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The last couple of weeks I’ve shared my thoughts and ideas around some of the aspects of a BPM Center of Excellence, being the position in the organization, the mandate it should have and the structure and role a CoE can have. In this week’s episode (and the last one on the CoE) I look into the types of services you should be able to expect from this CoE. One thing I can already disclose: it goes way beyond documenting business processes.

Allow e start with repeating myself (again, I know) in stating that process documentation is a very important part of any BPM journey in an organization, but it is not the only part. It’s a fundamental activity that needs to take place in order to unlock all of the value-adding additional services a BPM CoE can deliver. In short, BPM is much more than just process modeling. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at these services that I am mentioning above.

First of all, I identify 4 major services a BPM CoE can/should deliver:

  1. BPM Definition and Governance
  2. BPM Content Management
  3. BPM Enablement
  4. BPM Supporting Activities

Let’s take a look at each one of them separately.

BPM Definition and Governance

This service is the first service to be set up in case BPM actually is going to be organized into a CoE. Very often the second service (BPM Content Management) might be already up and running. In this service, the CoE needs to come up with a definition of the process architecture (or hierarchy), the process governance, the BPM KPI framework and the corresponding business rules on how to deal with BPM. A lot of this can be seen as relatively one-off activities that lay the foundation upon which the actual content can be build. Without this fundamental work, it is not hard to understand why BPM initiatives that start right away with creating content, struggle later on to anchor the labor of their work in the standing organization.

BPM Content Management

As mentioned earlier this category of BPM services is typically the first one to be deployed and implemented, and in and by itself that is absolutely fine as long as the organization understands that it is the first category of services that need to be taken care of properly before BPM can grow and become sustainable. As for the sub-services in this category, think about defining and managing the modeling methods and conventions, the process model repository and the management of reference models/frameworks. Especially this last one is becoming more and more popular I would say and maybe not for obvious reasons. Yes, frameworks like APQC, Deloitte’s Industry Print and some more were already quite popular back in the mid 90’s early 00’s, but the type of reference frameworks that have joined this list are the regulatory frameworks. Think about the ISO / NEN / BS etc norms that organizations need to comply to. Why not add them to your process repository and connect them directly to those processes that play a role in complying to these frameworks. This brings substantial clarity to organizations when it comes to understanding how a certain regulatory framework impacts the way they operate (I might dedicate a special blog to this topic).

BPM Enablement

This is one of the most important services a BPM CoE should deliver: making sure that the rest of the organization warms up to the concept of business process management (just to re-iterate: this is much more than just some process mapping exercises). When this is done right, the BPM CoE can continue to be relatively small group with a disproportional high positive impact on the rest of the organization. In this service you will find things like finding the right internal champions and ambassadors to promote and stimulate BPM, having one or two experiences facilitators / change agents to support the mental transition process for senior managers from silo and kingdom thinking to collaborative end-to-end thinking. If I look at all of the consulting I do with our prospects and customers, the majority of my time goes right into this category, helping them understand how to inspire the rest of the organization for BPM.

BPM Support Activities

Finally, the fourth category of activities deals with all kinds of support activities for related but slightly distinct topics. Think about the support for process and task mining, enterprise risk management, automation projects or the general support BPM can bring to Continuous Improvement programs. This range of activities can become very extensive (depending on the success BPM has within the organization) and one typical pitfall to avoid is that the time claim based on these activities can become very high very quickly and you would become the victim of your own success. The key deliverables for a BPM CoE are in the other 3 categories first. Don’t get me wrong, the activities in this category are important but from a resource management point of view, first you make sure you can deliver on your core services and if time permits the support activities can be picked up. If you then find out that you’re structurally running out of time, you might need to expand your CoE of course (even if it is temporary).

In short, a BPM CoE is much more than just a process mapping factory and they can and will deliver added value to the organization if they succeed in inspiring this organization for the wonderful concept that is called BPM.

That’s it for this series of blogs on the BPM CoE. Next week I’ll start a new series on the topic of compliance management.

Ciao, Caspar


by Veronika Ellermann
Posted on Fri, 12/10/2021 - 10:59

Hi Casper,

Again, an interesteting read :)
While reading, there was just one more thing that came to my mind: From my perspective BPM can also help to define and manage products and services. So, for instance, the processes define the responsibilities of service and/or product owners while the KPI framework reflects the SLA for a specific service/product.

So, my question is basically, can you somehow reflect a service catalogue in ARIS and should/could this then also be part of your "BPM support activities"?




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