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Several SAP customers in the Netherlands were invited to participate in a workshop of 2 hours with 16 questions. Every question represented a BPM topic of the SAP BPM framework.



Every question created awareness of the use of the BPM within the business departments and the use of BPM within the SAP Competence centre. The results of every workshop was captured in a 4*4 SAP BPM matrix in which the issues were detailed why this customer was not completely utilizing BPM or SAP BPM.


The results of SAP BPM check at SAP customers

The main results of the SAP BPM check were the following:

  1. Business improvement initiatives are initiated from the business units with limited use of SAP BPM tooling and support of the SAP CC.
  2. The communication and understanding of strategic business objectives within the SAP CC and the SAP functional process experts should be improved.
  3. The autonomy of the SAP competence center is changing and the influence of the business on the priorities within the SAP CC is growing.
  4. The need for business agility is clear within the SAP CC but the solution is found in outsourcing and optimizing current way of working and not in applying BPM.
  5. The understanding of holistic BPM is low within the SAP management team and there is a limited need to develop a SAP BPM strategy.
  6. The sense of BPM urgency within the SAP CC is relatively low, while the SAP products, SAP methodologies and services (e.g. SAAS) are changing rapidly.
  7. The SAP CC has its own set of business processes and is not ready to integrate the validated standard E2E business processes within their SAP regression tests.
  8. The SAP consultants and SAP experts are used to the traditional way of doing SAP projects and have difficulties to adapt to the new way of thinking & working.
  9. The BPM(S) developments and the new ASAP 7.0 implementation methodology are not adapted by the SAP CC and are limited applied within SAP projects.
  10. There is no general accepted SAP BPM roadmap with an associated ROI that is used by the SAP managers to improve the support of the business units.


The main conclusions of the SAP  BPM check

The most important observation was the limited alignment between the business units and the SAP competence centre. The operational excellence projects (e.g. GRC and Business Process Performance optimalization) are mostly executed independently from the ERP / ICT projects.  


The awareness of the SAP CC manager that the benefits of BPM grow when the BPM deliverables are reapplied within more projects is growing, but the sense of urgency is still not big enough to replace the projects within their project portfolio.


Topics to be discussed during the BPM focus group meetings in 2011

Based on the results of the BPM check the following topics will have the more attention within the SAP BPM focus group meetings:

  1. How to align business objectives and the ERP/ICT Competence Centre
  2. Alignment of Business Information Management (BIM) and SAP ERP CC
  3. Development of the SAP BPM Roadmap and the SAP BPM Framework
  4. Use of SAP / BPM tooling within all 16 topics of the BPM framework
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  1. Former Member
    Hi Frank,
    Thanks for providing this insight into these companies.  I tend to follow anything BPM related when it comes to getting business buy in to new ways of doing process engineering, and this blog was a perfect fit.
    Some scattered comments from me:
    I assume all these companies are fairly well committed to BPM but I’m wondering how committed they are to ensuring everyone CAN be committed to BPM ongoing.  In my observations at various companies, BPM efforts take a lot of effort not only to get started, but to keep it going and the investment required to keep it going is not insubstantial.  I’m guessing in a perfect world; if you could get a company to go agile, plus adopt a process engineering approach to everything; it may take 2-3 years with solid commitment and investment (numbers plucked from thin air).
    It’s also a very good point about the training SAP consultants/experts need to undergo to be fluent in process engineering (especially when re-engineering should be considered). Personally, I’m still looking for nirvana here and while I try keep up on these things, I usually just have to  go with whatever the client is comfortable with which usually means I continually guide people continually through the process (though I have not had the chance to try NetWeaver BPM on a project for process documentation yet).
    Another thought I had when reading your blog was around the Competency Centre.  You make it sound like the role of the CC is clearly defined; though I’m not sure the industry has a clearly defined competency centre yet (again, just from my own observations as ITIL may have this clearly defined and might have been implemented at many sites). Would be interested to here your opinion on this.
    Thanks for writing and hopefully time will tell whether we can change things for the better.

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