Sure, SAP offers great software to support a company’s business processes. And with the development of the “Galaxy” BPM Tool, SAP will also provide a powerful solution that should bring the business and IT worlds closer together.
But how do you know that you’re getting the most out of your SAP investment? How can you ensure that, when “Galaxy” is released, you have a Business Process Management approach that can take advantage of this tool? And finally, what about all the manual processes you have that aren’t supported by an ERP system? Aren’t they important too?
As I mentioned in my initial Who’s Writing about the Management of Business Processes?, the SAP Process Office has taken on the challenge of turning SAP itself into a process-oriented company. And we want to make sure that we have a culture of continuous improvement to take advantage of things like Enterprise SOA. But we also want to improve all SAP internal processes, not just the ones supported by our own solutions.
The big question we are faced with is how to do that in an ever-changing environment and a company that’s growing at an incredible pace. Well, after a year of research, pilot projects and interviews, we’ve come up with a number of steps (what we call Building Blocks) that we believe need to be completed for any company to become truly process-oriented.
Just so everybody is clear, this sequence of blogs will not be discussingg SAP or partner solutions or how best to implement SAP software. What I will be discussing, however, is a BPM Roadmap that we developed and that we believe will pay off major dividends for SAP in the mid-term. I hope that this Roadmap will be useful for some of you BPXers out there as well!
The BPM Roadmap
Although we’ve defined about 30 Building Blocks (I’ll share those with you some other time), we’re focusing on eight critical ones right now. And these eight we’ve put into a cyclical roadmap based on our BPM Framework, the Process Management Lifecycle (PML):
The four steps are:
Design (in our case re-design) the Enterprise Process Map, assigning Process Owners and defining comprehensive Process Performance Indicators (PPIs) as well (Building Blocks: Process Map, Roles & Tasks, Process Performance Measurement)
Analyze the as-is process maturity and begin measuring the PPIs (Building Blocks: Process Maturity Plan, Corporate Process Reporting)
Prioritize processes for improvement projects (Building Blocks: Decision Making Bodies, Process Maturity Plan, Project Portfolio Management)
Drive prioritized Process Projects (BPM Methods, for example Six Sigma, the PML Methodology, etc.)
The beauty of this approach is that you can basically start with any of these steps first. For example, some companies may find it easier to start with optimization projects, requiring documented processes, assigned process owners and defined PPIs as deliverables.
In the next blogs, I’ll go into more details on what we’ve done so far in each phase of the Roadmap. But I’d love to already get some feedback on whether BPXers are also interested in this type of information related to Business Process Management. I certainly hope so, since a solid BPM approach is fundamental to implementing best practice processes and fully utilizing future SAP solutions!