process models, to overcome the issues determined; v) process implementation, where the most promising changes to move from the as-is to the to-be processes are implemented via a change management plan as well as, where required, via a process automation solution; and vi) process monitoring and controlling, where the performance of the redesigned processes that are now running, is measured against certain performance objectives. Corrective actions may be identified if such objectives are not met, leading to the lifecycle being repeated on a continuous basis. BPM forms a widely recognized foundation for IT projects and is a key issue in discussions related to operational improvement, company outsourcing and mergers. The demand for BPM is driven by the need for increased operational excellence and cost-effective compliance practices. Not surprisingly, global analyst firms such as Gartner have identified business process improvement as a top business priority for a number of years [5, 3]. However, recently, we have observed a decreasing confidence of analysts and managers in the effectiveness of process improvement for achieving enterprise growth and operational excellence , as opposed to an increased reliance on emerging technologies, such as cloud computing . One of the reasons why BPM is loosing momentum is the lack of strategic alignment of its programs. On the one hand, organizations involved in BPM initiatives still mainly focus their efforts on the early stages of the BPM lifecycle, i.e. on process identification and discovery. The result is collections of detailed and interconnected process models , counting thousands and thousands of artifacts, which per se are unable to deliver on the BPM promise of organizational improvement, if they are not used as input to subsequent phases of the BPM lifecycle, i.e. process analysis and redesign. Moreover, as the cost of maintaining these sophisticated models increases with the increase of their number and complexity, these models tend to get out of date loosing value over time. On the other hand, those organizations that have achieved higher levels of BPM maturity, and as such have reached out to the later phases of the lifecycle, do not necessarily choose their BPM methods and technologies appropriately , e.g. it is not uncommon to
find companies embarked in large-scale Six Sigma initiatives even if their actual need is not specifically that of improving product or service quality. The bottom line is that if a BPM program, like any other corporate program, does not deliver according to the corporate priorities of the organization, sooner or later it will die out, with the top management loosing interest in it. Using the BPM Maturity Model by de Bruin and Rosemann [8, 9] as an overarching framework, this tutorial will study the bi-directional link between BPM and corporate strategy, shedding light on the implications of corporate strategy on BPM and on the role that BPM can play for the achievement of the strategic objectives of an organization. Through the illustration of several case studies, participants will learn a concrete method for ensuring strategic alignment throughout the BPM lifecycle and the key ingredients of a strategically-aligned BPM governance structure. Further, they will learn how to secure support for BPM and dissolve resistance within the organization.
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