Business Process Management growing in importance

01 September 2015

In a world of increasing digitalisation, Business Process Management - the active design, control and measurement of processes - is taking on a more prominent role, research by BearingPoint shows. The technique has the potential to increase transparency, reduce cost, harmonise processes and improve customer satisfaction.

To understand key trends and development in Business Process Management (BPM), BearingPoint and BPM&O conducted a multi-sector study, titled ‘Business Process Management - Study 2015 Quantifiable Performance Improvement through Process Management’. The study involves a survey of more than 280 participants, of which 90% are from the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

Importance of BPM

Importance of BPM
According to the survey, BPM is shown to be important or very important to almost 75% of respondents and 60% of respondents expect BPM to become more important in the coming decades. The survey finds that the adoption of digital BPM takes place predominantly in engineering, logistics, banking and energy/chemicals/pharma, as well as in the public sector.

Of organisations surveyed, almost 50% have a dedicated position in place whose job it is to measure and improve performance – the so called Chief Process Officer (CPO) – with the number of organisations with such a role doubling since the previous survey in 2011.

Top 5 goals of BPM

Top five goals of BPM
The main objectives of introducing BPM into an organisational structure is to gain improvements in transparency (78%), reduce costs (68%), harmonise processes (67%), improve quality (65%) and improve client satisfaction (62%).

However, as it stands, there continue to be considerable hurdles in the introduction of BPM into aspects of the value chain. Of the respondents, 30% say that transparency objectives are met, 25% that quality improvements are being met, 21% that process harmonisation is happening and 14% state that client satisfaction has occurred. According to the authors, there is still a long road ahead for success in adding BPM into business.

Driving effective measurement and management of processes

Tracking insight
As a result of the lacklustre performance in terms of BPM reaching its objectives, many companies (41%) are not satisfied with the approach their company is taking. According to BearingPoint, this dissatisfaction stems from the continued changing of the fencepost in the development of BPM itself – which has yet to achieve maturity. One reason for this may be that there is limited reporting and insufficient measurement of the value of process management. The survey shows that only 39% of respondents measure the benefits of BPM systematically, only 24% of the companies report their key performance indicators (KPIs) and only 13% link KPIs within an overall framework. As a consequence of this, in many cases the reporting of KPIs is not carried out.

According to the researchers, the introduction of BPM requires a holistic approach in which top management takes an active role, as well as a sustainable implementation and measurement of performance. The consulting firm concludes: “A strong linkage between corporate strategy and process management is therefore of utmost importance and CPOs need to take care of the required coordination between operative and management levels.”