Profile picture for user Christina Meiers

I’m a student of business administration at a co-operative university. Last year I had to attend a lecture with the topic Business Process Management (BPM). Because it is not a focus topic in my degree program most of my fellow students didn’t pay much attention to it. They were not confronted with BPM in their companies and thus they didn’t see the necessity to learn about it.

If I wouldn’t work for a company focused on this topic, maybe I’d think the same , but in the last two years I really noticed the pros of Business Process Management

Here are a few points, why I think it make sense to learn about it during and after your studies:

First scenario:

Imagine you’ve finished your studies and you enter a company to start with your first job.

There are lots of people, information and tasks you are confronted with and so it comes to a lot of questions?

What’s the working procedure in my department? Who is responsible for this topic?Which rules or restrictions do I have to keep in mind?

It can be really tricky to answer all these questions, but if the company has a business process management system you don’t have to worry.

For example: You can click through the organizational chart to see who is responsible for a certain topic. Then you can have a look to a value added chain of the enterprise to see which role your task plays in the collectivity of the company. After this you can have a look at the EPC documenting the process you’re involved in.

So you can easily get an overview, what it makes easier to integrate yourself into the company.

Second scenario:

After a few years of working you are responsible for a specific department. Because of economic troubles the company has to be restructured to stay profitable.

The requirement for your department: You have to save 20% of costs.

How to do this? Where should you begin? In which division does it make sense to save costs and in which division could it be dangerous?

If you have no process documentation it is really difficult to expose weak points or room for improvement.

With a BPM-Tool you have all your processes documented in detail, so that you can see where you have bottlenecks.

After you have restructured your processes you can monitor them constantly through the calculation of KPIs.

Third scenario:

You have been working for many years and now you want to go into retirement.

Your successor is a person, who comes new to the company. How can you show her/him the ropes?

One possibility could be to use your process documentation. So you can hand over a large part of your process knowledge and simplify the integration for your successor.


As we can see Business Process Management accompanies us through our whole working life.


So why shouldn’t we start learning about it now, during our studies?


What do you think?


What are your experiences with BPM?


Feel free to post your comments!


by Henk Harms
Posted on Sat, 09/05/2009 - 00:18

So why shouldn’t we start learning about it now, during our studies?

We should and is done over the years under different banners. Keep in mind BPM has been sort of around for a while, might not be packaged as nice as BPM currently but it was there.  The combination of NIAM-ISDM, SII, UML etc (Ok ok I know apples and bananas, but you get my point).


What do you think?

Learning BPM is something I am not sure about if it can be learned in a "class room" it can be teached there but not really learned. I like to go as far that some will never get it, no matter how much teaching is done.

Learning in a class room environment is easy, you have your books, notations and opinions from you lecture.Applying it, is a different story.

What are your experiences with BPM?

It still is a hard sell, some exec's simply do not get it yet. Some do, but rush in without governance and it becomes a messy and expensive pile of stuff.


What you outline in your scenarios is exactly what i been doing (for 15 odd years now) work in different types of organisations. Gain knowledge, model what they do. You will be surprised (or not actually) how a lot of different type of organisations do exactly the same thing. For example their supporting services like finance, HR and the like..... well all the same to me.

I had one instance where I was asked to model their Business Architecture, looked at it, spend 2 days replacing some names in my model archive and presented that.  80% spot on...... another very important reason why you want to build up a BPM archive.



by Sebastian Stein
Posted on Mon, 09/07/2009 - 10:01

Hi Henk,

I think your point that learning BPM in classroom is not really possible applies to almost everything and not just BPM. Not even the most advanced teaching program can replace several years of experience. This is of course also true in case of BPM.

I agree with you that "some will never get it". I also noticed that while I was studying. I think the fundamental problem is that BPM requires that you are able to decompose a problem/work task into a sequence of steps. Not everyone is able to do that (similar to not everyone can learn programming). The interesting question is how to still involve those people in BPM. I know that certain interviewing techniques can be of great help here.



by Christina Meiers Author
Posted on Mon, 09/07/2009 - 11:45

Thanks for your comments!

I also think that it’s difficult to make BPM understandable for everyone, especially for people who aren’t very experienced in the surrounding of information technologies, but I think it’s important to learn that there is something called BPM.

It’s of course not enough to learn about BPM at school. This can only be the basis.

by Paulo Dominonni
Posted on Wed, 01/06/2010 - 23:37


I'm working on my MBA talking about BPM and KPIs.

I'm sure we understand the importance of a holistic way the great benefits which a strategy and implemented BPM will bring to our businesses.

Only with a BPM involved may well offer us KPIs relevant and consistent.

If you need to take a decision and submit your dashboard KPI generated one out either through limited process. Surely you'd be taking a dangerous decision


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