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Assessing BPM Capability. Measuring the ability of individuals, processes, and the enterprise to achieve high performance . Some of the material in this presentation was drawn from the following source:

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assessing bpm capability

Assessing BPM Capability

Measuring the ability of individuals, processes, and the enterprise to achieve high performance

  • Some of the material in this presentation was drawn from the following source:
  • Hammer, M. (2007), “The Process Audit”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 85 Issue 4, pp. 111-123.
why assess bpm capability
Why assess BPM capability?
  • Work by Michael Hammer found that executives wanted to harness the power of processes, but were unsure about what exactly needed to be changed, by how much, and when
  • This resulted in hesitant decisions and confused planning, in endless debates and unproductive discussions, in unwarranted complacency and equally unwarranted despair, in errors and rework, in delays and abandoned efforts
  • People kept asking one another questions such as:
    • Did we start with the right thing?
    • How do we know we are making progress?
    • What will the organization look like when we finish?
  • Without knowing what they must concentrate on and when, executives have been unable to master the science of transforming business processes

BA 553: Business Process Management

variations of bpm assessments
Variations of BPM Assessments

Many areas can be measured with process assessments:

  • Individual employee process competency
    • used to help identify gaps in knowledge, and to select candidates for process jobs within the organization
  • Process health or maturity
    • used to measure the effectiveness of a selected process
  • Organizational process capability
    • used to measure the process capability of the enterprise as a whole

BA 553: Business Process Management

1 individual employee process competency
1. Individual Employee Process Competency

It is important to develop ways to measure individual competency for those who will occupy process roles in the organization:

  • This enables the initial selection or hiring of skilled candidates
  • It helps management make promotion decisions
  • It also assists with the identification of gaps in knowledge that need to be filled with additional training or experience

BA 553: Business Process Management

examples of individual competency measures
Examples of Individual Competency Measures

Process Modeling Competencies:

  • The ability to personally perform or facilitate a team in the following activities:
    • Documenting the "as is" processes
    • Understanding and documenting a process network
    • Developing systems diagrams showing the inputs and outputs, customers and suppliers, and enablers and constraints of the process
    • Understanding, gathering and documenting the components of a process specification:
    • Identifying and collecting process metrics (input metrics, in-process metrics, output metrics)
    • Identifying performance metrics / KPI's and show how they relate to process metrics
    • Integrating process efforts with other ongoing organizational efforts to leverage existing work and avoid suboptimization
  • In addition, the ability to train/apprentice others in process thinking and process documentation

BA 553: Business Process Management

examples of individual competency measures1
Examples of Individual Competency Measures

Process Improvement Competencies

  • All of process modeling competencies on the previous slide
  • A history of improving processes, including leading improvement teams
  • The ability to lead a process benchmarking effort
  • The ability to personally perform or facilitate a team in the following activities:
    • Brainstorming problems with "as is" processes
    • Reviewing systems diagrams to find problems with the inputs and outputs of the process
    • Identifying process problems from the process flowcharts
    • Improving processes with an understanding of the process network and the impact of changes on related processes (process dependencies)
    • Developing improvement recommendations for management based on detailed analysis including cost-benefit information
    • Conducting root cause analysis of process problems
    • Using QFD (“House of Quality”) or similar methodology to prioritize the results of the root cause analysis and determine potential improvements
  • In addition, the ability to train/apprentice others in process improvement

BA 553: Business Process Management

2 process health or maturity signs of a healthy process
2. Process Health or Maturity: Signs of a Healthy Process

1. Adoption – A process that no one uses is a process that is clearly not working. Granted, many processes don’t need to be referred to on a regular basis but adoption is about adhering to the defined business process without deviation.

2. Clarity – An ambiguous process is a potential sign that the process has not been well thought out. This will hamper productivity and the successful completion of the activity.

3. Collaboration – Healthy communication leads to a healthy process. Multiple memos may seem like a sign of an immature process, but in actuality, it shows evolution, interest, and commitment to improve.

4. Ownership Participation – Having process owners take responsibility means accepting accountability for the outcome of the process. Without that commitment, there is little assurance that the process will achieve its intended goals.

5. SME Participation – Having the right people contributing their knowledge to the process design or improvement is critical to organizational performance. Having ongoing contribution by the most experienced guarantees staying on track.

6. Best Practice Adoption –Take advantage of lessons learned by countless others.

7. Updated and Valid Metrics – A truly valuable process is one that can be measured. One could argue that a process that directly influences leading/lagging indicators defines the success of your business.

8. Continual Improvement – A process is never complete. There will always be a better way to do something. Failure to capture new ideas, changes in business, and evolving roles will lead to process that loses relevance.

Nimbus (2007), 10 Signs of a Healthy Process, internal document provided to clients.

BA 553: Business Process Management

how is process maturity measured
How is process maturity measured?
  • Many assessments exist for measuring process maturity
  • One example is Hammer’s Process and Enterprise Maturity Model (PEMM) assessment, which measures both process maturity and enterprise capability
  • Another well-known tool is the process CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration)
  • CMMI has become a well-known term even for those who aren’t involved in organizational improvement and don’t exactly know what it means

BA 553: Business Process Management

cmmi five levels
CMMI: Five Levels

BA 553: Business Process Management

the cmmi process maturity assessment
The CMMI Process Maturity Assessment



What does this mean?




BA 553: Business Process Management

moving up in cmmi levels
Moving Up in CMMI Levels
  • There is a distinction is between those who think BPM is a management philosophy (and are committed to the development of a business process architecture and the establishment of process managers) and those respondents who are more focused on improving processes, one at a time.
  • In essence, companies that conceptualize BPM as a process redesign and improvement methodology are working at CMM maturity level 2 and are generally focused on departmentally-focused process work. This is especially true of companies whose BPM efforts are led by IT groups that are focused on automating specific processes.
  • Companies that seek to move from CMM maturity level 2 to level 3 or 4 put more emphasis on integrating processes across departmental boundaries, on enterprise architectures, and on managing processes as a corporate asset.
  • Only a few companies have attained level 5, but, clearly, many companies are focused on moving to levels 3 and 4.

Harmon, Paul and Wolf, Celia (2008), The State of Business Process Management, white paper, BPMTrends.

BA 553: Business Process Management

process and enterprise maturity model assessment pemm
Process and Enterprise Maturity Model Assessment (PEMM)
  • Companies need to ensure that their business processes become more mature—in other words, that they are capable of delivering higher performance over time
  • To make that happen, companies must develop two kinds of characteristics:
    • process enablers, which pertain to individual processes, and
    • enterprise capabilities, which apply to entire organizations
  • Companies can use their evaluations of the enablers and capabilities, in tandem, to plan and assess the progress of process-based transformations

BA 553: Business Process Management

pemm assessment areas
PEMM Assessment Areas

There are five process enablers…

  • Design: The comprehensiveness of the specification of how the process is to be executed.
  • Performers: The people who execute the process, particularly in terms of their skills and knowledge.
  • Owner: A senior executive who has responsibility for the process and its results.
  • Infrastructure: Information and management systems that support the process.
  • Metrics: The measures the company uses to track the process’s performance.

…and four enterprise capabilities

  • Leadership: Senior executives who support the creation of processes.
  • Culture: The values of customer focus, teamwork, personal accountability, and a willingness to change.
  • Expertise: Skills in, and methodology for, process redesign.
  • Governance: Mechanisms for managing complex projects and change initiatives.

BA 553: Business Process Management

3 organizational process capability
3. Organizational Process Capability
  • An example of enterprise process capability assessment was just shown from Hammer’s Process Audit
  • My company has also developed an enterprise assessment, which is based on the tools and techniques of process modeling and improvement taught in BA 563, and of process management taught in this class
  • The categories measured in this assessment include:
    • Process definition capability
    • Process improvement capability
    • Process management capability

BA 553: Business Process Management

olc s process definition assessment areas
OLC’s Process Definition Assessment Areas

Process Definition Assessment Areas

  • Establishing Process Scope/Objectives and Process Requirements
  • Preparing Systems Diagrams
  • Developing Flowcharts
  • Preparing Activity Tables
  • Assigning Process Management/Improvement Roles and Responsibilities

Process Improvement Assessment Areas

  • Establishing and Utilizing Process Measures
  • Identifying and Prioritizing Process Problems
  • Performing Root-Cause Analysis of Process Problems
  • Identifying and Prioritizing Possible Process Improvements
  • Implementing Process Improvements

Process Management Assessment Areas

  • Establishing the Organization’s Process Framework
  • Linking Process Measures to Organizational Performance Measures
  • Monitoring the Network of Processes
  • Aligning Improvements with the Organization’s Strategy
  • Improving the Organization’s Process Network

BA 553: Business Process Management

all work is a process
All Work is a Process
  • As mentioned previously in this course, everything we do is part of a process, and can be documented as such
  • The same is true of designing a process, improving a process, or assessing process capability
  • All of these activities have the steps of P2DCA:
    • Purpose
    • Plan
    • Do
    • Check
    • Act

BA 553: Business Process Management

planning the approach to assessment
Planning the Approach to Assessment
  • Whatever tool or model you choose to use (or combination thereof), you will need to develop a plan for the assessment
  • This activity includes:
    • identifying the requirements for the assessment before developing the plan
    • developing the assessment plan
    • selecting the team and preparing for the assessment
    • collecting and analyzing information
    • reporting the results of the assessment
    • planning for next steps based upon assessment results
    • documenting and closing out the process, and noting

lessons learned, as input to continuous improvement

P2DCA Step




Check, Act

BA 553: Business Process Management

steps in conducting assessment example
Steps in Conducting Assessment: Example

SEI (2011), Standard CMMI Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI), downloaded from

BA 553: Business Process Management