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Hany Atchan Ph.D., PMP. Cultural Considerations for BPM and other Methodologies. November 29 th , 2011. What is Culture.

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Hany Atchan

Ph.D., PMP

Cultural Considerationsfor BPM and other Methodologies

November 29th, 2011

Cultural Considerations for BPM

what is culture
What is Culture
  • Organizational culture is “the pattern of shared basic assumptions - invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration - that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems”.
    • Schein, E. (1985). Organizational Culture and Leadership. San Francisco, CA, Jossey Bass.
  • It is the set of values, symbols, interpretations, beliefs, and perspectives that distinguish one group of people from another in modernized societies; it is not material objects and other tangible aspects of human societies.

Cultural Considerations for BPM


What is Culture


Values, perspectives, beliefs, and symbols


Thinking/behavioral patterns & strategies


Formed by responding and adapting


They worked and are considered valid


Taught & reinforced

Cultural Considerations for BPM


How Do CulturesForm?

  • Uniqueness
  • Learning
  • Unlearning
  • Re-learning
  • Folklore and history
  • Founders impact
  • Differences among cultures
  • Macro vs. Micro cultures

Cultural Considerations for BPM


What Motivates People

Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow,

d. 1970


Geert Hofstede’s 5-D Cultural Model

Cultural Considerations for BPM


Geert Hofstede’s 5-D Cultural Model

Group cohesiveness, in-group membership, and unquestioning loyalty in exchange for protection.

Cultural Considerations for BPM


Geert Hofstede’s 5-D Cultural Model

Accept inequality (from below) in power distribution; Acceptance of inequality translates into desire for control in one’s personal life

Cultural Considerations for BPM


Geert Hofstede’s 5-D Cultural Model

Feminine cultures tend to be more submissive. Masculine cultures are assertive and driven.

Cultural Considerations for BPM


Geert Hofstede’s 5-D Cultural Model

Degree of comfort in unstructured situations. Risk-averse, does not accept change, and thrives on repeatability.

Cultural Considerations for BPM


Geert Hofstede’s 5-D Cultural Model

Respect for truth and perseverance vs. tradition, social obligation, and “face-saving”. (China, Taiwan, & Japan have largest LT score)

Cultural Considerations for BPM


Comparing Macro Cultures

Cultural Considerations for BPM

characteristics of cultural groups
Characteristicsof Cultural Groups
  • Motivated by external forces
  • Believes in collective effort
  • Disciplined in following Central C&C as long as perception of fairness
  • Democracy works for a time
  • BPM-like methodologies most effective
  • Unquestioned obedience to Central C&C
  • Pride in group achievement
  • Democracy is wrong


  • Very few standards and guidelines are acceptable
  • High Cohesiveness/Social influence
  • Democracy may be used to control them but very risky!
  • Willing to live with inconsistencies
  • Fairness is relative
  • Very sensitive to distance from power
  • Democracy is a must!




Cultural Considerations for BPM

what is bpm
What is BPM?
  • A process of managing your business processes
  • A management discipline.
  • A technology or set of technologies
  • A rapid application development framework
  • BPM vs. BPI vs. BAP

It Depends whom you ask!

Cultural Considerations for BPM

what is bpm1
What isBPM?

Cultural Considerations for BPM

what is bpm2
What is BPM?

ABPMP: An ongoing organizational commitment to meeting the organization’s performance goals by managing its processes. It involves a continuous, feedback loop to ensure the organization’s business processes are aligned to its strategy and performing to expectations.

Cultural Considerations for BPM

business process management
Business Process Management
  • Communication
  • Sequencing
  • Repeatability/Consistency
  • Enabling Change& Transformation
  • BPM is primarily “sold” as a catalyst for Organizational Improvements, with the specific goals of increasing efficiency and profitability.

Main Purposes

Cultural Considerations for BPM

discrete task definition background and assumptions
Discrete Task DefinitionBackground and Assumptions
  • Scientific management
  • Efficiency movement (Fredrick Taylor, d. 1915)
  • Automation of tasks
  • Cultural Assumptions
    • Ability to select from a large pool of workers
    • Trainable workforce
    • Availability of HR remedies
    • Workers are not motivated by internal factors and therefore management needs to use external motivators (the carrot & the Stick)

Cultural Considerations for BPM

the big gap
The Big Gap!

It’s amazing that methodologies like BPM work at all!

Cultural Considerations for BPM

how to plant
How to Plant

Cultural Considerations for BPM



No Methodology is culture-neutral!

Know your culture or your methodology will be stuck in neutral!

Cultural Considerations for BPM

thank you

Cell 05-30-24 24 20

Cultural Considerations for BPM