A guide to a popular method for addressing business problems
Many organizations are poorly structured, use limiting processes, and invest in expensive technologies that constrain their ability to function, rather than enabling it, according to Theodore Panagacos in his book The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Management: Everything You Need to Know and How to Apply It to your Organization. Business Process Management aims to address such problems by offering a standard and scalable solution for managing processes.
Business Process Management has its own terminology and even its own acronyms. In the course of reading the book, I discovered that:
- BPM means Business Process Management, not “beats per minute”;
- CoE means Center of Excellence, not “Church of England”;
- OMG means Object Management Group, not the expletive used by teenagers on Facebook.
An organization which is undertaking BPM sets up a CoE to co-ordinate the project. The four pillars of a BPM CoE are People, Process, Governance and Technology. The people in a CoE include process analysts, process architects, senior process practitioners, and process stewards. The people perform process modelling using a standard form of notation. The CoE has an appropriate governance structure, usually reporting to the organization’s COO, and a BPM software package is an integral part of the BPM activities.
The author promised that by the end of the book I would know what I need to know about BPM, and he has certainly delivered on that promise. Given the apparent complexity of the subject and the expense of employing a range of experienced practitioners to document an organization’s processes, it seems to me that BPM is really only suitable for larger organizations. I am somewhat uncomfortable with the author’s assertion that “80 percent of the world’s top performing organizations manage processes using the frameworks and methodologies found in this book”. Unfortunately the book does not include footnotes, so I have been unable to verify the reliability of the author’s sources.
Notwithstanding these minor objections, the book will, in my opinion, be a valuable reference to anyone involved in a Business Process Management project who might be struggling to come to terms with BPM terminology.