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Many businesses today are constantly under pressure on how to build and sustain their competitiveness in the marketplace. Therefore, there is an increasing need to identify the best ways or models to improve the quality, optimize the operation cost, and reduce go-to-market lead time. Immature business processes lead to inefficiency and delays, thus limiting a business’s ability to achieve the goals. Business Process Maturity Model can help us how to overcome these issues and Improve Business Processes.

Overview of Business Process Management Maturity Model (BPMM)

Such processes also reduce an organization’s ability to assess present and future risks. A Business Process Maturity Model (BPMM) serves as a platform for organizations to measure their BPM capabilities and achieve improvements through evaluation and comparison tools. A BPMM focuses on assessing the weaknesses and risks of fostering improvements and standardization.

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Why we need the Business Process Maturity Model in Businesses?

A BPMM is essentially an analysis tool for Business Process Management that an organization uses to evaluate and assess the maturity of its processes and the governance around them. These tools enable an organization to constantly benchmark and self-assess the effectiveness of its processes to make sure they are managed in the most effective way possible.

Maturity models provide the means to grade and measure an enterprise and assess its current position with respect to the rest of the economic environment. They also supply the organization with a method for identifying and comparing the situation as it is today against the “desired” state. Given this, an organization can identify gaps in the current state against the desired position.

A BPMM can be described as an improvement route that is evolutionary. It enables the progression from an immature and inconsistent business process to a mature and regulated one.

As a process analyst, you will note that as an organization moves up the BPMM, each level becomes more specific and generates detailed recommendations that provide a stable foundation for moving to the next level.

The following are the fundamental principles that govern a BPMM for an organization:

  • You can be evaluate the Attributes of a process to determine its capability to contribute to organizational objectives.
  • Capable processes cannot survive unless the organization is mature enough to sustain them.
  • Process improvement is best approached as an organizational change program. The stages of the improvements to achieve successively more predictable states of organizational capability.
  • Each stage or maturity level lays a required foundation on which future improvements can be built.

BPMM Implementation Approach

In the international BPM community, it is well recognized that there is only one maturity model that should be used. This is the model that was developed by the Object Management Group, and it is publicly available on their website (www.omg.org).

However, a minor downside to the model is that it is very comprehensive and not easily digestible to someone who does not have a lot of BPM experience.

The following BPMM determines the maturity level from the perspective of a five-graded scale (0-5). In this scale, 0 means “non-existent” and 5 means “innovating.” It measures the maturity of people, process governance, and technology, and it helps assess where an organization sits at the current point.

The scales in the above model are recommended based on the OMG maturity model. Each scale’s description is as follows:

0 Non-existent

There is a complete lack of any recognizable BPM maturity. We have not even recognized that there is an issue that to be addressed.

1 Initial

There is evidence the organization has recognized an issue that exists and needs to be addressed. There are, however, no standardized processes in place. Instead, there are ad hoc approaches that tend to be applied on an individual or case-by-case basis.

The overall approach to BPM is disorganized. Without any specific objective, the organization solely depends on the competency of the individuals and their processes for success in the absence of any proven method.

2 Managed

Processes have developed to the stage where different people undertaking the same task follow similar procedures. Here, the objective is to create a foundation in the management of each work unit or project.

There is some individualistic effort at improving the processes without any proper documentation; it can be likened to work unit management. There is no formal training or communication of standard procedures present, and responsibility is left to the individual. There is a high degree of reliance on the knowledge of individuals. Therefore, errors are likely.

3 Standardize

During this stage, you have standardized, documented, and communicated the Processes through training. It is mandated that these processes are followed. However, it is unlikely that deviations will be detected.

You have simply formalized the existing practices but The processes themselves are not sophisticated yet. The objective here is to make use of infrastructure in organizational processes and the related process assets. The goal is consistency through automation and delivery of the products and services.

4 Predictable

During this stage, the objective moves towards exploiting the capability of the organization’s process structure and its associated process assets to realize predictable results.

The BPM team monitors and measures compliance with procedures and takes action where processes appear not to be working effectively.

Predictable and constantly improving, these processes provide good practice. BPM automation and modeling tools are used in a limited or fragmented way. This stage in the maturity model can be described as “capability management.”

5 Innovating

The final stage is the most structured and competent. The objective at this level is to manage processes without turning out defective products or services.

At this level, processes have been optimally refined from the results of continuous improvement and maturity modeling with other enterprises.

IT Teams are used in an integrated way to automate the workflow, providing tools to improve quality and effectiveness, and making the enterprise quick to adapt.

Applying Business Process Maturity Model (BPMM)

Let’s try to apply the BPMM model described above to your organization. Again, any maturity model should always focus on the “four pillars” of BPM. In case you’ve forgotten them, they are:

  • People
  • Process
  • Governance
  • Technology

People

If we look at the people dimension of BPM, we will see how implementing such a measurement system will quickly identify weaknesses in training, skill, and experience.

From the table below, we can see how process culture strengthens when individual performance measures and processes are interrelated.

Let us look at an example for the purpose of understanding how BPMM can positively impact a business by adopting a standardization of work practices. It can be seen in the table below that an organization’s process culture will strengthen if individual performance measures are formally tied to processes.

Process

Standardization ensures consistency and repeatability when developing and executing processes in a BPM tool. Management must take care to develop viable solutions that will document and standardize processes as well as create the right working environment and employ the right people to handle those processes.

Let us examine what typically occurs when an organization fails to adopt process standardization against the following five categories:

Documentation of Process: Organizations in the initial stage do not have any documentation or have few documented processes.

  • Stewardship of Process: Ownership of processes is not identified in most organizations prior to the implementation of BBMM.
  • Improvement Methodology for Processes: Initially there is no methodology involved in the improvement of processes (such as Lean or Six Sigma).
  • Standardization of Processes: No processes are the same and all appear to perform a distinctly different function.
  • Standards / Taxonomy of Processes: Initially no standards for processes model development exist other than the BPMN notation itself.

Make improvements by making just a few practical changes to how processes are modeled, owned, and categorized.

Governance

Some BPM experts argue that “governance” should be the first component of the BPMM that should be implemented. Either way, making improvements to BPM governance calls for senior management to help facilitate the organization’s transition through each of the BPMM levels.

Technology

In the context of the BPMM, technology only refers to developing a process repository and the acquisition of an industry-recognized BPM tool. The OMG BPMM will provide you with more detail on how to apply technological improvements to your BPM capability, but I would argue that both the repository and the BPM tool are the only two platforms an organization needs until it has reached Levels 3 or 4.

It is also important to note that implementation of these platforms should be left until the end—particularly given that the people, process, and governance pillars are more critical to the organization than the adoption of BPM technology.

Other Considerations when Implementing the BPMM

The success of the maturity model is dependent on management’s ability to ignore the constant changes that face an organization. Because many times IT teams amended the processes due to new IT systems introduced.

However, achieving a Level 5 rating will never occur if management becomes continuously distracted by constant challenges to the organization. Here are some issues management needs to consider when improving the organization’s BPM capability:

  1. While engaging in BPM-related projects, managers should always aim to use proven standardized methods of building such a capability; otherwise, they’ll put the project in jeopardy.

This is particularly common when managers attempt to create their own maturity models of frameworks.

  • When a process is modeled by a process analyst, Managers need to ensure that, it actually represents what occurs in real-time in the business unit. Often, the process followed by a business unit is completely different than how it’s represented in a process model.

When this occurs, it means there is a lack of governance in the organization; process analysts and business units are not communicating with each other.

An organization has the ability to make significant improvements to its BPM capability here. Appointing process stewards and putting a governance mechanism in place is a simple task.

  • The BPMM ensures that complete process transparency occurs across the organization. Sometimes managers are caught off guard when a change to a process occurs in one area of the organization, and they’re not aware of that change.

Furthermore, some managers will attempt to develop a new process from scratch when it’s already being used in another business unit. This issue is particularly common for larger organizations that have around 5,000 or more employees.

Standardized Processes

By creating standardized processes, an organization can simplify the steps required to complete a business activity and thus streamline an end-to-end process.

  • Another critical aspect of the BPMM is that, when you followed, it makes it far easier to work with vendors, consultants, and suppliers. When outsourcing IT or other business services, an organization should have the ability to develop a proposal that requests a standard set of services and products that, in turn, makes it easier to be delivered by a vendor.

In reverse, an organization with a mature BPM capability also has the ability to assess the suitability of vendors prior to outsourcing any work.

  • Implementation of the BPMM also solves the serious need for how an organization develops the foundations of a business. You will recall that I talked about this in the introduction to this article Many organizations have poorly structured management systems in place which leads to all sorts of problems. It is essential in any business to cut operational costs and to strengthen organizational agility.

Conclusion

There are many examples of enterprises wasting millions of dollars by attempting to fix their businesses, particularly through IT. The BPMM can play a vital role by developing a strong business foundation and standard practice in process management. It also helps if the right people are involved and provided with proper training so that the organization is better positioned to achieve its growth objectives.

BPMM helps the organization to identify its weakest areas using structured channels and documenting them appropriately. This in turn helps steer the improvement efforts through the suggestions of steps that are more logical and incremental at every stage of the model. The BPMM also offers a framework for evaluating the organization’s IT systems and workforce development.

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