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A Common Body of Knowledge for BPM: A Call for Action

October 21, 2010 2 comments

I’m currently doing some research towards the development of a Business Process Management Body of Knowledge (BPM BoK) so have been reading an interesting paper by Wasana Bandara, Michael Rosemann (QUT) and Paul Harmon (Business Process Trends) on the Process Knowledge Initiative website. Their paper discusses the need to advance BPM as a profession through the development of an empirically validated, accurate and relevant BoK and establish consensus on the definition of BPM. This exploratory paper identifies existing BPMBoK’s, proposes an approach for evaluation via an a-priori model and then offers an ontological design for BoK derivation. With a recognised gap between BPM education and the emerging capability demands of Industry, this BPMBoK will form the basis for both curriculum and practitioner development.

The Authors scan of the current BPM domain has identified five relevant BoK/certification programs deemed relevant to this study:
1. American Society of Quality (ASQ) Black Belt BoK
2. International Institute of Business Analysis BoK (BABOK)
3. OMG Business Process Standards
4. International Society for Performance Improvement BoK
5. Association of Business Process Management Professionals BoK (ABPMP BoK)

Due to its close alignment with the current intent of BPM, the Researchers have chosen to review the ABPMP BoK for this paper. Covering nine “knowledge areas”, the Bok is structured so that the core BOM concepts are presented in the first overarching knowledge group of Business Process Management:
1. Business Process Management
2. Process Modelling
3. Process Analysis
4. Process Design
5. Process Transformation
6. Process Performance Management
7. Process Organisation
8. Enterprise Process Management
9. BPM Technologies

Some of these knowledge areas pertain specifically to the core activities of a BPM practitioner, others to the organisational environment and the use of appropriate technology.

ABPMP BoK Evaluation Methodology
Following a review of the literature for BoK evaluation criteria, including Design Science research and input from the BPM community, an a-priori BoK evaluation framework was established covering the five identified factors of completeness; extendibility; understandability; application; and utility. The Authors then test the ABPMP BoK against each of these criteria and present their findings. Whilst acknowledging that the ABPMP BoK is a good start, “in its early phases and evolutionary”, there are apparent limitations with transparency, completeness and Industry consensus.

Design Approach for BoK Creation
The Researchers have broken down the content derivation process for a BPM BoK into two phases. The first is focused on what to include, the second on the actual population of the BoK components. As the focus of this paper is on phase 1, an ontology based approach is proposed to provide a unifying framework, supported by BPM practitioners, educators and Industry associations. Deemed an appropriate guide, due to the open and systematic approach taken by IIBA when developing their BABoK, the Authors have adopted the elements of Knowledge Areas, Tasks, and Techniques as appropriate for inclusion, with the addition of techniques & skills groups.

In summary, this initial paper calls for an open, BPM community driven effort to identify what it means to be a BPM professional. This is a long overdue initiative of benefit to the whole BPM community. Join the conversation here – Process Knowledge Initiative.

Categories: BPM

A critical analysis of global BPM demand

October 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve recently submitted a Business Process Management research paper for presentation at this year’s conference on Qualitative research in IT (QualIT2010), held immediately prior to the Australasian conference on Information Systems (ACIS2010) in Brisbane, Australia. Our paper provides insight into the research methodology applied and the outcomes of a global review of the capabilities organisations typically look for in their BPM employees.

To clearly articulate the preferred BPM capabilities sought across three distinct geographic regions, a structured content analysis of leading on-line recruitment websites was conducted, with this data compared to leading academic BPM capability frameworks. As there is still very little understanding on BPM as a profession, this research aims to address this gap by analysing current BPM vacancies on a global scale and providing a synthesised view of how the roles and responsibilities required aligns with known BPM capability frameworks.

The intent of this paper is to provide an understanding of how BPM practitioner capabilities currently required by organisations differ between the Australian, European and North American contexts. Specifically, this study addresses the following research questions through a literature review and qualitative data analysis:
• “What does the landscape of BPM employment opportunities look like across different geographic regions?”
• “How do sought after capabilities match to known BPM capability frameworks?”

This analysis can be used by prospective and current BPM professionals to understand organisational requirements globally, and academics to structure BPM education to suit these differing geographic demands. This study can be further extended to incorporate and align industry requirements with academic offerings to better serve the needs of the BPM community and make BPM curriculum more relevant.

I’ll put up a link to this paper and another on BPM curriculum (to be presented at ACIS2010) after the conferences.

Categories: BPM