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Business Process Management (BPM) is a key enabling factor for companies. Jim Sinur from Gartner talks about the top five benefits currently delivered by BPM. I will analyse and discuss them now. <!--more-->A previous Gartner survey said that BPM:

  • Improves process quality
  • Improves customer satisfaction
  • Engenders continuous process improvement
  • Reduces costs
  • Improves the customer experience
  • Improves business agility

But how can you actually obtain these benefits? I discuss the answer later in this post. Before that, however, here are some more questions for you:

  • How much work is currently involved in changing the decision logic in your process steps due to new government regulations, new business goals or in response to competition?
  • Do you know how changing your decision logic will impact your processes?
  • Do you know how changing the business data model will impact your processes?
  • How do you test your decision logic?

The answer lies in dividing your business architecture into "whats" and "hows". But what does this mean exactly? Well, the "whats" comprise the description of your entire enterprise process landscape: What are your main processes, your supporting processes, your management processes? What is the impact on these processes if business data is changed? What are the responsibilities involved for each process step? And what is the system or service support required for a specific process step? The answers to these questions can be found in BPM. Using ARIS for your BPM activities provides you with a wide range of modeling options.

Now to the "hows": How do you manage the dynamic aspect of your business architecture within your company's enterprise architecture? The main function of your business architecture is to detail your processes from top to bottom. The "how" is explained by way of detailed definition of a business decision made in a process step. In this context, a business decision is described in the form of business rules.

Business rules are the dynamic element of your processes. Describing the business rules as part of the process flow makes your processes smarter. James Taylor called this "adding more intelligence to business processes" in his Enterprise Decision Management blog. Business decisions must be handled by business experts. Such decisions have a direct impact on the business data model, which in turn alters the technical data model, i.e., your applications or services. Business decisions also affect the process definition, while executable business decisions have a direct impact on the project execution path. To obtain smarter business processes, the decision logic needs to be extracted from the process flow and made explicit. If you use ARIS for your BPM activities, your process models are seamlessly integrated with other related information from your business architecture and your business rules, which are also based on a set of ARIS models.

What can you do to make your processes smarter so that you actually leverage all five main BPM benefits?

Tags: Business Process Management BPM