Business Process Management, Process Maturity Model and Implementation


The businesses are required to continuously change and improve to meet their customer needs and to achieve their goals. For any organisation to be able to achieve growth one of the important criteria is to have a solid operational excellence for effective and efficient operations management. For operational excellence and growth, organisations have to have clearly defined ways of working and full visibility of end to end business process value chains. The term end to end means clear visibility of Idea to Market, Market to Order and Order to Cash processes and supporting internal processes for HR, Legal, Finance and IT departments.

On one hand the organisations are under pressure to remain agile and flexible for adapting change while on the other hand for operational excellence it’s important to have a structured way of working and execution to be able to achieve the results with required level of quality. Organisations have to identify business areas that are their unique competitive advantage Vs business areas that are industry best practice standard and can be kept compliant with industry best practice standards.

For achieving the standard and structured business processes and their compliance, a framework and process maturity model is essential. The framework and process maturity model will help in identifying, implementing and continuously improve the organisations business processes.

Overview of Business Process Management

Business process management as the name suggests focuses on end to end activities involved in managing business processes. This starts from business process requirement definition, design, deployment and post deployment monitoring and control followed by continuous improvement.

Although most organisation have business process management done using one or the other method, the challenge is to ensure that its tailored to meet the real needs of the organisation. Starting and implementing business process management initiative requires time, efforts and commitment from all levels of the organisation especially from the management team. These initiatives involves multiple departments and so are executed as business transformation program instead of just one department making steps for business process management. It is also essential that such initiatives are done first time right as failure could lead to high business impact especially in the area of operational excellence.

Business Process Maturity Model

For effective business process management implementation as well as continued monitoring and control post implementation, it’s essential for organisations to use either market standard or own business process maturity model. A business process maturity model allows organisation to check their current maturity level / state of respective business process. This not just help in identifying but also defining improvement actions that would help strengthen the process maturity level. It also helps the organisation in identifying and ear marking the business processes where they need high level of maturity Vs. those where they can live with a slightly lower level of maturity.

Over past decade as more organisations realize the need for effective business process management; many maturity models have come to existence. However, only few are successful and used widely, namely Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and Business Process Management Maturity Model (BPMM).

One of the most widely used models is Capability Maturity Model also known as CMM developed by software engineering institute at Carnegie Mellon University. It came in existence in year 1989 and was shaped as a maturity assessment model in year 1993. During past 15 years it further evolved and become broader and being used in different areas of an organisation from IT to People to Product and Services. This maturity model helps organisation evaluate the business process maturity on 5 levels named as Initial, Managed, Standardized, Predictable and Innovating. The organisation can measure their process maturity against each process area at various levels and decide to take up best practices specified.

The other widely used model is Business Process Management Maturity Model (BPMM) developed by Object Management Group (OMG). It came in existence in year 2007 and is based on Humphrey’s Process Maturity Framework and CMM. This maturity model helps organisation evaluate the business process maturity on 5 levels named as Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimized. The organisation can measure their process maturity by answering the standard questions with evidences for each level of maturity.

After words

Business process management is essential and important for all organisations. In this era of change its important that business processes are standardized and optimized for use. Its even more important to differentiate the amount of efforts and time that need to be spent in specific business areas in standardizing. This allows one end for organisation to use best practice standards and on the other end help them measure and continuously improve the business process management within the organisation. From the review of this paper following are the key points to note,

– Depending on the size of the organisation the approach used for BPM Implementation can vary

– For Large multi-national organisation, business process management initiative must be run as business transformation program

– The program must have support for organisation management team and must be ready for required governance and culture change

– The execution must be planned based prioritized end to end business process value chains with highest priority for processes adding direct value to business growth

– Post implementation for ongoing improvement, a robust process maturity model must be adapted and put to use through the organisations business process management organisation

– Industry standard business processes in the area of support departments must be adapted using industry standards and tools

– BPM implementation and process standardization lead to application rationalizations and lower IT costs for the organisation

Looking forward the business processes management will continue to get stronger and standard. For all organisations to be able to do business in effective and efficient manner, it is necessary to have a strong BPM implementation. BPM is further evolving where organisations are faced with Agile and Lean concepts which required organization’s business processes to be equally agile and lean. Agility is important for faster change while Lean supports the organisation in faster adaption of change.


Success and Failure of ERP Implementations In Brief

Success and Failure of ERP Implementations

ERP Implementation projects success and failure depends on several factors. The top five factors are as described below.

Clear understanding of Scope and Ownership :

Its essential that the project scope is clearly understood and the project is owned and driven by business than by IT. All members of the project team must know the scope clearly and plan execution based on must have scope items. Business Management normally the CEO or COO or CFO of the organization should own the business requirement and help define clear scope and business priorities with in the specified scope.

Clear Benefits identification and management:

All projects are done for a business reason with benefits clearly defined and agreed. Business case must detail out the benefits with clear ownership for each factor and who will be driving it to realize the benefits. Some benefits can be reported during the project execution phase itself while others would be realized post implementation. So its important that benefits are owned by the business and reported to management on timely and standardize manner.

Right Resources:

For ERP implementation success its essential to have best people in the organization with through knowledge in respective areas are chosen to be represent the business requirements and to drive the project from business side. The project should have the best and experience ERP consultants to be able to drive the technical execution correctly. Resources allocation to the project should be normally 50% or more as anything lower could lead to priority conflicts and affect the implementation

Managing Change Management:

Change management is highly important and requires high attention and management. The change management for the project scope changes needs to be managed in a structured manner using project boards as improper change management would lead to implementation delay and can affect the business objectives very highly. The other side of the change management is related to people in the Organization as moving to a new system requires buy in and involvement of various people of the organization. The people related change management in the organization should be managed through HR and company’s top management to ensure all businesses and their people support the change and be part of it to make it a success.

Integration needs:

Normally IT systems and specially ERP systems implementations lead to organizational structure and roles change. On one side along with the system automation certain roles in the organization get redundant while on the other side some people’s role increases while some other new roles have to be created to manage the new system related functions/activities. Its essential that the integration needs owned by business with well-defined planning and clear ownership for execution.

Post Implementation needs:

The real work for ERP Implementation is to ensure there is clearly defined ownership of post implementation support (e.g. change, incidents, issue handling, access request etc.) is establish during the project itself and required teams are involved in the ERP implementation at various stages of the project. It’s also essential to define how user trainings and ongoing organizational changes would be handled with respect to ERP system.