BPM ~ From Common Sense to Common Practice (Part 4): The New Common Sense

Roger T.  Burlton
Roger T. Burlton President and Managing Partner, Process Renewal Group Read Author Bio || Read All Articles by Roger T. Burlton

So, if true 'business process management' is logical but so unconventional for many organizations today what would the new common sense logic look like?  To answer this question, first let's examine how an ideal enterprise would appear to those on the outside, with no visibility of its inner workings.  There is no better place to start because outsiders only care about this perspective and they determine our success.

The External Perspective

The new enterprise is process-managed in order to stay in tune with its external business environment, whether it likes the reality of it or not.  First and foremost, it recognizes that it must perform exceptionally well in all of its relationships and adjusts internally to do so rapidly and effectively.  It knows what's happening, or might happen, in the outside world and does everything to anticipate and respond.

That does not mean that it is not proactive and takes no risks.  If appropriate it does.  It manages at the stakeholder-relationship level and organizes all its assets in alignment to this quest.

It continuously, dispassionately asks:

  • What is our business?
  • What is the outside world like and what could it be like?
  • Who are our stakeholders?
  • What do they, and will they, care about?
  • What products and services do we, and should we, offer?
  • What else do we exchange with outsiders?
  • What triggers our exchanges?
  • What else do we have to know about our stakeholders?
  • How can we evaluate and measure our performance?
  • How well are we doing as far as stakeholders are concerned?
  • How well are we doing as far as we are concerned?
  • Are we positioned to continue to perform effectively?
  • What has to change and by when?

All of these questions are about the external marketplace and those in it.  The answers will become our criteria for managing internally.

The new common sense demands an outside-in approach or, as Steven Covey of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People may say, "Start with the end in mind."  If you cannot answer these questions consistently across the management team of your corporation, then you are in for an uncomfortable ride.

Next time, I will cover the 'internal perspective' of this new common sense.


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Standard citation for this article:


citations icon
Roger T. Burlton , "BPM ~ From Common Sense to Common Practice (Part 4): The New Common Sense" Business Rules Journal Vol. 9, No. 6, (Jun. 2008)
URL: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2008/b424.html

About our Contributor:


Roger  T. Burlton
Roger T. Burlton President and Managing Partner, Process Renewal Group

Roger is a respected pioneer in the introduction of innovative approaches for Business Management. He is a world leader in the field of Business Process Management, having authored one of the most read and followed books on the topic early in BPM's growth as well as the Business Process Manifesto. Roger's leadership is also witnessed by his position as chair of several of the most influential conferences each year on BPM and Business Architecture and by his role as chair of the BPTrends.com Advisory Board. The insights he brings to PRG's consulting clients are thoughtful and pragmatic.

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