Researchers Launch BPM Maturity Model

Researchers Launch BPM Maturity Model

A consortium of researchers from the Queensland University of Technology plan to road test their Business Process Management Maturity Model in high impact business and government sites in the US next year.

Dr Michael Rosemann, Acting Director of Research Faculty of Information Technology, who launched the model at events in Brisbane and Canberra last month, says taking the model to prominent US sites will allow far more rigorous testing than would be possible at the much smaller companies typically operating in Brisbane.

The US testing will be done in conjunction with internationally renowned business process reengineering expert Tom Davenport, currently a Fellow with the Accenture Institute for High Performance Business and holder of the President's Chair in Information Technology and Management at Babson College.

Rosemann says the multi-dimensional BPM Maturity (BPMM) model gives companies a framework for the detailed evaluation of BPM capabilities and achievements. The model has already been applied in two case studies, both of which have confirmed its completeness, relevance and applicability. Future work in the area is intended to help establish a global standard for the measurement of BPM maturity, the development of a tool-based assessment kit, and the application of this model in US American and European case studies.

"Many companies asked us how much business process management they should do and how well they conduct business process management right now," Rosemann says. "Our model lets them measure business process management along five factors. Those five factors are information technology, methodology, performance management, culture and accountability."

The BPM maturity model takes a leaf out of the Capability Maturity Model book to allow organizations to self-assess the effectiveness of their BPM efforts, operating both as a diagnostic tool and to allow the evaluation and comparison of the BPM capabilities of different organizational entities in support of organizational learning.

By rating each of those factors on a scale of one to five, the organization gains a powerful tool to understand how it is conducting BPM in different areas, which can help it to avoid putting too much emphasis on one factor if it lacks corresponding support in another.

Organizations can use the model and the findings derived from its application to identify and direct necessary BPM-related activities, enabling them to focus on less mature areas and to develop a structured and specific improvement plan for progressing to the determined to-be situation.

The model can be applied over time and serve as a continuous monitoring tool in the process of moving from as-is maturity to to-be maturity.

"The message is you might be very good in having IT systems in place that support your business processes, or you might define lots of process owners: people who are responsible for your processes, but you really fix only one problem within business process management.

"We have seen a few companies who are for example extremely good in modelling their business processes, and still they would not say they are successful in doing business process management. And the idea of this Maturity Model is that you get a maturity scale for each of those five factors," he says.

"We are now comfortable enough that this is not a research prototype any more, but the model itself is mature enough that it could be applied.

"For a long time it was very academic, very 'researchy'. Now we can say if you are interested, you can use this model and we see two applications. One is to understand how mature you are right now, and the second step is to understand how mature you should be.

"We want to have a kind of diagnosis, to tell you where we are right now, then we want to tell you where you should be, which is far more challenging, and if there is a gap, this becomes a guideline for your future BPM activities."

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