The chapter seeks to advance the practice perspective of VLITP by drawing attention to individual, collective sub-teams and host organizational sense making. It reveals some of the inner workings of VLITP implementation strategies in practice today and attempts to form the theoretical bases for examining a case for BPM in VLITP implementation situations. The chapter looks at various BPM concepts including BPM practices in project management, since the mid 1990’s, though originating from the early 1920s. It introduces three waves of BPM throughout the years before providing a comprehensive definition of BPM in the VLITP situation.
Business Process Management
BPM involves the holistic approach of all systematic attempts to control and improve the implementation of a business process. This is why BPM encompasses optimization of individual activities, optimization of process flow, process change management, and change management for the organizational culture. The IT industry has developed BPM software that is based on the business improvement life cycle. This cycle shows the organizational desire to constantly improve the implementation of the business process. BPM software should in theory enable analysts to model, simulate, deploy, execute, measure the performance, and analyze new process implementations. However this is currently not possible, because the BPM software is not able to change the process flow, which is embedded in the applications. Another problem is that the current modeling environments are too technical for the business process analysts.
BPM is the philosophy of how business processes should be managed. This management is frequently misinterpreted as the streamline of delivering a document to the appropriate recipient (Keen, 2004). Pritchard and Armistead conclude from a series of interviews that managers see BPM as a holistic approach for process performance in the long run including process commitment (Pritchard and Armistead, 1999).
As mentioned earlier there currently is much discussion about the definition of BPM. Lee and Dale (1998) present a good overview of this subject, though it does not encompass recent changes to process thinking. Their definition for BPM is: “a customer-focused approach to the systematic management, measurement and improvement of all company processes through cross-functional teamwork and employee empowerment”. Our objections to this definition are that terms like cross-functional teamwork and employee empowerment refer to an approach to BPM. We would like to have a general definition that also fits other approaches.