Following up on my last SAP’s Business Process Management Approach, I now want to provide more details on the first phase (step) of the BPM approach that we worked on. One of the major tasks that we completed last year was developing a true enterprise process landscape for SAP. The reason we focused so much effort on this is because we believe that you can only get a transparent view of your business processes across the company and different business units with a global, uniform enterprise landscape.
But, why do I call it a “true” enterprise process landscape? Because what we created no longer represents departments or functions (for example, “Sales and Marketing”) but the actions that take place in the company (for example, “Market and Sell Products and Services”). There are a number of challenges that we faced, some of which we still have not completely overcome. Two of the main issues are:
- Many of our business units believe that they have unique processes that cannot fit into an overall, company-wide process landscape
- Many employees and managers confuse their departments or functions with processes
To resolve the first issue, we based our SAP Process Map on the APQC Process Classification Framework. The more general terminology used allowed us to create the first two levels (what we call the Process Scenarios and Processes) on a global basis, with each business unit linking their process documentation (what we call Sub-processes down to Activities) on the lower levels. This allows us to have process variants that still fit into one complete process landscape. This also makes it easier for us to identify Business Process Owners, having global ones on the top two levels and operational ones on the levels that follow.
Below are the first two levels of our SAP Process Map, categorized in the Process Types Strategy, Core Processes and Corporate Services:
The second issue is something that we’re still working on. Right now, we’re encouraging the business units to think of their processes in terms of a verb and noun, but we accept most of the descriptions provided. We believe that over time, however, we will get more and more consistency across the board.