When talking about BPM most people focus on two things: systems and people. Systems are needed, because we want to automate processes and systems provide the services we can orchestrate. People? That’s easy: we make UIs and the people can then interact with the processes. But what do these people need to do their work? Most important here is knowledge. What knowledge is needed by which participant in which process step? How can this be decided? How can this be managed? This is where BPM (business process management) meats KPM (knowledge process management).
KPM can be seen as a subset of BPM. It focuses on how knowledge processes can be managed. What is a knowledge process? It describes the flow of knowledge, the knowledge activities and the related organizational roles. It is linked to business processes.
I strongly believe that a business process cannot be executed efficiently if the related knowledge processes are not running smoothly.
How can then these knowledge processes be identified, modeled and managed? By managing I mean how to support them with tooling, think of a document repository, portal, etc. and how to improve organizational aspects. I believe that the B-KIDE framework and tool developed by Prof. Strohmaier (2005) gives the best answer. It starts from the business processes, helps to identify the knowledge processes, from that create a knowledge infrastructure design and from that implement the knowledge infrastructure.
The B-KIDE framework links the business processes to the four knowledge processes: knowledge generation, knowledge storing, knowledge transfer and knowledge application.
The main benefits:
- Knowledge can be managed in a more targeted way. (See examples in the blog “Process Oriented Knowledge Management”)
- Knowledge can be interpreted in the context of the business process.
- The standard BPM methodologies can be used for knowledge processes too. E.g. some knowledge processes can be modeled in BPMN. (See more in blog “How to apply BPM to KM – an example using BPMN and Aris Express”)
- KM systems can be aligned to business processes.
In my next blog I will explain the B-KIDE framework in more detail and how the above benefits can be realized.