Business Process Portfolio Management: A Strategic Alignment Perspective

Business Process Portfolio Management: A Strategic Alignment Perspective

Shawn Clark (College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Brian Cameron (College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0249-6.ch002
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Business process portfolio management is an emerging field of research and practice, opening the door to new and ever more exciting process-oriented modes of management, tracking, planning, and knowledge management. This paper focuses on the strategic alignment of strategic, social, processual, and technical factors as enablers of business process portfolio development and management, and highlights the linkages associated with the alignment and integration of these factors. The authors also pose a combination of key questions and decision criteria that may be taken into account when planning and structuring business process portfolio initiatives.
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2. Overview Of Business Process Portfolio Management

A coordinated, interdependent system of business processes constitutes the real performance engine of an organization. Business processes represent logical extensions of corporate strategy and, in fact, usually serve as the basis for distinctive competencies within the firm (Porter, 1996; Quiescenti, Bruccoleri, La Commare, Noto La Diega, & Perrone, 2006). Hundreds, if not thousands of process-based activities are required to develop, produce, market, sell, deliver, and maintain products and services. All in all, the essence of corporate strategy rests on the basic and unique combination of activities the firm chooses to perform.

Individual business processes are designed to generate valued outcomes in the form of products, services, information, financial results, or outputs that serve as inputs to subsequent processes. In general, business performance may be tied directly to business process design and functionality, accounting for the endless, frequently aggressive push for continuous process improvement and automation. However, we argue that the full potential of business process management cannot be realized without raising managerial attention to a higher level of analysis accompanied by a higher order of awareness, that is, to focus on and address the ecosystem and architecture of processes within a firm. Process management, per se, promotes cross-functional, systems thinking and systems thinking, in turn tends to focus on the whole, not on just the parts, of a complex system.

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