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Business process management cases, my front page, leading organizations.

Includes cases from world’s leading organizations in various sectors

Presents cases from a wide range of regions around the world

The first book to present an extensive collection of real-world cases on Business Process Management

This Springer book is the first to present a rich selection of real-world cases on Business Process Management. It reports on best practice as well as lessons learned from organizations that have leveraged Business Process Management (BPM) to innovation and transform their business.

With economic and societal sectors of all kinds being challenged by disruptive changes due to digital technologies, in particular, this book shows how process thinking enables organizations to master digital innovation and transformation. The real-world cases presented in this book show how organizations leverage BPM capabilities both for exploitation and exploration in a digital world.

The book intends to bring together the experience of organizations using BPM. The focus in neither on academic case studies, nor on offerings from consulting companies. The intent is to learn from the experience organizations using BPM have made. That said, both academic institutions as well as consulting companies may well be involved in the case, but the case has to be developed from the perspective of the BPM-adopting company and the way BPM was used to solve contemporary organizational challenges.

The cases provide valuable examples for practice, as well as interesting cases for students. All case descriptions follow a unified schema making the case knowledge easy accessible for readers.

This Springer book is the first to present a rich selection of real-world cases on Business Process Management. It reports on best practice as well as lessons learned from organizations that have leveraged Business Process Management (BPM) to innovation and transform their business...

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Table of contents

The cloud widens the community of developers, automation and rules that write themselves, case study: modernization leads to self-service at bp, case study: asahi tekko achieves real-time production management, case study: bbva ramps up customer experience, digitally.

The cloud widens the community of developers Automation and rules that write themselves Case study: Modernization leads to self-service at BP Case study: Asahi Tekko achieves real-time production management Case study: BBVA ramps up customer experience, digitally Conclusion

Digital enterprises, employing artificial intelligence, cloud, and data analytics in innovative ways, are delivering superior customer experiences, faster response times, and more intelligent operations. Every company—no matter how large, how old, or in what industry— can potentially evolve into a digital enterprise, operating with the same agility of a startup.

Achieving this digital nimbleness requires relying on software and data resources that make use of legacy data, as well as the many new sources of data available today, and extend well beyond the traditional capabilities of IT departments. Digital nimbleness is an enterprise initiative, in which employees and executives from all parts of the business play an active role in designing and building solutions.

Enabling a wider group within the enterprise to design or redesign process-driven applications represents the most expedient and effective way to successfully navigate the digital transformation journey. Business processes evolve and change as rapidly as the business changes—meeting customer preferences, releasing new products, pivoting to new markets, and forging new partnerships. Today’s generation of business process management (BPM) and business rules management systems (BRMS) solutions offer a way to rapidly build modern applications with a minimum drain on precious and expensive IT resources.

The only way to advance and compete is to open up software innovation across enterprises— to business users who typically do not have traditional programming skills, but who need to be able to harness the power of technology. This means evolving the way applications are being built and deployed. Indeed, a survey of 324 companies found 76% indicating that at least some portion of their applications were developed outside of their traditional IT departments or IT service providers.

“Without low-code and no-code development, organizations are going to find it increasingly difficult to keep pace with their competitors,” reports SD Times, which quotes Rob Koplowitz, VP and principal analyst at Forrester3: “If we look at basic issues companies have now, what we often hear is, ‘I can’t build applications fast enough and by the time I build them the specs have changed.’

The rise of user-driven development and digital business process management is being made possible in two ways:

  • The cloud makes application development accessible to a wider audience. Having online, easy-to-use, front-end tools available to non-developers opens up new ways of conceiving and building applications.
  • Automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning enable a much wider variety of manual processes and tasks to be automated. AI-based engines are now being integrated into business process management, producing rules that write themselves. Low-level tasks also can be rapidly automated through robotic process automation (RPA), in which tasks are managed by intelligent software.

The path to digital transformation varies from organization to organization, of course, since they have invested in countless systems and applications over the years. But all successful efforts have certain common ingredients as well.

In every digital transformation project, new applications and next-generation architectures are built on today’s open standards, using on-demand resources.

For many organizations, digital transformation also means optimizing existing systems and application resources—integrating, replacing, or abstracting key pieces of their infrastructures into services.

By enabling a wider group within the enterprise to do design or redesign process-driven applications represent the most expedient and effective way to successfully navigate the digital transformation journey. Business processes evolve and change as rapidly as the business changes— meeting customer preferences, releasing new products, pivoting to new markets, and forging new partnerships. Today’s generation of business process management (BPM) and business rules management systems (BRMS) solutions offer a way to rapidly build modern applications with a minimum drain on precious and expensive IT resources.

For decades, only individuals with “developer” or “programmer” in their job titles held the keys to the applications that ran their organizations. This was for good reason—most enterprise applications tend to be very monolithic, difficult to understand, and difficult to change. The move from monolithic to microservices, as well as a move from traditional developers to a diverse mix of developers and business people, are reshaping the way applications are created, developed and deployed.

  • From monoliths to microservices : The process of application development is changing. And the technology employed to build applications is rapidly changing—to containers and microservices architectures that address the monolithic problem, making applications much easier to deploy, easier to change, and easier to understand. As a result, applications are becoming easier to create, deploy, and change. Cloud and container technologies now enable the breaking down of larger, monolithic applications into smaller components which can be managed and modified independently and deployed and scaled.
  • From traditional developers to diverse mixes of developers and businesspeople : Self-service environments make it possible for business users to develop and maintain applications without going through IT departments. The next generation of applications won’t be built purely by IT or traditional developers, but rather by teams that include business users, all contributing their knowledge and experience to these new microservices-based applications. These applications won’t require hard-core coding skills to change or adapt — rather, they need to be interfused with business logic and business know-how. Business users can’t necessarily write code, but they can produce models of their business that include business rules, along with the policies and decisions they make. Essentially, these models serve as source code for applications that can automatically be deployed within a microservices architecture.

Automation is also changing the game, delegating routine manual tasks and decision management to machines, thereby reducing manual work. Digital BPM and BRMS pave the way to AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation, which is revolutionizing the handling of the countless routine and manual tasks that slow down productivity.

Here’s how today’s systems are taking on the heavy lifting of today’s enterprises.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning : Artificial intelligence and machine learning are dramatically reshaping the way enterprises approach business automation. With machine learning, rules are derived automatically from historical records. This is in contrast to traditional decision management and business rules approaches when rules are created based on users’ experiences, and then built out in applications. Machine learning leverages historical data to derive predictive models that can be applied to new information for the next set of decisions.

For example, an application that helps determine whether insurance claims should be paid or denied can leverage predictive models built from historical claims information. The historical data provides an understanding of how claims decisions were made in the past. The claims application can use the predictive model to make decisions about new claims, which will be consistent with past behaviour.

Evolving standards are also facilitating the integration of AI and machine learning into business automation solutions. Predictive Model Markup Language, or PMML, enables predictive models to be encoded and shared among different systems. A relatively new standard, Decision Model & Notation, or DMN, is a graphical language for encoding the rules that make up a decision. DMN makes it easier for business users to create the source code for their decision applications, and to encode complex business logic. In addition, DMN enables business users to incorporate a predictive model into their DMN diagrams as easily as they can incorporate business rules. They can combine both the output of a predictive model with a set of rules in order to arrive at a decision.

In the big picture of application development, this means business users can create DMN logic, which can be employed within a container as a decision service. Or they can automatically feed predictive models from training data into that same process.

Robotic Process Automation : A recent survey by Deloitte finds a majority of enterprises, 53%, are now employing robotic process automation, or RPA. That number is expected to increase to 82% within the next two years.4 RPA enables the creation of software robots that perform repetitive and routine work that might otherwise be done by human workers. The benefits to organizations are reduced costs and headcount by automating work.

In many workplaces today, much time is spent on simple repetitive tasks, such as copying and pasting information from a back-office database into a spreadsheet. RPA enables enterprises to automate many of these routine tasks and functions. Essentially, the software robot records the work people are doing and replays it, with varying levels of intelligence applied. Basically, building out RPA is another approach to developing applications. Ultimately, these robots will be deployed as microservices through containers, supported by the cloud.

4 The robots are ready. Are you? Untapped advantage in your digital workforce, Deloitte, 2018.

4 The robots are ready. Are you? Untapped advantage in your digital workforce, Deloitte, 2018.

BP, a global energy company, had a complex operational management challenge, with hundreds of product teams using various delivery models, affecting application development and deployment. The company wanted to explore a robust, modern, open-source technology infrastructure that could operate worldwide and be accessed by thousands of business users and millions of end customers. It needed a reliable, modern technology infrastructure to speed application development and deployment.

To accomplish this, BP worked with Red Hat to simplify and modernize technology and processes, increasing security and agility and speeding provisioning from two to three weeks to seven minutes. BP used Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build the Application Engineering Services’ Digital Conveyor. This platform provides process automation that empowers product delivery teams with self-service capabilities, a DevOps approach, and a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline.

“The combination of microservices, containers, and a fully automated CI/CD platform provides what developers have been asking for years,” said Paul Costall, head of application engineering services at BP. “They now have full self-service to deliver change from the initial idea, through the innovation, right through to production, as quickly as humanly possible.”

To keep pace with orders, automobile parts manufacturer Asahi Tekko Co., Ltd., needed to speed just in time workflows without expanding its physical footprint. The company needed to replace manual data collection with automated machine monitoring to track and manage quality and productivity.

Achieving these improvements would require increasing machine capacity, but the manufacturer simply did not have the space to accommodate additional machines needed to fulfil larger order volumes. “Although we had a business potential to accept orders up to about three years ahead, the factory’s space was about 3,000 meters too short to accommodate manufacturing all of them,” said Tetsuya Kimura, president and representative director of Asahi Tekko.

To better understand its physical resource use, the company collected operational data from its factory machines, such as production quantity and downtime. However, machine production counters were reviewed and recorded manually, a time-consuming process that lead to incorrect or incomplete entries.

Asahi Tekko employed enterprise open source solutions from Red Hat to create an Internet of Things (IoT) mechanism and business rules engine for automated data collection and real-time insight into machine operations. As a result, Asahi Tekko has cut capital expenditure by around ¥300 million, reduced employee over-work, and even created a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering for other manufacturing companies.

The company created a cycle time monitor, an IoT mechanism that would automatically collect and display operational data to eliminate manual errors and improve productivity. Employees can use this data to focus on repairing or improving slow and broken machines instead of checking each machine’s data. The company deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform as the foundation for this solution.

In addition, the company deployed Red Hat Decision Manager (formerly Red Hat JBoss BRMS) as its rules engine, which includes complex event processing (CEP) capabilities that detect the relationship between massive volumes of information in real time. With these capabilities, Asahi Tekko’s IoT solution automatically detects and visualizes necessary site data—such as line production number and stop time—in real time.

BBVA, a financial group that provides financial services to more than 73 million customers in more than 30 countries, needed to update its technology to better support its digital transformation goals and improve its customer experience. “Customers demand 24-hour-a-day functionality from anywhere,” said José María Ruesta, global head of infrastructure, service, and open systems at BBVA.

“We have to achieve a balance between innovation and reliability. But as a bank, trying to translate these values into technology is difficult. Imagine a datacenter full of different operating systems, languages, and interfaces. There’s no room for innovation.”

BBVA wanted to create a single, global, cloud-native platform that is fully automated and self-service, combining real-time and batch data to help developers work efficiently and to ensure high service availability and reliability. As new functions increased the transaction volume handled by BBVA’s backend systems and applications, the group sought to update its IT environment as part of its digital transformation journey.

The company turned to enterprise open source software—including Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform—to build a unified global cloud platform that is fully automated, self-service, and data-centric. With this new platform, the company has increased efficiency and integration to provide a better customer experience and support innovation.

With a global open source platform, BBVA’s developers can quickly and easily deploy code across its branch network, speeding time to market for updates and new services. “Our proprietary platforms created isolation that prevented agile development of new products in line with customer demand,” said Ruesta.

“BBVA is a company with more than 150 years of experience, but the future is never certain. Digital transformation is critical to survival and competitive advantage,” said Ruesta. “Innovation means reinventing ourselves. It’s finding new ways to develop products and services that break the mold of traditional banking.”

The power to accomplish game-changing digital transformation is now available to the business user, who ultimately decides and directs what solutions the business needs. Ultimately, the purpose and intent of such transformation is to deliver value to the customer—quickly, with continuous delivery of quality and functionality. By empowering business users to engage in digital business process management and business rules management systems, enterprises can rapidly deploy and configure business technology to ever-changing processes, when and where it is needed.

Source: Red Hat

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Case Study: Business Process Management – Applying Best Practices to Sales and Operations Planning

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Polaroid was a company in recovery, needing to balance the Sales & Operations Planning functions in order to save money and resources. Ideally, planners could continually adjust SKU/sub-SKU demand and production while matching the business to marketplace realities. Polaroid with IBM created a solution to provide management with a continuous view of the future, enabling them to provide conscious, top-down direction.

Mark Payne is Vice President of Operations for Polaroid Corporation. He is responsible for the company’s supply-chain activities worldwide, including manufacturing, logistics, procurement, and forecasting & planning. He also oversees information technology, e-commerce, security, and real estate. Since joining Polaroid in May 2003, Mark has led several strategic programs that have helped streamline the company’s business processes and generate back-to-back years of profitability. Currently, he is involved in integrating Polaroid into the Petters Group Worldwide as part of a merger agreement.

Payne explained that Polaroid is essentially a manufacturing company making film, chemicals and batteries. Polaroid went into bankruptcy in 2001 because the company was too slow to respond to the digital revolution, which put the whole film industry into decline. Polaroid had to stabilize its core business and develop and launch new products. To do this, Payne explained that Polaroid needed to improve market responsiveness and business planning efficiency, as well a increase flexibility in order to grow the business.

Polaroid needed to balance supply and demand for products. The manual, spreadsheet-intensive approach with monthly planning meetings for executives and the supply-and-demand planners was slow and ineffective. The reality is that nothing goes according to plan. The actual execution was driven by individual planner’s best guesses, then adjusted to reality. The executives essentially were making decisions on their gut feelings and there was always an “over-correction” when reacting to surprises as they became apparent.

In the old system, demand planners measured forecast accuracy at the product family level. The supply planners measured on delivery performance at the SKU level. Using the new system, created with the help of IBM, planners now measure whether their SKUs fall within predetermined W.O.H targets. This can be continuously monitored.

The new weekly planning process sets forecast parameters, plans strategy, monitors sales and demand, predicts outcomes, then executes the new directives. The goal of the process is to balance inventory weeks on hand within pre-defined targets for SKUs. Plans are developed and maintained at the SKU level for four global locations. The solutions are used by 15 planners located in three regions. Planners adjust the demand plan for each SKU at the sales forecasting entity level by week across 104 weeks. The planners monitor individual SKU behavior with personalized dashboards, reports and alerts about overstock and stock-out issues. Executives use the same capabilities to monitor the expected performance of the company at the aggregate level.

The managers and executives monitor forecast accuracy by individual planner and product family. They watch for imbalances in supply and demand for future periods and they can leverage what-if capability to predict what changes to the supply or the demand for a given SKU will rebalance supply and demand.

The impact of various approaches can be reviewed and the best means for solving the problem chosen. When managers choose to execute the new plan, the changes are written back to the SAP MRP system. As planners adjust the plan, executives can see the immediate rollup of actual and current plans across the enterprise and they are able to provide fact-based, top-down direction to the team to help steer the enterprise to meet corporate objectives.

The benefits have been substantial. The business now runs on a single set of numbers and decisions are made four times faster with ten times more detail. There is a 50% process efficiency improvement and cost savings in planning functions and a 10% to 20% reduction in inventory. Polaroid has become a proactive, rather than a reactive enterprise.

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There are so many pitfalls you just got to be careful. You shouldn’t boil the ocean. You know agile methodology is key here. You should just pick a minimum viable product and start with that and then go from there.

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BPM methodology really establishes a healthy cadence and that cadence is necessary for collaboration and for transformative process improvement.

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As we started listening to the voice of the process, we started to see the weakest links. Those were the opportunities that we had to look into.

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You're looking for a way to improve your process improvement skills, but you're not sure where to start.

Earning your Business Process Management Specialist (BPMS) Certificate will give you the competitive advantage you need in today's world. Our courses help you deliver faster and makes projects easier.

Your skills will include building hierarchical process models, using tools to analyze and assess process performance, defining critical process metrics, using best practice principles to redesign processes, developing process improvement project plans, building a center of excellence, and establishing process governance.

The BPMS Certificate is the perfect way to show employers that you are serious about business process management. With in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management, you'll be able to take your business career to the next level.

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Business process management – a construction case study

Purpose This paper aims to demonstrate the need for a structured business process improvement effort needed while restructuring organisational processes within a construction company. Through the longitudinal study, the study also highlights the importance of a continuous improvement initiative to sustain such an improvement effort. Design/methodology/approach The research followed an action research and the case study approach using semi-structured interviews and group workshops within the case organisation. Overall, six departments were analysed, 35 interviews with senior and middle managers were conducted, existing business process documents were studied and processes were documented. The data were compiled using a process modelling software and Business Process Markup Notation methodology. Additionally, a longitudinal analysis following the completion of process modelling exercise was carried out over a period of eight years. Findings The overall study highlights the importance of business process management (BPM) for construction organisations. The case study also demonstrated that even smaller business units and its processes affected the overall value chain in a major way and the importance to analyse the process interdependencies between organisational units. Research limitations/implications The main limitation of the research was that it is based on a single-case-study company based in the UK. More research is needed with other organisations with different work practices and culture and geographic location. Practical implications Primarily, the research outlines specific steps taken during a structured process improvement exercise in a construction company, including procedures for collecting data, developing process maps and analysis of data. The longitudinal study highlights the challenges in sustaining such an initiative. For practitioners, strengths and weaknesses of various process improvement methods and a detailed description of a BPM implementation can be used as a guideline for future projects. From a research point of view, the paper highlights the need for deeper and long-term analysis of such initiatives and the importance of immersion of researchers within the environment. Originality/value The paper provides deeper insights into the structured process improvement exercise within a construction company. Second and more importantly, the longitudinal study is one of its kind in the construction industry to shed light on the factors affecting sustainability of such initiatives.

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that in order to achieve customer centricity through business process management (BPM), companies have to obtain the profound understanding of customers’ processes and when necessary change not only the interactions with but also the processes of their customers. A method is presented that allows doing this in a systematic manner. Design/methodology/approach – A case study of a large multinational company was conducted. Several different sources and methods were used, including document analysis, interviews and a qualitative analysis of responses to open-ended questions. Data were gathered at three points in time: before, during and after the implementation of the presented approach. Findings – The method that was successfully employed by the case organisation consisted of combining BPM with service blueprinting, and of extending these efforts by integrating the customers’ internal processes into the scope of improvement. Research limitations/implications – The paper does not thoroughly evaluate the long-term effects of the proposed approach. Some results of the case study analysis had to be excluded from this paper due to reasons of confidentiality. Practical implications – The paper presents an approach for organisations to not only understand the needs of their customers but also the way in which their product is used in customers’ processes. In this way BPM can be implemented in a truly customer-oriented way. Originality/value – This paper extends previous work by presenting one way in which BPM can follow up on its promise of increasing an organisations customer orientation. While servitisation has received a lot of attention in various disciplines, its application within BPM research and practice has been scarce.

Business process management: Conceptual framework and application

Recent literature published by some practitioners, consultants, and researchers in the area of Business Process Management (BPM) identified that BPM is a new and emerging field of research and practice. The objective of this paper is to identify the conceptual framework of BPM, identify if connections exist with prior process improvement concepts such as Business Process Re-engineering (BPR), Total Quality Management (TQM) and Business Process Improvement (BPI), and apply BPM in a case study to determine the effectiveness of the current methodology. An extensive literature review was conducted, identifying multiple similarities between BPM and prior process improvement concepts, suggesting an evolving nature of the concept. The BPM methodology was then applied in a controlled case study, identifying a major inefficiency in the methodology. The findings of this paper are useful to researchers, educators, students, and managers to understand the evolution of BPM, and determine how it can be applied.

Measuring Business Process Management using business process orientation and process improvement initiatives

Purpose Past research examining Business Process Management (BPM) mainly focussed on either process alignment, business process orientation (BPO) or process improvement initiative (PII) constructs. However, based on the definition of BPM by Zairi (1997) and Lee and Dale (1998), BPM comprises all the elements of process alignment, BPO and PII. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to present a total view of measuring BPM through combining BPO and PIIs. Design/methodology/approach Quantitative research technique was applied for this study. The study was carried out in Malaysia. Close-ended survey instrument was administered to a large number of organisations. Findings The findings revealed that the elements of BPM cover both process management as well as process improvements. Originality/value The findings from this study is important for practitioners to regard continuous improvement as a component of BPM practice.

Combining modelling and simulation approaches

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a method for analysing and improving the operational performance of business processes (BPs). Design/methodology/approach – The method employs two standards, Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN 2.0) and Business Processes Simulation (BPSim 1.0), to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) of BPs and test for potential improvements. The BP is first modelled in BPMN 2.0. Operational performance can then be measured using BPSim 1.0. The process simulation also enables execution of reliable “what-if” analysis, allowing improvements of the actual processes under study. To confirm the validity of the method the authors provide an application to the healthcare domain, in which the authors conduct several simulation experiments. The case study examines a standardised patient arrival and treatment process in an orthopaedic-emergency room of a public hospital. Findings – The method permits detection of process criticalities, as well as identifying the best corrective actions by means of the “what-if” analysis. The paper discusses both management and research implications of the method. Originality/value – The study responds to current calls for holistic and sustainable approaches to business process management (BPM). It provides step-by-step process modelling and simulation that serve as a “virtual laboratory” to test potential improvements and verify their impact on operational performance, without the risk of error that would be involved in ex-novo simulation programming.

The Role of Industry 4.0 and BPMN in the Arise of Condition-Based and Predictive Maintenance: A Case Study in the Automotive Industry

This article addresses the evolution of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) in the automotive industry, exploring its contribution to a shift in the maintenance paradigm. To this end, we firstly present the concepts of predictive maintenance (PdM), condition-based maintenance (CBM), and their applications to increase awareness of why and how these concepts are revolutionizing the automotive industry. Then, we introduce the business process management (BPM) and business process model and notation (BPMN) methodologies, as well as their relationship with maintenance. Finally, we present the case study of the Renault Cacia, which is developing and implementing the concepts mentioned above.

Service Process Improvement Based on Business Process Management

Integration between knowledge management and business process management and its impact on the decision making process in the construction sector: a case study of jordan.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate and explain how organizations in the construction sector can enhance their decision-making process (DMP) by practising knowledge management (KM) and business process management (BPM) activities. A conceptual framework is developed that recognises the elements that impact DMP in terms of KM and BPM. The development of this framework goes beyond current empirical work on KM in addition to BPM as it investigates a wider variety of variables that impact DMP. Design/methodology/approach A case study is undertaken in the context of the construction industry in Jordan. A theoretical framework is developed and assessment of the proposed framework was undertaken through a questionnaire survey of decision-makers in the construction sector and expert interviews. Findings The outcomes of this research provide several contributions to aid decision-makers in construction organizations. Growth in the usage of KM and BPM, in addition to the integration between them, can provide employees with task-related knowledge in the organization’s operative business processes, improve process performance, promote core competence and maximise and optimise business performance. Originality/value Through the production of a framework, this study provides a tool to enable improved decision-making. The framework generates a strong operational as well as theoretical approach to the organizational utilization of knowledge and business processes.

A theory of contingent business process management

Purpose Many researchers and practitioners suggest a contingent instead of a “one size fits all” approach in business process management (BPM). The purpose of this paper is to offer a contingency theory of BPM, which proposes contingency factors relevant to the successful management of business processes and that explains how and why these contingencies impact the relationships between process management and performance. Design/methodology/approach The authors develop the theory by drawing on organizational information processing theory (OIPT) and applying an information processing (IP) perspective to the process level. Findings The premise of the model is that the process management mechanisms such as documentation, standardization or monitoring must compensate for the uncertainty and equivocality of the nature of the process that has to be managed. In turn, managing through successful adaptation is a prerequisite for process performance. Research limitations/implications The theory provides a set of testable propositions that specify the relationship between process management mechanisms and process performance. The authors also discuss implications of the new theory for further theorizing and outline empirical research strategies that can be followed to enact, evaluate and extend the theory. Practical implications The theory developed in this paper allows an alternative way to describe organizational processes and supports the derivation of context-sensitive management approaches for process documentation, standardization, monitoring, execution and coordination. Originality/value The theoretical model is novel in that it provides a contextualized view on BPM that acknowledges different types of processes and suggests different mechanisms for managing these. The authors hope the paper serves as inspiration both for further theory development as well as to empirical studies that test, refute, support or otherwise augment the arguments.

Social business process management

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the state of the art of social business process management (Social BPM), explaining applied approaches, existing tools and challenges and to propose a research agenda for encouraging further development of the area. Design/methodology/approach The methodology comprises a qualitative analysis using secondary data. The approach relies on searches of scientific papers conducted in well-known databases, identifying research work related to Social BPM solutions and those contributing with social characteristics to BPM. Based on the identified papers, the authors selected the most relevant and the latest publications, and categorized their contributions and findings based on open and selective coding. In total, the analysis is based on 51 papers that were selected and analyzed in depth. Findings Main results show that there are several studies investigating modeling approaches for socializing process activities and for capturing implicit knowledge possessed and used by process actors, enabling to add some kind of flexibility to business processes. However, despite the proven interest in the area, there are not yet adequate tools providing effective solutions for Social BPM. Based on our findings, the authors propose a research agenda comprising three main lines: contributions of social software (SS) to Social BPM, Social BPM as a mechanism for adding flexibility to and for discovering new business processes and Social BPM for enhancing business processes with the use of new technologies. The authors also identify relevant problems for each line. Practical implications Some SS tools, like wikis, enable managing social aspects in executing business processes and can be used to coordinate simple business processes. Despite they are commonly used, they are not yet mature tools supporting Social BPM and more efficient tools are yet to appear. The lack of tools preclude organizations from benefitting from implicit knowledge owned by and shared among business process actors, which could contribute to better-informed decisions related to organizational processes. In addition, more research is needed for considering Social BPM as an approach for organizations to benefit from the adoption of new technologies in their business processes. Originality/value The paper assesses the state of the art in Social BPM, an incipient area in research and practice. The area can be defined as the intersection of two bigger areas highly relevant for organizations; on the one hand, the management and execution of business processes; and on the other hand, the use of social software, including social media tools, for leveraging on implicit knowledge shared by business process actors to improving efficiency of business processes.

Proposal for an approach to evaluate continuity in service supply chains: Case of the Moroccan electricity supply chain

The purpose of this paper is to develop an approach to analyse and evaluate continuity in Service Supply Chain (SSC), through a case study. This approach is based on the data-driven quality strategy "Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control" (DMAIC) which is used to drive Six Sigma projects, and on the characteristics of Smart Supply Chain. It combines Business process management (BPM), Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR), and the Root cause analysis tree diagram. The chosen case study is the electricity SCC, especially the business process 'management of electricity for residential buildings' of the Moroccan electricity SSC. The paper shows that the suggested approach identifies the discontinuity causes for the studied SSC, improves the business process behavior and manages its control by providing a dashboard that encompasses KPIs for periodically controlling of the SSC "to-be" state.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Business Case for Learning and Development

Tl;dr: how to deliver an effective business case for learning.

  • Research: Start by researching the main business challenges and strategic initiatives to identify where training can have the greatest impact.
  • Form Alliances:  Form partnerships with key stakeholders, like department leaders, to formulate plans that tie back to tangible work in the organizations.
  • Compile Options:  Gather all your material to formalize good, better, and best options that you'll present to senior leadership.
  • Predict ROI:  With plans all but complete, estimate the potential ROI for your solutions. Weigh the costs against the risks and benefits.
  • Present: Present your solutions to stakeholders, senior leadership, employees, and anyone else who stands to benefit from learning programs. Winning your case helps position the organization for growth.

Anyone who's dealt with budget cuts knows the frustration and stress of making do with less. Unfortunately, learning and development dollars seem to be one of the first cost-cutting areas when times are tough.

Tech executives who participated in Skillsoft's annual IT Skills and Salary survey say budget and resource constraints are the greatest challenge they face this year, followed by workload and talent retention. The first challenge, tight budgets, also impacts the latter two, creating a vicious cycle of divestment that hurts business and operations.

"When there isn't as much of an emphasis on learning and development, you certainly see a higher turnover rate and that attrition comes at a very high cost," said Bill Anderson, digital services training specialist at Corewell Health. "So, in essence, it has the opposite effect of what you're really trying to accomplish. That investment in learning and development will certainly pay back in lower attrition."

There are steps department heads can take to help prevent budget cuts because ultimately learning and development helps close gaps but also anticipates what skills the organization will need to remain competitive long term. For those leading these departments, the objective is to both educate and persuade executives that talent development can help more than hurt during lean times.

This win-win scenario unfolded at Corewell Health after a significant merge that  created Michigan's largest hospital system . Editor's note:  Corewell Health is a Skillsoft customer.

With the merge came a complex consolidation effort to cut costs, reduce duplicative efforts, and unify the two organizations. Virtually every aspect of the organization was under consideration, including technical training.

According to Anderson, the learning and development team managed to protect its training investments by building and presenting  an effective business case to leadership . It was a win for the learning team, but also a win for an organization focused on delivering modern, technology-powered experiences for employees and patients.

Here's how they did it:

Step 1: Research Strategic Priorities and Business Challenges

Building a compelling business case for learning starts with research. You want to have a thorough understanding of what the organization is going through and how that impacts goals. For this first step, ask questions and dig deep. You want to connect the top-level challenges to outcomes — good and bad.

For example:

Consider how  onboarding new technology without training could cause a ripple effect throughout the organization.

⬇️ The IT department onboards a new vendor. 

⬇️ Without training, employees don't know how to use it. 

⬇️ Adoption suffers, and some employees buy different solutions.

❌ IT doesn't see the ROI or meet its goal; organization takes on more risk.

In the scenario above, training could help in a big way. Telling the inverse of this story would show a clear need for learning programs that ultimately benefit different areas of the organization.

Where to Focus Your Research

By understanding the broader landscape and best practices, professionals can understand where training can have the greatest impact and tell why. Getting intel on what's listed below will help identify the organization's specific needs and demonstrate how targeted training can effectively address these areas. And remember, drill down.

Internal research:

  • Current business challenges
  • Current and future strategic initiatives
  • New deployments
  • Employee performance
  • Retention rates
  • Existing gaps in current skills
  • Desired future skills or certifications

External research:

  • Industry benchmarks
  • Competitor training initiatives
  • Published studies on the benefits of training

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Step 2: formulate a solution with stakeholders.

After gathering data and doing your research, it's time to visit with other department leaders who will likely benefit the most from training.

Department leaders across the business serve as both your stakeholders and your supporters when making the case to executive leadership. In essence, you must form a partnership with these leaders to ensure alignment between their department initiatives and the training that you will deliver. Doing so helps measure the readiness of the department against its intended goal and lends more tangibility to your case for learning.

You want to understand: 

  • What their challenges and needs are
  • Their expectations for training programs
  • Impressions of third parties and vendors
  • What skills or certifications they're focused on
  • What vacancies they have on their teams

...And more. The more you know, the better.

Along the way, take notes and compile your evidence. Documenting your findings ensures all insights, data, and analyses are ready to share with others. When working with department leaders, thorough documentation can also demonstrate transparency and facilitate collaboration.

Step 2.1: Assemble a Team of Skill Champions

Through meticulous research, professionals can compile a data-driven, persuasive case that aligns organizational goals with training and demonstrates the value of L&D initiatives.

But what's it all for if adoption is low or employees don't see the value in it?

It's worth reiterating the importance of connecting with stakeholders early in this process and assembling a cohort of champions who not only see the value of training but also spread the word.

"We were fortunate enough to have a portion of our business that had already been using Skillsoft Percipio for learning and development," Anderson said. "So that word of mouth from those team members already using Skillsoft was very helpful when we went to extend training to our entire IT team."

Step 3: Form Your Argument with Good, Better, Best Options

By this step, you've done your internal and external research, met with department leaders, and you have a clear understanding of the organization's strategic priorities and key challenges.

Now, it's time to prescribe training as a solution in support of the organization. And it helps to offer options that illustrate the impact training investments can have at varying levels.

Providing several scenarios allows stakeholders to compare various approaches and their implications. This comparison should include both internal solutions, like leveraging in-house expertise and resources, and external options, such as partnering with specialized training providers.

What Does Good Look Like?

With a low investment, learning and development teams can support modest training programs that help meet compliance requirements and build select skills among a cohort of employees. 

The Pros and Cons: By keeping costs low, the upfront investment doesn't burden the organization while also meeting compliance and some skilling requirements. However, the solution may not scale easily, which makes it tough to forecast future needs, and the program may only benefit a limited number of employees and stakeholders.

What Does Better Look Like?

With more investment, learning and development teams can begin to scale learning programs more easily and offer more training to more employees.

The Pros and Cons:  While the cost is higher, training programs have a wider impact on the organization and stakeholders (employees, patients, customers, etc.). Programs scale more easily, and it becomes easier to see the short- and long-term impact of training at an organizational level, including cultural and behavioral changes.

What Does Best Look Like?

With a best-case-scenario investment in training, learning and development teams can deploy and support enterprise-level programs that are measured, optimized and scaled.

The Pros and Cons:  The upfront cost of this option is the highest, creating the most burden for the organization. However, the investment will pay the organization back in time through a range of dividends, including closed skill gaps, more productive employees, faster product development and time to market, and higher employee satisfaction.

By evaluating these options, stakeholders can make informed decisions that balance costs, benefits, and risks. Presenting a range of solutions also demonstrates to stakeholders the strategic approach to delivering effective training programs that solve business challenges.

Don't be Shy About the Benefits of Learning

Especially in tech, department leaders today struggle with talent recruitment and retention, developing stronger teams, innovation and change management, workload and more. And because of skill gaps, employees feel more stress, projects slow down, and business objectives falter.

All of these challenges can be solved — at some level — with investments in learning and development.

According to  Skillsoft's IT Skills and Salary Report , tech leaders say these are the top benefits of training:

  • Improves team morale
  • Shortens project durations
  • Improves talent retention
  • Makes it easier to attract talent
  • Increases revenue
  • Increases ability to innovate

Step 4: Estimate Your ROI of Training Investments

In L&D, demonstrating a return on investment is often difficult. Sometimes, the metrics aren't there. Or the effort is too cumbersome. But there are ways to simplify the process and still make your case.

The team at Corewell Health created a process that helped them assign a dollar value to training, which substantially strengthened their case for learning. The learning and development team looked at the resources being consumed and assigned dollar values to them.

For example, if learners accessed a book in Skillsoft Percipio, they cross-checked what it would cost for the individual to buy it outside of the subscription. They added up all the times a person accessed that book and totaled the cost. They took the same approach to other resources, including courses, labs and so on.

It looked like this:

Cost of books + Cost of courses + Cost of Labs + Cost of Certification Prep + = Cost of Training Resources

Cost of Training Resources x Number of Accesses = Gross Training Cost

From there, you'd identify the cost savings by comparing the "gross training cost" to, in this case, the cost of the training subscription. 

"Money talks," Anderson said. "What I found in our situation was our leadership really wanted to know how much money we were saving by taking classes with Skillsoft rather than taking them at other institutions. That really ended up being a great measurement to show how our team was adopting this tool."

When they tallied up the cost savings using this method, Corewell Health saved about $150,000. Anderson said a range of metrics can work in building your case, including  skill assessments , course or journey completions, badges earned, and gamification or leaderboards to show participation.

Other ways to show cost-savings include weighing the training investment against estimated recruiting costs or that of managed services, and the cost of team vacancies.

Read Next:  Measure Mastery: How Interactivity Showcases Earned Skills - Skillsoft

Step 4.1: Anticipate Opposition and Risks

From a business perspective, senior leaders want to keep costs low and benefits high. And when costs become too much, they have difficult decisions to make. During such times, leaders might see learning programs as less critical than other areas that can have short-term or immediate impact on the bottom line, ultimately diverting money away from these programs.

Corporate training programs often require an upfront investment in both time and resources, with benefits that may not be immediately visible. Additionally, skepticism fuels opposition. Some leaders may doubt the impact of training, questioning whether it translates into measurable business outcomes. This skepticism can be reinforced by past experiences with poorly executed training programs that failed to deliver.

Convincing senior leadership to overcome these reservations requires presenting a thorough argument that clearly demonstrates the success and ROI of well-implemented training programs and how the team helps anticipate future business needs. By preemptively acknowledging these concerns and providing compelling evidence to counter them, L&D leaders can build a stronger, more persuasive case for investing in learning.

Step 5: Present Your Case for Learning to... Everyone

Arguably the most important part of undertaking this effort is spreading the word throughout your organization because training can (and does) have a tremendous impact on developing new leaders, securing coveted skills, and fostering a  vibrant company culture . As you present your case, it's important to consider your audiences and what they care about.

"Understanding your audience and communicating value effectively can significantly enhance the impact of your business case," writes Cathy Hoy, CEO of CLO100.

Hoy recommends  presenting your case for learning  using a flow like this:

  • Executive Summary  — Condense the presentation and list key takeaways.
  • The Business Challenge — Call out what hurts the business today.
  • The Benefits   — Answer what the organization gains by implementing the solution.
  • The Risks — Get in front of the risks or concerns people may have and refute them.
  • The Costs — Address what the investment costs the organization and why. Include the estimated ROI.
  • The Timeline  — Communicate what people should expect and when.
  • The Call-to-Action  — Articulate what you need from your stakeholders and ask for it directly.

As you embark on the campaign trail, tailor your messages to the respective audience. Pro tip:  Constantly ask yourself, "what's in it for them?"

Your Message to Executives — Communicate how training aligns with strategic business goals both now and in the future, highlighting the financial benefits and ROI over time. Their buy-in secures funding and protects your investments.

Your Message to Department Leaders — Show how training can lead to outcomes they care about, like improved team performance, while supporting the organization's overarching mission. Their buy-in ensures smoother implementation and ongoing support.

Your Message to All Employees — Educating the broader workforce about the value of ongoing learning fosters a culture of continuous improvement. When employees see how training will benefit them — career advancement, improving performance, etc. — they are more likely to participate. Their buy-in ensures the adoption of training programs, the closure of skill gaps, and more systemic outcomes, like higher morale, lower attrition, and more.

An Effective Business Case Protects Investments, Secures Budget

When done well, an effective business case for learning can protect hard-won learning programs and demonstrate to leadership the impact training can have on powerful outcomes, like customer and employee satisfaction, productivity, and more.

However, it takes time to build a thorough case — especially alone. Doing so with support from other areas of the business will strengthen the argument for learning while also decentralizing the planning and execution process. This will help while building a case, but also when the case has been won.

If you're building a case for your programs, consider reviewing Skillsoft's Total Economic Impact Studies, commissioned through Forrester Consulting. Each of these studies shows the potential return on investment a composite organization would realize by investing in Skillsoft training.

  • Total Economic Impact of Skillsoft Technology and Developer Solutions
  • Total Economic Impact of Skillsoft Compliance Solutions
  • Total Economic Impact of Skillsoft Leadership and Business Solutions

Further, this year's  Lean Into Learning Report and  IT Skills and Salary Report dive deep into training data and industry trends to help inform L&D strategy. Use resources like these to bolster your argument in favor of training.

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Case Study: How Schlumberger Revamped Its Risk Management Process

Case Study: How Schlumberger Revamped Its Risk Management Process

As long as businesses exist, there are potential risks and hazards that will be encountered to continue to carry on business. Enterprise risk management is the assessment of risks and potential hazards that will affect a business. It is the implementation of activities that do any of the following; manage risks, eliminate risks, or transfer risks. Every company should have an  ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT PROGRAM  that is strategic and aligns with its corporate objectives.

Schlumberger is a multinational global provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing in the oil and gas industry. It had a risk management program that was struggling to meet its corporate objectives.  In this article, we see how they unraveled the complexity of their processes to manage their risks.

How to Create an Effective Enterprise Risk Management Program

For a company to create an enterprise risk management program that will help it achieve its corporate objectives, it needs to first understand its systems and processes, find out where there are issues, and devise a solution that will make it effective.

Understand the Problem

To deploy an effective enterprise risk management program for its organization, a company needs to understand what its risks are, where they are domiciled and how to deal with them. Companies often make the mistake of allowing individual departments to handle their own risk management initiatives without having a corporate risk management program. This often means that risk assessment and decisions are made in silos that may vary from overall company objectives.

Schlumberger had a complex risk program that was difficult to understand, the premium calculations for its insurance renewal were quite opaque and required long arduous work to process one level budget. The complexity of the insurance renewal program made it difficult to accurately calculate insurance premiums. They often had to rely on their broker to get the data needed to run their processes. The company desired a simplified process and sought to gain more transparency on how to calculate insurance premiums and also to remove the complexity in their risk management programs. The first step they took was to determine what their objectives were, here is what they wanted from the new process

  • Improve efficiency and visibility of the risk management program to enhance quick decision-making in the organization.
  • Regain full control of insurance renewals and monitoring and remove reliance on third-party.
  • Simplify insurance premium calculation and improve transparency in insurance renewals.

Create a Solution

Having identified the main issues and determined the objectives, to create an efficient enterprise risk management solution, companies should seek a solution that will help them create an effective risk management program. Schlumberger sought a company that will help it create the solution it wants. The company will deliver the main objective of simplifying the risk management process, eliminating the opaque process, and giving them back the opportunity to manage their risk assessment and insurance premium renewals. Riskonnect Tech was chosen as the company to rebuild the risk management program of Schlumberger using its enterprise risk management software.

What Riskonnect Tech Did

Riskonnect Tech took the challenge to transform and revamp the enterprise risk management program of Schlumberger by seeking to untangle the various complexities of the systems. They did the following:

  • Had an honest discussion with Schlumberger to determine what they wanted from their new process
  • Consulted with all the players involved in the resolution of risk insurance premium calculations, these included brokers, validators, insurers, insured entities, declarants, and invoiced entities.
  • Automated processes that were manual and often required a lot of manhours to deliver results
  • Eliminated manual data imputation which often led to errors in calculations and poor decisions
  • Simplified convoluted processes and made it transparent enough for Schlumberger to have a direct overview of where its assets are and where they are being moved to
  • Provided a data analytic dashboard that made it easy for them to visualize and take decisions quickly about their risks profile and also helped them to gain real-time insights into their insurance needs all year round.

The Results

After revamping the enterprise risk management program, Schlumberger had a more simplified system that promoted transparency and gave them the tools to assess and calculate risks more efficiently. Man-hours were saved and the complex processes were resolved. Schlumberger gained control of its risk management processes and could now direct how risks were calculated by country and region. This reduced third-party dependency and gave them the flexibility to respond to any risk situation quickly.

Companies that desire to implement an enterprise risk management program to serve the overall interest of the company and manage their risks effectively need cutting edge tools that are designed to simplify their processes, give them control of their processes and ultimately empower them with the right data and analytics to make quick decisions. Schlumberger realized this was what they needed to remain competitive in an ever-changing world that is full of uncertainties.

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business process management case study

Case Study and Maturity Model for Business Process Management Implementation

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This paper presents the implementation of Business Process Management in a large international company. The business case illustrates the main objectives and approach taken with the BPM initiative. It introduces a process management maturity assessment which was developed to assess the implementation of Business Process Management and the achievements. The maturity model is based on nine categories which comprehensively cover all aspects which impact the success of Business Process Management. Some findings of the first assessment cycle are pinpointed to illustrate the benefits and best practice exchange as a result of the assessment.

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Rohloff, M. (2009). Case Study and Maturity Model for Business Process Management Implementation. In: Dayal, U., Eder, J., Koehler, J., Reijers, H.A. (eds) Business Process Management. BPM 2009. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 5701. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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