Having a BPM Maturity Model is Important for Long Lasting BPM
Special Guest Column by Michael Melenovsky and Jim Sinur
Most businesses have a limited, explicit understanding of end-to-end business
processes, and if any understanding exists, it is often tucked away within disparate
groups across the organization. It's rare to find an organization that has
linked its scattered process competencies together into a comprehensive strategy.
This is changing as business process management (BPM) gains momentum. Gartner
has created a six-phase BPM maturity model that involves understanding the six phases
of BPM maturity and where your organization stands on addressing critical success
factors defined in a BPM maturity framework.
The Six Phases of BPM Maturity -- Overview
The business process management maturity and adoption model provides guidance
for how your organization can more easily navigate the challenges of becoming process
Figure 1. The six phases of BPM maturity.
The journey toward a fully process-driven organization begins in Phase 0 with
acknowledgment that some business improvement opportunities cannot be addressed by
conventional approaches. The need to seek fundamental operational change results
in Phase 1, becoming "process aware." As the organization becomes
more process aware, it enters Phase 2 when it begins automating specific processes
to gain better control.
Eventually, the boundaries of individual processes expand, and in Phase 3, the
organization must integrate these processes with each other, as well as those of
trading partners and customers. Competencies grow around managing the relationships
between major business processes and, by Phase 4, the expertise exists to dynamically
link strategic goals to process execution. This, ultimately, leads to the creation
of an agile business structure (Phase 5) -- the highest level of maturity.
The curve embedded in the maturity model represents the amount of effort, and
subsequent benefit, that will accrue in each phase. As you approach the more
advanced phases, the steepness of the curve shows that more work is required, but
more return value is expected. This is a hallmark of maturity: wisdom
comes from investment, and wisdom begets increased benefit.
The majority of organizations are in the earlier phases of BPM maturity.
Although many organizations will be deep into learning the disciplines of Phase 2
by the end of 2006, few will have mastered the process automation and control competencies.
Therefore, the percentage of enterprises mastering any particular phase will be much
smaller than the percentage experiencing or experimenting with the same phase.
Further, mastery of the more advanced phases will remain elusive well beyond 2008.
We set the bar high when we created this maturity model.
The BPM Maturity Model and Its Critical Success Factors
The BPM maturity model is based on the belief that superior process management
leads to realizing a truly agile business structure. The competencies gained
along the way to becoming agile create greater visibility into how the organization
delivers value, innovates customer service, and gains operational productivity and
effectiveness. Each phase of maturity builds on the previous phases, but also
allows for initiatives that grow competencies for later phases to occur during earlier
phases. The object then becomes managing the "weakest link" when
balancing the critical success factors of organizational process management.
In addition to the six phases of maturity, the other important dimension is the
organizational factors that must be balanced within and between phases. Figure
2 (adopting concepts developed at the Babson College Process Management Research
Center) displays six critical success factors that an organization must evolve during
each phase as it becomes process driven.
Figure 2. BPM Maturity Framework
Source: Gartner and Babson College Process Management Research Center
As the organization ascends through each phase of maturity, the achievement of
its critical success factors must also evolve. Leading organizations take a
balanced approach to managing the six critical success factors. Managed together,
they represent the framework from which BPM competencies are built. The six success
- Strategic alignment: The continual tight linkage of organizational priorities
and enterprise processes, enabling the achievement of business goals.
- Culture and leadership: The collective values and beliefs that shape process-related
attitudes and behaviors.
- People: The individuals and groups who continually enhance and apply their process
related expertise and knowledge.
- Governance: Relevant and transparent accountability, decision making and
reward processes to guide actions.
- Methods: The approaches and techniques that support and enable consistent
process actions and outcomes.
- Information technology: The software, hardware and information management
systems that enable and support process activities.
Gartner has more detailed information on each of the phases and the typical outcomes
for each of the success factors on its business process improvement site. In
early 2007, Gartner will be providing a self-evaluation tool.
The Bottom Line
Without a map, the journey to BPM maturity will be difficult and frustrating.
What is provided here is a starting point for organizations to map out their journey
ahead of time and determine the proper number of rest stops along the way to the
ultimate destination, which may or not be the last phase. We believe your competition
will drive you far into this maturity curve.
|standard citation for this article:
|Michael Melenovsky and Jim Sinur, "Having a BPM Maturity Model is Important
for Long Lasting BPM Success," Business Rules Journal, Vol. 7, No. 12
(Dec. 2006), URL: http://www.BRCommunity.com/a2006/b325.html