Businesses have strategic objectives to fulfil, business problems to overcome in fulfilling them — mostly everything comes back to increasing shareholder value, meeting trustee obligations etc, dependent on the public vs private nature of that business. Business Process Management (BPM), leveraged well, is about managing and aligning a business’s people, processes and systems to best achieve these objectives addressing constraints, accelerating opportunity, whether they might be about, for example, meeting compliance needs or improving customer retention. So BPM is all about improving business performance. If you take the jargon away, what we are saying is a business can get a better result from managing its resources well and that you need visibility and oversight to keep this true to your changing circumstances. Well that’s no revelation! It’s common sense.
So why is BPM not the common lexicon of every business and, in particular, its boardroom speak?
Here’s where I have a problem with the term BPM. The term BPM is a necessary evil, we need a term to emphasise ‘process’ as a key cog in this machine. The ‘people’ and ‘systems’ aspects within a business, maybe because they are easier to visualise, more tangible to our human senses, seem to be better understood, ‘process’ not so.
But stop, process is just another way of saying ‘how things should be done’ . And process management is another way of saying ‘how things should be done to achieve X’.
To an Oil and Gas executive, it’s commercial compliance to an operating agreement with its partners to acquire and develop strategic hydrocarbon assets. To a NFP executive it’s about effective service delivery guaranteeing funding growth.
People forget about the ‘to achieve’ bit; for example a bank seeks to build a more efficient ‘loan approval’ process but it runs detrimentally across a campaign for new customers driven by a ‘pre-approved’ loan initiative. BPM as an approach reminds us what to focus on!
So let’s translate BPM to common boardroom speak!
By advocating ‘BPM’ somehow it appears many organisations see it as different to what they do when it should be seen as something to improve what they already do. It’s not a different discipline, it’s about good old fashioned business performance. What’s different is that the pace of change, the nature of our the global market, the sophistication of the consumer, requires a killer response to the old fashioned requirement. This is where I would argue that XMPro comes into play. See it as a the glue to bring these changing parts together to deliver that shareholder value, to provide visibility and management so that levers can be applied to consistently align all your resources and deliver on your operational KPIs.
Now XMPro, like anything, has a label, because we like to classify things. It makes it easier to find in Google. And XMPro can be labelled a BPMS, and it is right to emphasise process and management, but recognise it for what it is, it’s the opportunity for you to push business performance into another orbit.