Letter from the Managing Editor:

December 2015

Dear BPTrends Member:

Our December publication features reflections on the November BBC (Building Business Capabilities) Conference from both Paul Harmon and Peter Matthijssen—Paul on defining the similarities and differences in the roles of Business Process Practitioners and Business Analysts, and Peter on the need for greater collaboration among all process improvement practitioners. In Class Notes, Jan vom Brocke and his colleagues at the University of Lichtenstein present a compelling review of their research into what leads to successful BPM initiatives.

We hope 2015 has been a successful and fulfilling year for all of you. All of us at BPTrends send you, your friends and your family warm wishes for a Peaceful and Happy Holiday Season.

Carolyn Potts
Managing Editor

New Features

December 1, 2015


Defining and Translating Strategies into Business Processes

Dr. AlBuhairan presents this month’s video in which she discusses the methodology she and her colleagues developed to define and translate strategy into business processes at the University Hospital. Dr. AlBuhairan is a 20 year veteran of the health care industry and currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Operational Excellence at King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz University Hospital, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



Some people think of processes as flow sequences and some think of processes as ways to describe how businesses get work done.

Check all of the items below that you think ought to be part of a rigorous analysis of a business process:

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Harmon’s Blog: Eye On BPM

Policies, Processes and Human Mistakes

In early October the US air force, operating in Afghanistan, bombed a hospital in Kunduz that was run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), killing  31 patients and medical personal.  Since then there have been investigations by both the Associated Press and by the US forces in Afghanistan.  A report was just issued by the US forces, and US Army General John Campbell described the tragedy as "an


Harmon on BPM: Business Analysis and Business Process Management

Harmon on BPM Column

At the recent Building Business Capabilities Conference the question of the differences between a Business Process Practitioner and a Business Analyst was frequently asked. In this month’s Column, Paul presents his view on their differences and similarities as well as their respective roles in process initiatives.

Business Architecture Essentials: Defining Your Architecture Scope—The Role of Value Chains


In the second Column in his Business Architecture Essentials series, Roger Burlton describes the types of value chains that exist in the various types of organizations. He asserts that this part of the architecture effort needs to happen early on, and offers useful tools for successfully defining an organization’s value chain.

Class Notes: Considering Context in Business Process Management—The BPM Process Framework

Class Notes Column

Jan vom Brocke and his colleagues, Theresa Schmiedel and Sarah Zelt at the University of Lichtenstein, stress the importance of context when considering BPM initiatives. In their research to determine factors that lead to successful BPM implementation, they identified the principle of context awareness as critical. In this Column, they present the BPM Context Framework to assist practitioners in identifying critical contextual factors.

BPM and Lean: Playtime is Over—It’s Game On!


The central themes at this year’s BBC conference were Change and Agility, and Peter strongly believes that bringing together and bridging different disciplines and techniques is critical to effectively supporting change. However, his experience has informed him that such collaboration is seldom practiced in organizations. Read his analysis and the solution he’s found to be successful in bringing practitioners of different disciplines together.

Process Solutions: Process Automation—Keeping What You’ve Got!

Process Solutions Column

As both a technologist and process professional, Tom Bellinson often finds himself considering the cost/benefit ratio of acquiring new technologies. In this Column, he urges caution before replacing your existing ERP software with newer software solutions and details his reasons why.


It’s Time For More Data: How Big Data is Changing Business Software

In this Article, Dennis Hung, a business consultant and writer, discusses the impact of big data on the way BPM software functions. He provides three examples of companies in which the marriage of big data and BPM promises to help organizations streamline and automate their business processes.

Developing a Data-Driven Channel Data Management (CDM) Program

Dan Blacharski has observed from his experience as a high-tech writer that in today’s competitive market, there’s more to channel management than collecting data from sales representatives. IT managers are being asked to provide greater accuracy and speed in producing and communicating data about demographics data related to product channel distribution. Read his Article for information on how some “data-enabled” organizations are responding to the challenge.