Top 10 Most Important BPM Capabilities

Janne Ohtonen has done a scientific research on business process management capabilities through expert interviews, surveys and case studies with three international companies. Through that research, he has been able to identify the top ten most important BPM capabilities that organizations should have. Improving your BPM capabilities will ensure more likely success in business process management initiatives. The success is built through people, process and technology aspects, which all contribute to BPM.


Here is the top ten of most important BPM capabilities in order of importance:
Co-workers have confidence and trust in each other.

The employees of an organization implement processes. Those employees need to be able to work well together and have trust in each other. Otherwise, employees will have to check what others have done and they are not willing to share their load with others so easily.

There is open communication between you and your managers.

Open communication between the management and the employees is crucial. Employees need strong but fair leadership, which removes obstacles from their way while executing the processes. If there is no open communication, then problems tend to be hidden and they hinder smooth operation of processes.

Managers share vision and information with you.

Employees need to know which direction the organization is heading to. Vision, mission and strategy cannot be just fluffy words with lots of management talk behind it. People need to feel connected to vision and managers need to be able to make the vision to come alive for the employees. Also sharing information is very important, so that employees do not have to second-guess what is going on.

The organization is able to respond to changes in markets quickly.

Business world today is very turbulent. Customers have changes quite much from what they were ten years ago. For some reason, most of the organizations still treat those customers as they have done always. It is important to be able to respond to changes in markets quickly and that comes from aligning your processes to successful customer outcomes as well as implementing adaptive process management.

Senior management has confidence and trust in you and your managers.

Senior management’s support is very important. Many companies have problems both between employees and middle management as well as between the middle and top management. Senior (or top) managers need to be able to trust their middle management and employees, so that the atmosphere stays open and creative. Also board of directors should have open mind towards ideas coming from lower levels.

There are efficient communication channels for transferring information.

Nowadays there is so much information that it is already overflowing from people’s head. People use mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and many other mediums to acquire information. The communication inside the organization (and with the customer) can get lost in that jungle. People need to have the right and effective ways to communicate with each other (for example only one intranet website and instant messaging system).

The organization has appointed responsible people for processes.

Processes need to be identified and they need to have appointed responsible people. It is job of those people to make sure that the processes are running smoothly and if there are ways to improve them. It is easier for others send ideas and ask directions from a responsible process owner.

The organization extensively uses information systems.

Information systems are everywhere. Too many times those information systems are not used extensively or cleverly. Also legacy information systems may hurdle BPM initiatives. The IT strategy should be aligned with the BPM strategy so that the technology is used to optimize and automate anything that is worth it.

No one has to worry about losing his or her job because of process changes.

Security is important for people. No one wants to improve and change processes if the first discussion is that who is going to get fired. But there is no need for that. After using BPM you can transfer those people who are not doing productive work to other phases or process where their contribution is more meaningful. Nobody wants to do the dumb stuff, so giving your employees a good reason to do something cleverer they will gladly take it.

Managers support changes in processes.

Managers need to be on top of changing processes. Employees may have good ideas on how to improve processes, but have you actually asked them? And how do you handle those situations when they give suggestions? Do you listen to them and evaluate if there’s something to do, or do you just disregard them? Try to create an organizational culture, which fosters change in positive way.


You can evaluate how these capabilities are in your organization and then make a roadmap for improving them. Each of these capabilities contributes to success in business process management initiatives; and if they are not on an adequate level, you may face problems. If you are not sure what level your capabilities are on, then you can do a BPMC research, which will use survey and case study methods to find out the current situation. That information can then be translated into a change roadmap, which will lead to increased BPM capabilities over time.

But what do you think? Let us know by leaving a comment!

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By Janne Ohtonen @ For a FREE process leadership book - CLICK HERE | April 15, 2013

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