Business Process Management

Business Process Management

Neeta Baporikar (HP-GSB, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPMAT.2016070104


In today's business environment it is impossible for one or one group of people to fully know or understand all the dynamics associated with the operational business processes within an organization. This is why it is essential that companies map, monitor, analyze and collaborate on process knowledge and management improvement. It is here that organizations are looking towards Business Process Management (BPM), which would help to maximize the bottom-line impact of process improvement efforts through effective communication. It supports all elements of business processes - from modeling and documentation, communicating, measurement and analysis, to continuous process management and improvement. BPM is the orchestration of various business systems into identifiable and controllable systems. This paper through in depth literature review and keen observation attempts to look at what BPM means, what it includes and how it would be strategically advantageous if the organizations adopt it.
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Literature Review

Competition in many industries has been based mainly upon strategic assets and on the ability to deploy these assets (Baporikar, 2012). Competition in today’s global economy is now based upon capabilities, or “complex bundles of skills and accumulated knowledge, exercised through organizational processes” (Day, 1994). Owing to this new capabilities business approach, many firms are now viewing processes as strategic assets. With this perspective, organizations are no longer viewed as a collection of functional areas, but instead as a combination of highly integrated processes (Buxbaum, 1995; Hammer & Champy, 1993; Hammer, 1996, 1999). Additionally, processes are now viewed as assets requiring investment and development as they mature. Thus, the concept of process maturity is becoming increasingly important as firms adopt a process view of the organization. Since the 1980s, a plethora of maturity models have emerged that claim to guide an organization through the processes leading to competitive advantage. Road maps and step-by-step recipes are being offered that claim to describe the order of implementation to achieve success.

Processes are considered ‘a generic factor in all organisations. They are the way things get done’ (Armistead et al., 1999). Processes are also viewed as ‘strategic assets’, which require companies to ‘take a business process orientation’ (McCormack & Johnson, 2001). Process is not simply the management fad of re-engineering, but rather a more pervasive issue requiring serious attention. ‘Process thinking has become mainstream’ (Grover et al., 2000). BPM in this context considers process as both a business imperative and a means of understanding and explaining business activities similar to the manner in which customer requirements are transformed into actual goods and services.

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