BPM, connecting the dots for success or not

October 8, 2010

connectTheDots Business process management (BPM) is a management approach focused on aligning IT and business with the strategic goals of the enterprise, to include its stakeholders and clients. BPM is focused on change. Whether you take a project or program approach to BPM, there are two effective management practices that will support your efforts for success, peer-to-peer alignment and KPI’s.

Peer-to-Peer alignment of IT, HR and business units and the value it has for BPM is not hard to understand. Having that buy-in and support makes transformation processes effectual and allows for quantitative/qualitative measurement of the results. Using Key Performance Indicators to connect the dots for measuring BPM success or failure, that’s the idea of this blog.

KPIs determine “what’s next”. Key Performance Indicators should relate to the enterprise strategy. If the strategy is operational excellence, then some of the KPIs that may be of relevance are,

· Cost of quality as % of annual revenues

· % of time of employees available for improvement activities

· Average number of quality checks vs. target

· % benchmarking activities that result in implementation of enhancements

· % reduction of IPCS’s (incident, problem, change, service requests)

· % of current initiatives driven by the business

· % of spend on current IT capital projects that are considered driven by the business

· % of current business initiatives driven by IT

· % of changes initiated by customers

· % of change initiated by incidents

Performance indicators differ from business drivers & aims (or goals). A call center might consider the number of tangible leads provided for their client as a Key Performance Indicator which might help them increase business with that client. An IT shop might consider the denied access rate of an application as a Key Performance Indicator to justify the purchase of additional licenses.

While at BPM.com I read the summary of a white paper that asked some key questions with regard to BPM such as “What processes should we focus on next? How do we scale the discovery, development, deployment, and usage of process applications across the company? What are the best practices we should follow to maximize reuse across projects to achieve economies of scale?” Some of the latter KPIs could be used to measure and provide answers.

The key stages in identifying relevant KPIs include,

· Having a pre-defined business process (BP).

· Having requirements for the BPs.

· Having a quantitative/qualitative measurement of the results and comparison with set goals.

· Investigating variances and tweaking processes or resources to achieve short-term goals.



  1. I can see where you are going with this post. However, this really is focused on what i would see as simple processes – processes that are very defined…So a bit like a manufacturing process…

    The problem with BPM and measuring success is that measuring success is easy for highly defined processes. These make up around 20% of a businesses activity, so it is important to do this, and your post is great when we think of these types of processes. But what of the other 80% of processes, processes that a BA will struggle to discover yet alone put together a map for? This is where we need to break away from this concept of defined processes, joining dots, etc etc as you simple cannot do this for most of a businesses work…We need to think in a more adaptive fashion, and then measure performance against what we discover to be happening and what performance improvements we can make on this.

    We need to remember that BPM is about process and people, not about joining entities or dots….

    • As for the 80%… discovery is made when you begin to understand and document the 20%, which more often than not exposes gaps and on the other side of those gaps is are processes to either capture or design. Something similar to “if this happens then this should happen”…the old if- then scenario.

      Efficient processes and informed people join entities. If joining entities lines up with enterprise objectives, that’s the direction we move. BPM is about fining tuning the enterprise through aligning people, process and the entities that are made up of people and processes. Knowing 20% and able to measure them can give insight to the 80% that has yet been discovered or defined.

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