1. Peter Schooff
  2. Sherlock Holmes
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As business strategy essentially defines a company's strategy for success, what is the key to keeping business processes in line with business strategy?

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To start with you need to have a clear and believable strategy. This has to be well communicated and you need realistic measures to help show people how teams are performing against that strategy. Hire the right people and use the right technology and the processes should follow.
Co-founder of Skore
  1. more than a month ago
  2. BPM Discussions
  3. # 1
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Keep your organization small (or more small autonomous teams) and only have 2 levels: the owner (spending his/her money) and the executors of processes (spending their time). And with all the fancy BPM tools promoted here, executors don't need managers anymore, they can do it all theirselves.

Sure Emiel, you've been drinking Absinth again?

No not today, but the more levels, the more staff hobbies, the more the purpose of "what we do here" gets lost in translation and politics.

Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
Did not see that many small companies that had an other strategy than surviving.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 2
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"Keeping" implies they start that way. And, "bpm.com" implies automation. So, my answer, to augment all the ones to come on bpm methodologies, is to focus on implementing business policies as decisions. We know that when you model the decisions first, the processes are much simplier, change much less often and are easier to understand. Changing business strategy most frequently affects the policies first. Even in our storm of digital transformation, it's not the business process that is changing, the endpoints and digital content are increasing. As well, analytics and cognitive capabilities improve those decision points keeping the process clean and simple. To keep processes in line with business strategy, model & automate the decisions first.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 3
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Elementary – make explicit the relationship between your strategy and your business processes. How to build such a relationship? You may use [ref1]. An algorithm:

- from the mission derive the capabilities

- from the vision understand which capabilities are implemented in-house (as functions), which capabilities are outsourced via B2B and which capabilities are sourced from the market (i.e. commodities)

- from functions understand which of them are critical for your success, e.g. all the functions with B2C

- from those critical functions derive your business processes (machine-executable, of course)

- from those machine-executable business processes build (automagically) process-centric applications

- from the performance aspects of the vision derive necessary resources for those process-centric applications

- from all about derive you projects and  the road-map





  1. http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/enterprise-architecture-entarch-as.html
And if meanwhile your strategy has to be adapted to some emergent market trends and technology then re-start this sequence. I would recommend to run a health-check of the strategy and its execution each 3-6 month (as a detailed planning horizon.)
Precisely . . . corporations that used to check their strategies every 5 years found that they had to do it every 18-24 months. The "health-check" needs to be a lot more than staring at dashboards that may be tracking KPIs that are no longer relevant.

For this reason, I advocate free-form Kbases that host strategy development, facilitate ranking initiatives/prioritizing initiatives, followed by allocation of funds. (strategy -> operations).

Then for operations -> strategy, data mining/data consolidation updates KPIs/dashboards and the 'secret sauce' becomes the ability for top management to challenge their KPI's via connect-the-dots exercises.

e.g. A corporate sets an objective to grow by 15%, after 12 months the trending number is 17% so the temptation is to say, 'good'.

Except that the competitor has grown by 22% over the same timeframe, so maybe "not so good".

If the corporation is not tracking external and internal activity, it would never know what the competition is going and would merrily continue thinking they are doing well.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
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An enterprise is defined as a fence around a value chain; that is
[u]corporate identity[/u]
. Corporate identity is "
[u]who you are[/u]
", and those who know who they are
[u]get better and better at it[/u]
. Those who don't hew to identity are condemned to
[u]opportunism [/u]
-- which today is often branded with the seemingly attractive attributes of being adaptive and agile.

So what has this to do with process? The clue is "
[u]getting better and better at it[/u]

[b]Process is the work of the value chain. Process is the living breathing reality of your identity.[/b]

At this point we realize that maybe we can
[u]reverse today's question[/u]
. Not only "
[i]how do we ensure our processes are aligned with our strategy[/i]
", but also, "
[i]how does our strategy serve our processes[/i]

[b][url=http://www.strategy-business.com/article/cs00008]You Can’t Build a Winning Strategy If You Don’t Know Who You Are[/url][/b]

by [url=http://www.strategy-business.com/author?author=Ken+Favaro]Ken Favaro[/url] with 
[i]Paul Leinwand and Nadia Kubis[/i]

strategy+business, June 10, 2013

[i]“In fact, the questions of where to grow, how to acquire, and what should be in the portfolio are mere tactics in the context of more existential questions: Who are we? What are we better at than any other company? [quote][u]How do we create value for our customers and shareholders[/u]
? [/i][/quote]
[i]If you don’t start here, your growth, M&A, and portfolio decisions will add up to [quote][u]nothing more than a random walk through the countryside[/u]
. Sooner or later you’ll lose your [/i][/quote]
[i], and then your way. In other words, you can’t build a winning [/i]
[i]strategy [/i]
[i]if you don’t know who you are.”[/i]

Clearly there are strategies and there are strategies and sometimes an enterprise may need to specify new processes in response to fundamental changes. The model here is
(let's not say "dialectical")
[u]between strategy and process[/u]
, built around a core identity.

  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
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Actually I believe it is about stopping using age old paradigms (command and control structures, yes, that includes current reporting structures) that worked very well during the Industrial Revolution, but hopelessly come short when you want to anticipate current (digital) change. In other words it is not any more about getting your processes right in order to execute your strategy; it is about understanding organisational capacity in order to create value. Obviously insight and control of the how does help here. So keep mapping. Or mining. But always in context.

  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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[b]Process understanding[/b]

Assuming the strategy exists and it’s clear for everyone, the most important thing is that processes are clear enough to be understood by everyone. By everyone I mean everyone, at every level. Once processes are understood, it is easier to keep them aligned with strategy.

But the most common case is that they are not clearly defined (maybe they are just in people heads), or they are coded (in an ERP for example), or they are correctly modeled but not distributed. Final result: people don’t understand the processes that sustain the business, so they simple can’t figure out if they are or not aligned with strategy.
CEO at Flokzu Cloud BPM Suite
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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Strategy is the big picture vision with desired outcomes where as tactical implementation has to address the nuts and bolts of how to deliver and here sits the importance of people and process that when all joined up delivers on the strategy. It is inevitable that delivery plans will be under constant review and thus change needs to be readily supported. Real-time feed back / reporting will both aid better decision making and encourage empowerment of workers to feel they are contributing to the bigger vision. Recognising these basics with supporting software will ensure business processes will be aligned with the business strategy.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

Strategies are defined to achieve corporate objectives (i.e. sustain/improve competitive advantage)

They are usually implemented as initiatives by way of annual budget authorizations/ROIs or, if some interesting/urgent opportunity or need arises, via ad hoc ROIs.

Operations staff set up Projects for once-through initiatives.

In respect of other initiatives, Cases are a resonable choice as they are able to accommodate top-down governance as well as receive orchestration from background BPM process fragments.

Keeping processes (best practice protocols) aligned with strategy, for me, simplifies down to

1. Don't launch projects or cases that are not directly or indirectly supportive of strategy.

2. When strategy changes, make appropriate changes to running projects/cases (i.e. close down bureaucracies in charge of parks/monuments that no longer exist).

3. Practical advice for deciding which processes to spend improvement money on involves inventorying all processes according to their ability/importance to contribute to projects/cases -> contribute to strategy -> contribute to objectives.

4. Processes that no longer contribute to ongoing initiatives or planned future initiatives should be archived.

The organization should encourage consistent use of best practices without imposing (to reduce rigidity), hence the recommentation that work be planned, monitored and controlled in Adaptive Case Management run-time environments.

Governance is not 'big brother' - it's just a means of preventing extreme, unwanted excursions away from best practices.

As staff is, in most organizations, presumed to be on board and engaged - it's unlikely they will purposefully go from consistent use of best practices to consistent use of worst practices, but we cannot count on them to know about internal policy detail and all external rules/regulations and pending legislation.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 9
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Great answers! I'll stay simple.

[b]Visibility into the process with real-time metrics.[/b]

It goes back to one of my favorite sayings "Winners keep score."

  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
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Rather than fight the group discussion, I thought I'd join it "blah blah blah... automation...blah blah blah... executable model... blah blah blah"

  1. John Morris
  2. 3 years ago
  3. #2544
I always emphasize that process automation necessarily involves "repetition" . . . on the other hand, a data-oriented analysis would highlight the presence here of un-normalized repeating groups . . .
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 11
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For mid to large size enterprises, the following post on BP Trends seems to best answer this question.

Both Shiva Nadarajah and Atul Sapkal have done great job explaining business capabilities. What I am missing from their post though is the explanation of which part of the organization could/should be accountable for the oversight and management of business capabilities. In some companies BPM COEs jointly with EA/BA teams could play this role. I am sure the answer varies from company to company depending on the level of sponsorship and maturity of BPM programs.
  1. http://www.bptrends.com/the-business-capability-map-a-critical-yet-often-misunderstood-concept-when-moving-from-program-strategy-to-implementation/
Fairly easy to explain "which part of the organization could/should be accountable for the oversight and management of business capabilities."

From the article . . .

"During the early inception phases—amidst aggressive timelines, pressure to produce estimates, budget constraints and other challenges—project teams tend to jump into execution without truly comprehending the overarching business strategy."


Annual budget exercises and ad hoc ROI submissions are controlling mechanisms that can prevent "jump into execution".


"For a multiyear initiative, the business case may be revisited every year only to find that costs keep increasing and that the initiative fails to achieve its desired value either due to delays, higher costs or lost business opportunities, which can have a real impact on a company's short-term and long-term profitability. "


If there are no procedures in place to periodically monitor initiatives, the result should not be unexpected.

More on this in my post above.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 12
Scott Francis
Blog Writer
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

Judging by what most IT departments do:

Outsource the work offshore to people you don't know and have never met and who don't work in or for your business and don't know anything about the business strategy (nor care).

Of course, the right thing to do is keep it close. and work with people who care, and who understand your business strategy because they care about your business (either culturally or literally by having their job there).

Within most large corporations, the only people who understand the business strategy are the business strategists and top management.

Operations make budget requests and submit ROI requests to compete for scarce resources but there will always be a top management override.

Up to recently, top management has relied on staring at "executive dashboards" to "steer the ship".

Consultants spend time worrying about whether the KPIs that are the focus of such attention are the right ones.

With free-form search knowledgebases, management is slowing acquiring the ability to challenge their KPIs but given the option of playing a few rounds of golf versus attending a session on how to set strategies and dynamically monitor KPI performance, you can guess where most of the attention goes.

The good news is the technology stands ready to be put to good use.

See 3D Strategic Planning – What you need to know about it

It depends, as usual. The scope of IT offshoring may be different: the whole application architecture, an application, for just a microservice. If you have a good dev. guide then microrservices can be developed "very far" and if you have a very good solution architecture guide then even applications can be developed somewhere else.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 years ago
  3. #2560
Walter, you are describing "black box"-style of management (I like the golf course reference). This is fine I guess when economics are stable and the majority of spend in any economy is on commodities -- although a good argument can be made that many organizations were performing sub-optimally. However, in this new unstable world in which we find ourselves, sub-optimal and black-box means huge risk. It's my view that some executive cadres are beginning to want to open up the black box, to look inside -- and to take responsibility. This can be very enjoyable, more enjoyable than enforced camaraderie on the golf course, for those executives who came up through the ranks.

Oh -- and what's inside the black box? Business processes. Business rules. Algorithms. Work. Automation. Skills. Motivation. Pride. Customer service. And business process again, because business process is the backbone.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
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I launched the 'New Science of Business Transformation' last week to over 70 Global Process Owners where we challanhged and changed the traditional approach to process project success or failure. The result was fantastic and I am sure has changed their view on how to actually bond the strategy and processes together (actually process dictates the strategy).

They key problem here is that the outcome all goes wrong at the 'Strategy' stage and as the 'vision' goes into the organisation it gets filtered down and distorted as it enters weak and failing change management. This is compounded when the traditional organisation performance model has 'culture' as an output. No business can be 'changed' by having culture as an outcome as it is only a set of core values. The absolute key component to Roc's 'New Science of Business Transformation' model is putting the customer at the core of the business strategy and every external and internal factor is aligend to that need. By doing this organisations no longer need to be reactive to business events that create their environment. By having a customer only focused strategy that drives a customer centric business process architecture organisations can be truly competitive, irradicate technoogy waste, take control of of their own business and fundamentaly improve business results through behavourial change.

As Ian G intimates automation does not change the behaviour of a business. Executable models are only relevant if your customer experiance and satisfaction KPI's require it. The longer we remain fixated on the technology part of the problem the longer we will take to fix the actual business problem and the quicker customers will move to brands and businesses that 'really' put them first.

RE "automation does not change the behaviour of a business. " - Hmm, I am sure that driverless car (i.e. automation) will change behaviors of any people and cites.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 years ago
  3. #2549
@Alex, as the goal from any car is to get from A to B, I don't understand how it changes behaviour. It might change routines/actions, but to me that's not the same as behaviour.

Can you explain?
A person will not need to buy a car and must do a bit "better" planning (automation will help, something). No garages which are eating my land. Traffic jumps, hope, will gone. More work can be done instead of just driving. Thus a person will be liberating his/her time for better things.

Effect of cities is estimated as about 1/5 of the current traffic.

The result of proper automation leads to less stress, higher performance, higher security, less risk, higher predictability of results, better operations, and liberating business potential.
Other benefits:
• Staff members can concentrate on the unique challenges of their business and not waste time re-inventing the wheel.
• Armed with actionable patterns, different staff members will employ similar services to implement similar enterprise capabilities thus increasing the re-usability of these services.
• Routine activities will be gradually eliminated thus increasing the time for added-value contributions.
• Modern technologies will be employing in a coordinated and transparent way to streamline evolution and reduce overlapping and omissions.
  1. Emiel Kelly
  2. 3 years ago
  3. #2552
Maybe I am too strict in what I see as behaviour, but to me it's more how you treat others and the world. But I know in business it's also seen as how customers behave on your actions.

But ok, I can imagine that "non value adding" activities can be decreased by automation, but one thing I wonder; what remains; does that add value?

And that is of course a larger discussion. Do we need banks, doe we need insurance, do we need web shops, do we need hotel booking sites, do we need facebook, do we need self driving cars?

Of course we don't. We need some food, a shelter and a little love from our family and friends.

The rest is just artificial added value. Glad that will be automated.

So, what I miss most of the time in process discussions is the real why? of processes.

Sorry. Having a "Added Value is an overrated word" day ;-)
@Emiel, Automation is not ONLY about decreasing “non value adding” activities. It is also a way to
1) increasing enterprise-add-value by doing more intellectual (potentially added-value) work, etc.
2) increasing customer value as low price – obvious
3) increasing customer value as receiving what is desired – better customisation (thanks for your architecture and automation of routine work)
4) increasing customer value as receiving quality for what is paid - obvious

Do you want more examples?
Re: "automation does not change the behaviour of a business. "

How about a software company that transitions from writing programs to writing programs that write programs.?

In this example, behavior changes from labor intensive to putting more focus on architecture with an opportunity (not always embraced) to:

a) consolidate several product development teams into one team.
b) market generic products as opposed to marketing industry/application specific products
we may believe that technology is only about doing the same stuff faster (i.e. not changing behaviour), but there's so many examples to the contrary, starting with the way we collective consume content (read, listen, view) and ending with deep transformations of job contents in the enterprise.

it may sound counterintuitive, but the medium does morph the content.

Reference: "The Shallows" by Nicholas Carr.
RE "it may sound counterintuitive, but the medium does morph the content. " - not at all! Some modern documents are not very understandable after being printed on paper.
Good example is a video recording - print out screenshots and insert text instead of voice, much of the power of the video is lost.
  1. John Morris
  2. 3 years ago
  3. #2562
Peter Drucker said "Who is our customer" is one of the five important questions of business. I imagine are large portion of business people are working hard to figure out how to make customers happy. But unless we take responsibility for what's inside the "black box" of management, wanting to make customers happy only results in magical thinking. "Just do it". "Make it so".

"Executable models" is just a techy way of saying that we have the ability to translate better customer services into real day-to-day business practices. It's not an "either/or" (either customer services or executable models), it's a "both/and" (both customer services and executable models).

The winning organizations and winning executives of tomorrow will be the ones who get beyond financial engineering and take responsibility for what's inside the black box of the work of their organizations.
@John agree.

With companies coming in/out of markets, the most important customers a corporation may have are the ones the corporation has not yet identified.

I am not a fan of RBV because there it has not, up to recently, been possible to identify technology/methods to make practical use of it, but the article below toys with the idea of dusting it off and revisiting the concepts.

Theories of the Firm – Expanding RBV using 3D free-form search Kbases


RBV probably needs a re-name as probably is tired/worn out.
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  3. # 14
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Start working with an Operating Model to connect your strategy and execution.
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  3. # 15
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