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SAP’s BPM Approach: The Building Blocks of BPM Transformation – Part 2

After my SAP’s BPM Approach: The Building Blocks of BPM Transformation – Part 1 I now want to continue the discussion about the areas and elements (“Building Blocks”) we’ll have to consider and change to really start moving a company towards process oriented operations.


I don’t want to discuss the prerequisites you need to be successful with BPM. This is another interesting and important discussion. For the following let us assume that these prerequisites of BPM (for example a clear board mandate and sponsorship for BPM) already exist.


But I want to discuss here which concrete parts or essential elements we’ll have to work on to initiate and promote this transformation for the whole company.


You often find many BPM activities within a company. This is very positive. But the negative aspect is that they often do not contribute to the big picture and have a low impact on an enterprise level.


Therefore it is important to start with a big picture. You first of all should have transparency on the “building blocks” and how they might be interconnected with each other. This is a good starting point to ensure that all activities and measures will clearly contribute to one general BPM vision of the company.


For SAP we distinguished four main areas or clusters of BPM-Building Blocks. These are

  • Processes
  • People
  • Structure and
  • Technology.

The four clusters correspond with the Business Process E(lf )xpert, our BPM Methodology at SAP (see also Details on New Process Management Lifecycle (PML)). Next to processes it examines the organizational structures in which the processes are embedded, the skills and know-how of the people that execute them and the technology that supports and enables business processes.


 These clusters are tightly interconnected with each other and we believe they should develop in a coordinated and gradual manner. If for example the BPM-maturity level of the processes and people is high, but the relevant structure or technology is far behind, this will result in a poor overall BPM maturity of the company. In other words: we think that the overall BPM maturity is always limited by those areas and building blocks that represent the bottleneck(s).  



As you can see in the above figure, the four clusters include around 30 Building Blocks and we think that these are the essential elements that have to evolve in a coordinated and gradual way to enable increasing maturity levels and benefits of BPM across functional units on an enterprise level. They are the raw material that has to be used, changed and composed to move a company forward towards higher levels of process maturity. 


In the next part of this series I want to discuss and explain some details of these “Building Blocks” and what needs to be changed to increase their process maturity.

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  • Hi,
    A good attempt indeed.
    In the “Process”area,you may think of adding the “data governance”.
    For an effective BPM a good Info_system is a must.
    It is the culmination of People,Infrastructure and technology that converts the data in to meaningful information for a viable BPM;data governance plays a significant role in terms of availability,integrity and confidentiality.
    • Hi Ramesh,

      thank you for this additional and important answer. I think this could be something which had to be ensured within the Building Block “BPM Tool Landscape” as this is the Software Architecture where all BPM related Data should be available, including measured Process Performance Data. The Tool Landscape should also include tools to publish the processes and related informations (again including Process Performance Data).

      Or should it be a seperate Building Block “BPM Data Admin and Governance”? What would you recommend?