Success Factors with BPM

If you are thinking about the potential benefits of Business Process Management or want to fast track your current BPM initiative, here are a few “must haves” for success.

0. “First the problem then the solution”, meaning no point mapping/implementing processes if the organization does not have a mission and has not evolved a set of strategies.

1. a reasonable subset of the business activity to be “managed” involves the performance of tasks in logical sequence.

2. the work will be performed more than once (otherwise use Critical Path Method).

3. no work should be performed that does not either directly or indirectly support strategy.

4. the benefits vary such that for a large initiative it is advisable to go through the formality of an ROI or SROI.

5. the more complex the sequencing, the more specialized the tasks (requiring specific skill sets), the larger number of silos that a process must overarch, the more beneficial it becomes to go beyond paper mapping to achieve in-line implementation of a process (as opposed to an off-line or on-line implementation).

6. too low a level of detail (i.e. splitting one short term task to be performed exclusively by one person into three tasks) is bad; too high a level of summary makes monitoring/control difficult (i.e. one task comprising several tasks, to be performed by several people, over an extended period of time).

7. the run-time environment hosting instances of templates (i.e. compiled rolled-out flowgraphs) needs to be able to accommodate re-visiting already committed tasks, recording data at tasks not yet current along their instances, and insertion of ad hoc interventions at the environment.

8. usual run-time services to support the processing of instances include R.A.L.B (three-tier scheduling); a formal History (committed tasks, with date/timestamped user “signatures”, with recall of data, as it was, at the time it was entered, on the form versions that were in service at the time); data logging for possible machine real-time predictions OR after-the-fact data mining to allow process owners to improve their processes; data import/export to increase the reach of the run time environment.

9. reasonable accommodation for deviating from instances, but with governance from rule sets at the environment to “rein in” extreme, unwanted deviations i.e. guidance from BPM, governance from the environment. [the highway example of center lines to provide guidance and guardrails on both sides for governance].

10. the environment selected must have a simple UI, otherwise the initiative will fail – i.e. none of these assumptions will increase productivity, increase throughput, decrease errors, improve compliance with internal and external regulations or improve outcomes if the User Interface at the run-time environment fails to improve the user experience (avoid having to say to users ” easy for me, difficult for you”).

11. adequate training must be provided – the best results are obtained when the facilitator kicks off the 1st mapping session by giving the mouse to a stakeholder and saying “let’s map out one of your processes”.

12. many processes are dynamic, they must be maintained and occasionally targeted as candidates for improvement.

13. Wraparound BPM (360 degree BPM) is achieved when work performed under the guidance of BPM results in data that can be consolidated to KPIs at the strategy level.

Hurdles that need to be overcome

a) “you can manage complex processes by staring at paper process maps” – not true.

b) except for end-to-end processes, objectives belong at Cases hosting BPM/ACM, not at end points along flowgraphs – many times there are no end points (i.e. process fragments) – users, machines and software thread process fragments at run-time. In theory each Case can be different.

c) Cases can only be closed by Case Managers (“it ain’t over until the fat lady sings”).

d) Case Managers need decision support (from rules at tasks along flowgraph template instances, from the Case History, from rules global to the run-time environment, from FOMM (Figure of Merit Matrices) to avoid subjective assessment of progress toward Case goals/objectives.

Management needs to exercise reasonable patience, – you can’t change a corporate culture overnight.

Update (2016-06-23)

Advanced Features/Functionality

Advanced capabilities include: cloning a closed or in-progress Case that has a mix of structured and unstructured steps; bi-directional data exchange with local and remote 3rd party systems and applications; data analytics; real-time predictive analytics for improved decision-making.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in critical infrastructure protection, healthcare, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, job shop manufacturing and b2b organizations. (C) 2010-2017 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
This entry was posted in Automated Resource Allocation, Business Process Management, Case Management, Competitive Advantage, Operational Planning, Process Management, Process Mapping, R.A.L.B., Strategic Planning and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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