- [the theory]
- BPM as a management discipline, i.e. managing business by processes, (BPM discipline) ;
- [the tools]
- BPM as a software (BPM suite);
- [the practice]
- BPM as a portfolio of the business processes of an enterprise, and the practices and tools for governing the design, execution and evolution of this portfolio (BPM system).
- how to use architecture to reduce complexity,
- how to use a BPM reference model and BPM artefacts,
- tips on mastering the most difficult aspect – people,
- guidelines on the modelling in BPMN,
- recommendations for designing flexible systems, and
- in-depth discussion about the link with enterprise architecture (EA).
1 A holistic approach to business process management
1.1 The issue is about improving the business performance of your enterprise
Improving the business performance of an enterprise (14.3.2) is a permanent imperative and a daunting task these days. Enterprises improve their performance by changing their business operations to perform more effectively and more efficiently. Owing to the internal complexity and dynamic nature of enterprises and the non-predictable nature of the modern business environment, most enterprises follow the feedback pattern illustrated in figure 1.1 to manage their enterprise performance. They do so in an adaptive way by
- measuring how the work is done in the operations part of the enterprise business system (14.3.5) (such measurement is often in the form of some metrics or indicators, e.g. the rate of returning customers),
- observing the business environment (in the form of some external information and events, e.g. new regulations, new market needs, new technologies),
- deciding within the control part of the enterprise business system in what areas the enterprise should advance (such decisions are often made using some formal and/or informal models), and
- implementing (in the form of some changes)the decisions taken.
Note that with such a feedback pattern, the enterprise business system is itself measured and improved; this is much more complicated than measuring the output and adjusting the input without changing the controlled system per se (see ).
Figure 1.1 Feedback pattern for an enterprise
Because of the enterprise complexity, it is necessary that improvements be achieved incrementally, continuously and with some verification, in accordance with the classic Deming wheel  Plan, Do, Check, Act:
- [Plan] measure how the work is done,
- [Plan] observe the business environment,
- [Plan] decide in what areas the enterprise should advance,
- [Do] implement the decisions taken,
- [Check] validate the effect of those decisions, and
- [Act] refactor both the control and the operations parts of the enterprise business system to adopt internally the improvements.
may have different scopes. So, how can enterprises achieve the best possible performance under any particular set of circumstances? We think that there are two major enablers for carrying out the optimisation of the enterprise as a whole:
- tools and pertinent information to help people in better decision making, and
- a guarantee that the enterprise is capable of implementing the necessary changes at the required pace.
... to be continued in fragment 02 ....