1. Peter Schooff
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. Thursday, May 18 2017, 09:56 AM
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As a corollary to the recent discussion, What Is a Clear Sign That a Company Definitely Needs BPM?, what would you say are some clear signs that a company has been successful with BPM?
Derek Miers Accepted Answer
That it's not called BPM - it's all just Business As Usual ... the way things get done around here.
  1. Scott Francis
  2. 4 days ago
Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer
Smiling shareholders.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
Enron shareholders have been smiling for a long time, until they didn't.
Not sure shareholder value is the only proxy for sustained success.
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 4 days ago
Shareholders in many large corporations are in "for the ride" - their "analysis" of a corporation focuses on whether the stock will trade up or down. Smart investors make money on the way down as well as on the way up.

For those who have a more emotional attachment to a particular stock, if they were to do a detailed analysis, I agree with Bogdan they would probably not have much to smile about when they discover the huge salaries\bonus payouts to top management that limit shareholder ROI.

Digging deeper, smiles would likely transition to frowns and, from there, to scowls when they find out about the bonuses top management often earns for "excellence" during bad years,
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 21 hours ago
A company has managed (quickly and without pain!) to transform itself (business and IT) to become process-based, customer-centric and digital. Low cost of operation and small time-to-market are extra bonuses.

John Morris Accepted Answer
And as a sales and biz dev person I really liked @Emiel's and @Derek's "outcomes-based measurement criteria". This addresses the "successful" part of the original question. But what about the BPM part?

If we are only measuring outcomes that means we aren't yet inside the box of work management and automation. So in addition to the "successful" part of today's question, we need to know that BPM is actually being used. The use of BPM means that processing thinking and process discourse are part of the everyday language of business in that organization.

Compare to quality programmes. It's quite possible for organizations to run without a quality programme. One's likelihood of success though will be higher if "quality discourse" is part of everyday management culture. This requires on-going effort and leadership and needs to be part of organizational identity. Same thing with business process management and BPM software technology.

The argument may appear trivial: BPM-As-Cause and Success-As-Result. BPM-As-Cause though is revolutionary; it implies that the black box of work has been opened up. And that management takes responsibility for the contents, using the art and science of the technology of work, which is BPM. This is the opposite of magical thinking and is a non-trivial achievement -- which deserves to be called out.
Ian Gotts Accepted Answer
You have won a Gartner award!!

Actually you are never successful because that suggests and endpoint. With business constantly changing you need to embed a culture of change supported by BPM principles. Think of the process maturity curve.

For BPM vendors. Go back to your client who has been using the app 10 years. Is it still being used? By more and more people?
10 years is a very short time, if you think that A16Z believes Workday has a customer lifetime of 33.4 years :-)))

So we need to wait until we retire to measure our app success in the enterprise :P
  1. Bogdan Nafornita
  2. 4 days ago
Kai Laamanen Accepted Answer
Lets take success first, because it is easier. We are successful at any operation, if we achieve or outperform our goals. In a way the tricky question is how do we set our goals? The lower goals we set, the easier it is to be successful. For me the real measure is how do we compare to relevant benchmarks. In business this means direct competitors and some times the "best in class".

The BPM success has no real meaning in the business. BPM is just means to make better business and to achieve the business goals. So the question is, did we use BPM methodologies to achieve the business goals rather than other approaches. The most obvious evidence to use BPM is that we have described our business as processes and set some improvement targets to those processes. Processes enable us to improve our information flow, some times material flow, eliminate waste, design more business aligned it-systems, reduce cost by automation etc.... if being successful in such actions, we may say that we have been successful in BPM.

br. Kai
A company ". . . has been successful with BPM". . .

a) if the users of whatever workflow/workload run-time environment the company is using receive orchestration from background BPM in respect of making easy, consistent use of company processes/process fragments;

b) if the users are free to make ad hoc task insertions, subject to rule sets that provide governance where the objective is to reduce/eliminate extreme, unwanted excursions away from company processes/fragments.

I don't believe we can extend the scope of BPM to "meeting goals/objectives" - as Kai correctly points out, you can be successful meeting low goals or unsuccessful, yet ahead of the competition, by setting goals that are unreasonably high.
Kay Winkler Accepted Answer
A very strong indicator for companies having successfully implemented BPMS as technology and embraced BPM as a discipline, has been for us at NSI a decreased cycle time for applying continued process improvements.
For very successful users, harvesting benefits of their BPM solutions, we have observed an average of 5 process updates per year, per process. That of course will vary per region, user type and industry.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
Boris Zinchenko Accepted Answer
There exists one clear and exact measure of BPM efficiency in a company: labor productivity. There is also no space to wonder regarding its measurement: it is precisely calculated based on the surplus value taken from company's books. Every CFO (or even an ordinary bookkeeper) routinely makes such calculations to produce balance sheets.

Labor productivity is a measure of economic performance that compares the amount of goods and services produced (output) with the number of hours worked to produce those goods and services.

Productivity of labor is sole objective and universal criteria to judge how well processes are managed in an organization. If productivity of labor improves, then BPM initiative is successful; if it falls, then process re-engineering failed.

Importantly, successful BPM as such has no direct implications to the usage of software and, specifically, BPM software. Productivity of labor is measured in terms of capital turnover, which is calculated universally for any market economy. Formulas have hardly changed over past 200 years.

No doubt, computer technologies and software considerably boosted labor productivity over past decades. BPM software, along with other software systems, played significant role in these recent improvements. So, today it is hard to imagine an efficient business not using computers.

To sum up, there is no place for vague guesses to measure an impact of BPM on a company. Calculate productivity of labor before BPM has been implemented. Then, calculate the same value when BPM implementation is finished. The difference will show how good BPM is implemented with an accuracy of up to several decimal digits.


US productivity and real wages

  1. https://www.bls.gov/lpc/
  2. http://study.com/academy/lesson/labor-productivity-definition-equation-quiz.html
  3. http://www.investinganswers.com/financial-dictionary/economics/labor-productivity-3494
  4. https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2015/march/how-should-labor-productivity-be-measured
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workforce_productivity
I have a problem in general with single measures - it seems unlikely that a complex business could be measured by one parameter.

I have a problem with "labor productivity" in specific industries -

1) Healthcare - one nurse can process 50 patients in a day, another processes only 20. The patients of the 1st nurse have a relapse rate of 30% six months after discharge, the patients of the 2nd nurse have a relapse rate of 5%.
2) Franchising - I sign up 15 franchisees in a month, you sign up 5. My franchisees are not properly screened, the brand name suffers.;
3) Innovations - I come forward with 1 innovation that sees great success, a competitor adds 10, none of which, over time, see success.
@Karl, Thank you for comment.

I still believe that it is all very well measured in reality. But measure is the money, not numbers of processed units. If a company produces down-standard or poor quality goods or services, it will either get out of market very soon or sell them at substantially lower prices. In both cases labor productivity measured in capital returns on investment will very precisely indicate results.

It is another story that each industry has specific (and substantially differing between industries) investment cycle. Productivity should be measured based on at least one full cycle finished. If this rule is observed, then it will correctly indicate overall results in terms of capital returns. Bankruptcies and capital losses due to low quality services described by you will be well evident on balances.
  1. Boris Zinchenko
  2. 2 days ago
David Chassels Accepted Answer
When users realise that they can have say in how systems will support their work and then are encouraged to give feed back on how to improve their processes. However I doubt it would be classified as BPM.....just amazement at last freedom and common sense....! But not all will welcome those who use command and control will be challenged and users with the "black book" secrets will resist passing on such knowledge.
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