In your organization, if you are planning to implement Business Processes and want to develop Business Process Management Maturity Model (BPMM), Stakeholders shall ask many Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and you need to have the right answers to those Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on BPM. From my experience, the most common difficulty is being able to convince others of the merits of introducing such a discipline.
It is very common to find that both staff and managers have never heard of BPM, let alone any of its frameworks or methodologies. Certainly, many will have heard of Lean and Six Sigma, but that is only because they have been publicized a lot more than BPM.
We have categorized these Frequently asked questions on BPM (Business Process Management) on the areas covering to help you succeed for BPM Implementation and have the right answers to your stakeholders. Because there are many benefits to implement BPM for business success.
Even not only considering the benefits, but there are also many critical success factors that you need to learn while implementing Business Process Management.
- General FAQs
- People FAQs
- Process FAQs
- Governance FAQs
- Technology FAQs
As you develop your plans for BPM implementation, it is likely you will need to hold workshops and meetings with stakeholders to discuss their involvement. I can guarantee you that you will initially find resistance, particularly due to the fact that human nature resists any form of change.
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As a result, I have written a series of the most common questions you are likely to receive by both staff and managers. It is a good idea to memorize the answers in the context of your organization, so that no matter how tough the question, you will always be able to answer your peers with authority and conviction.
Furthermore, you will get the help to clarify your understanding to give the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of specific BPM topics that were discussed in the earlier posts.
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1. General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1.1 What is Business Process Management (BPM)?
Business Process Management (BPM) is the discipline of promoting business effectiveness and efficiency using a globally recognized methodology. BPM deals with identifying all the processes associated with the organization, analyzing them for efficiency and effectiveness, measuring the results over a period, and optimizing these processes.
1.2 What kind of services does a BPM team provide?
There are two core service offerings a BPM team provides its clients. The first is process modeling, and the second is procedure writing.
Within the process modeling component, the team is expected to conduct a full analysis of process efficiency and effectiveness by using methodologies such as dashboarding and simulation.
Process analysts will also identify new processes and optimize existing ones using a globally recognized methodology. Once processes have been optimized and modeled, the process analyst is then responsible for writing the procedure guides.
1.3 What is the difference between BPM, Enterprise Architecture, and Business Architecture?
BPM is the practice of managing and modeling granular processes at the operational level of a business. Enterprise architecture is the practice of aligning a corporate strategy with high-level business models and IT.
Enterprise architects work at the “strategic” level of an organization and need BPM analysts to design process models at the worker/operational level. You can understand that you can use the term business architecture to describe the sub-discipline. Whereby the architect solely focuses on business design.
1.4 Why is a BPM Center of Excellence important for an organization?
By having a dedicated BPM team, managers can draw on the expertise the BPM team provides without having to rely on their own staff for process analysis and procedure writing. The BPM team operates as a “center of excellence,” which means its role is to maintain an awareness of international best practices and up-to-date BPM methodologies.
1.5 What is a BPM Maturity Model?
The BPM Maturity Model, sometimes known as the BPM Maturity Curve, refers to a methodology for developing a BPM capability within an organization. It allows the organization to assess how well its BPM team can meet the demands of its clients and describes what improvements an organization needs to make to have a fully functional, effective team. The model assesses the maturity of the “four pillars” of BPM—people, process, governance, and technology.
1.6 From a BPM perspective, what are some of the common issues any business faces?
The most common issues across your business lines are lack of process standardization, no re-use of processes, poorly described procedure guides, complicated process maps, and use of redundant process maps. All these issues can be identified by your organization’s BPM team and you can address it under an internal reform project.
1.7 I already have many business analysts on my team, what additional value can BPM provide my business?
Business analysts and process analysts perform two separate functions. When working collaboratively, both can produce results that improve operational performance. A business analyst is a generic term used to describe a staff member with research and analysis skills that allow them to gather data, develop reports, and assist with the execution of a project.
A process analyst describes someone who has certification in identifying and measuring the performance of business processes and experience in helping organizations transform their operations to achieve an optimal state. Through the use of specialist software tools, a process analyst can interpret that vision through process models and simulation techniques.
1.8 Is BPM able to advise on best practices in other industries?
BPM is a universal practice that can be ported across to any industry. The original need for BPM derived from the manufacturing industry during the 1970’s and was later modified to be applicable to service industries such as the banking and retail sectors. Therefore, the BPM methodology can (almost) be used for any organization, regardless of business strategy or objectives.
2 People Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
2.1 Why is BPM important for my staff?
There are several reasons why BPM is important for your staff, and they are as follows:
- Decreases employee workloads for undesirable work Eliminates non-value-added activities
- Improves employee morale/team spirit Improves internal communication between departments and groups
- Improves use of workspace
- Increases employee and process productivity
- Reduces cycle time of production/process
- Reduces process steps
- Simplifies processes and workflow steps
2.2 Who are BPM’s key stakeholders?
BPM’s key stakeholders are team managers and team members of an organization who work within all areas of the business. Ultimately, BPM is an enterprise-level discipline that affects all areas of the organization.
2.3 Who can I approach in the BPM team if I would like some work done in my business?
All business units should have an allocated process steward that represents the BPM team. More technical inquiries can be resolved by the manager of the BPM team.
2.4 Instead of modeling our activities, why not invest more in our subject matter experts to enhance our on-the-job training capabilities?
On the job training capabilities are an important and required service; however, investing in training without documenting and modeling activities can result in transfer of incorrect habits and “perceived” knowledge. By clearly referring to a process, team members with various levels of experience can leverage a detailed and agreed document as a source of truth.
2.5 To what extent is BPM concerned with the “socializing” (i.e., People) aspect when implementing change?
As a part of the BPM operating model, it is imperative that internal clients are kept in the loop with the progress of BPM projects. Process analysts will work collaboratively with clients to ensure all processes are properly captured and documented within the process models and procedure guides. The “socialization” aspect plays an important role prior to the “deployment” phase. The analyst will need management approval before new or modified processes are introduced within a business line.
2.6 Is it true that streamlining processes usually results in jobs being lost?
No. Streamlining processes will not result in jobs being lost. Rather, streamlining processes will have the following benefits:
- Improves the ability to serve external customers with greater consistency
- Creates new customer opportunities
- Builds company reputation
- Improves market position relative to competitors
- Enables service level agreement (SLA) obligations
- These benefits will create an environment of continuous improvement and promote growth within the business units.
3 Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
3.1 Can you describe the BPM Process Hierarchy?
A BPM Process Hierarchy (sometimes known as a Process Architecture) is the highest group of processes that are performed by an organization. When these processes (known as categories) are placed in a sequential order, they form a value chain. Take the example of a business that sells cars. An example value chain would be:
- 1. Sales
- 2. Fulfillment
- 3. Servicing
- 4. Product Marketing and Development
- 5. Operations
Under each of these categories are sub-processes that describe exactly how the business manages itself on a day-to-day basis. Take the “servicing” activity as an example. This activity would likely list all the processes that allow a customer to hand over their car for service and maintenance.
Such processes may include: the customer dropping their car off at the service center, the tasks the technicians undertake to conduct the maintenance, and the customer collecting their car once the maintenance has been completed.
All processes found within these categories should replace the processes that are attributed to siloed lines of business. The concept behind this is that an organization moves away from a business-line centric process (siloed in their design) and progresses toward processes that make up an end-to-end value chain. Once developed and agreed upon by the organization, the Business Process Hierarchy should be housed in a Process Repository.
3.2 What are some of the methodologies used in BPM?
There are several methodologies used in BPM that manage people, process, governance, and technology. From a day-to-day perspective, a BPM team will use the BPM operating model to handle requests for work.
From a modeling perspective, a team uses BPMN, which is an internationally used modeling language. There are also methodologies relating to metric analysis, dashboarding, and simulation. Examples include time-clocking, 3D event simulation, and “choke point” analysis.
3.3 What is “Preventive Management” ?
Preventive management is a term that refers to risk identification. It is the responsibility of the process steward and business subject matter expert to identify risk in a process. However, this function should also be expected of a process analyst as part of their core duties.
3.4 How will I know whether my processes are optimized?
Business processes can only be improved to a point. But they must still be monitored to ensure they are meeting a particular level of performance. Optimization is a part of the “continuous improvement” process and is an activity that never ends. However, to find out if a process has improved, a process analyst will take a measurement of a process at the beginning of their analysis and compare it to the optimized version once they’ve had the chance to consult with internal clients.
3. 5 Why does an organization need to document every single activity in-process models and procedure documents?
Capturing every process within an end-to-end value chain is essential. Managers and their staff must be able to have an absolute understanding of their business before they can measure it and subsequently optimize it. By not capturing all activities, the organization can lose essential resources such as unnecessary labor costs. By documenting all processes, the organization can minimize its risk and ensure that it meets strict legal requirements.
3.6 What is “Business Process Interoperability?”
Process interoperability refers to processes that can work seamlessly with other processes. Each process has a description and definition of what task it is expected to perform. Interoperability therefore means the process analyst should only use previously defined and standardized processes to build that process model.
4 Governance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
4.1 What do you mean by “driving a process view across the organization”?
The Business Process Hierarchy is a visual representation of all core processes that reside within an organization. The hierarchy is the best means for developing a complete end-to-end view of the organization and all the functions it performs as a business enterprise. This approach is the preferred method used by process analysts as it prevents an organization from randomly developing process models in isolation without any relation to each other.
4.2 Are there any globally recognized quality standards for BPM?
Yes. All BPM standards are developed and mandated by the Object Management Group (www.omg.org). This organization is supported by the international BPM community and has subsequently become the recognized authority for BPM development. In terms of standards, BPMN is used for modeling and the BPM Maturity Model for capability development.
For the development of the Business Process Hierarchy, APQC (www.apqc.org) is seen as the international standard among practitioners. All these standards are globally recognized and are considered “best-practice.”
4.3 Can BPM help find opportunities to structure my business better?
Yes. It is the role of the process analyst to critically examine each activity within an end-to end process and examine opportunities for improvement. Through this approach, a process analyst will usually work with an architect from the business architecture team to develop optimal business models.
4.4 How can BPM help me reduce my costs?
BPM is an essential method used to optimize business operations. Process analysts look for duplicate processes or unnecessary processes within an end-to-end model. By removing these activities, a business line is able to save on operating costs. This can be quantified in both time and money.
5 Technology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
5.1 What are some of the more common tools used in BPM?
In the BPM discipline there are two categories of BPM tools. They are:
- Static tools
- Dynamic tools
Microsoft Visio is an example of a static tool that only allows analysts to develop pictures of processes.
Process Modeling tools and Automation Workflow Engines are examples of dynamic tools that allow an analyst to conduct dashboarding and develop “interactive” models so that customers and analysts can work collaboratively on projects. Dynamic tools allow for process re-use, use a special library, and can automatically conduct assessments of the efficiency of a model.
Simulators allow analysts to develop 3D models of process and execute real time simulated activities that can pinpoint choke points in processes and provide a visualization of an activity.
5.2 Can BPM assist me in automating some of my activities?
Yes. This is a core function of any BPM team. Once the Process Hierarchy has been fully developed, internal clients should be able to “choose” which processes require automation so that it can be completed without a human in the loop.
5.3 How can BPM assist my business with implementation of a new IT system?
The BPM team, in conjunction with the business architecture team, can provide “to-be” models of what a process will look like once an IT system has been implemented.
5.4 I am thinking of purchasing a new IT system, can the BPM team assist with drafting my user requirements?
Business architecture teams are responsible for assessing capabilities such as IT and ensuring they meet the business requirements of an organization.
5.5 How can BPM ensure that new IT systems are aligned with organizational strategy?
This is the core role of a business architecture team and not a function of the BPM Center of Excellence.
For the successful implementation of Business Processes in your organization, you need to prepare and should be ready to give the answers to stakeholders to get support and cooperation. To consider this fact, we prepared the above Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for you to be ready for the successful implementation. Please let us know if you would like to have more questions in the comments below. We will be happy to help you.