Letter from the Managing Editor:

Dear BPTrends Member:

As is our August tradition at BPTrends, we suspend our normal publication schedule and publish our “Best of BPTrends” list. We have selected publications from the past 12 months and categorized them according to topics that have generated the most interest among our readers. We hope you’ll find an Article or Column that you haven’t read and some you’ll wish to reread. We will resume our regular publishing schedule in September. As always, we look forward to hearing your comments and recommendations for future publications.

Carolyn Potts
Managing Editor

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Best of BPTrends

Business Architecture

Business Architecture Essentials: The Business Architecture Landscape

In this Column, Roger Burlton lays out a set of principles for Business Architecture and examines some popular architectural approaches that are currently available. His focus is on Business Architecture and the paradigms he presents are apropos business executives as well as BPM professionals.

Business Architecture Essentials: Defining your External Stakeholders–Interactions, Value, and Performance

In his third Column in the series on Business Architecture Essentials, Roger Burlton analyzes the stakeholder’s role in defining an organization’s business architecture. He presents the stakeholder model he uses to reconcile the various stakeholders’ perspectives. He provides a list of questions and responses which will help you to define your external stakeholders and, ultimately, the most viable strategic goals.

Business Analysis

Harmon on BPM: Business Analysis and Business Process Management

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 Analysis: Using Traditional Tools to Define Process based in Knowledge Work

Using a recent project that involved mapping processes for the development of a physician’s certification exam, Maureen McVey presents the approach and tools she used to identify critical success factors that would lead to a quality product. A tool that figured prominently in her process was SIPOC, a Six Sigma methodology. Read her Column to learn how she applied the tool and the results she achieved.

Business Capability

The Business Capability Map: A critical yet often misunderstood concept when moving from program strategy to implementation

In this Article, Shiva Nadarajah and Atul Sapkal consultants at Sapient Global Markets, define business capabilities and show where they fit into the overall process, and how they can be used to drive meaningful decisions to gain alignment from strategy through execution. To illustrate the use and value of the business capability map, they include an example from the wealth management industry.

Class Notes: The Power of Text-mining in Business Process Management

Jan vom Brocke, with his colleagues, Stefan Debortoli and Oliver Mueller, investigate text-mining’s potential to support BPM capabilities. Their results show that text-mining offers significant potential for building BPM capabilities in both exploitation and exploration. They identify the considerable potential of applying text-mining in BPM and conclude with a call for more discussion and contributions to this promising new lens through which to build BPM capabilities.

BPM Defined

Practical Process: A Process by Any Other Name…

Roger Tregear believes that the ongoing argument over the definition of process is both a waste of time and a cause for confusion—and who could disagree? He proposes five practices that can be used to achieve clean language with a minimal vocabulary that can be understood by all.

Making BPM Work

In this Article, Matthew Morgan, who oversees the Process Excellence program at Bridgewater Associates, an investment management company, shares some ideas organizations can apply to make BPM work more effectively to achieve their goals. He illustrates the methodology he has used successfully in two multi-billion dollar companies to create and implement successful business transformations.

Process Governance

Practical Process: Who’s in Charge?

In This Column, Roger Tregear turns his attention to process governance, which he considers to be essential to the machinery of process based management. In this Column, Roger provides his insights into establishing an effective process governance system and answers the 4 questions he is most frequently asked regarding process governance.

Steps to Governance

In this Article, Stacey Wright, a program manager at Macedon Industries, initiates the first in a series of Articles on governance. Stacey has had considerable experience in helping organizations add applications to run and grow their businesses. Here, she lists the most frequently asked questions she has encountered, which she will address in future Articles.

BPM and Lean

BPM and Lean: The Essence of BPM

Peter Matthijssen urges BPM professionals to stop focusing on the best approach or method for improving processes, but rather to concentrate on how different approaches and techniques can support each other. He asks, “What does BPM bring to the web of methods and techniques?” In other words, what is the essence of BPM? Do you agree with his conclusion?

BPM and Lean: 7 Key Capabilities of the Adaptive Enterprise

In his February Column, Peter Matthijssen’s message was that organizations need to become more adaptive. Continuing on that theme, in this Column he identifies 7 capabilities which he considers crucial for an organization to become an adaptive enterprise.

Business Rules

Business Rules Solutions: Pattern Questions for Harvesting Rules from Business Process Models

In this Column, Ron Ross and Gladys Lam discuss business rules as a powerful tool for practitioners to simplify business process models and enhance their quality. Pattern questions assist not only in capturing related business rules, but also in discussing related business issues with business stakeholders. Their Column presents a targeted set of pattern questions to assist in that process and illustrates them with practical examples.

Business Rules Solutions: General Pattern Questions for Harvesting Business Rules

In this Column, Ron Ross presents general pattern questions that can be used to capture basic business rules. These pattern questions focus directly on the basic question words what, how, where, who, when, and why,– plus exceptions. Applying these pattern questions represents an important step in externalizing business rules from other components of a business solution, especially business process models.

The Future of BPM

Harmon on BPM: Business Process Trends in 2016

Paul presents his thoughts on what we might expect to see occur in process work in 2016. Based on responses to our January reader’s poll, observations at the November Building Business Capability Conference and extensive market research, he speculates that it will be a slow to average year for those promoting BPM, but will see the emergence of Cognitive Computing as an important technology. Read Paul’s Column for his take on 2016 and what Cognitive Computing might mean for BPM.

Repositioning BPM

In this Article, the authors, Joachim Van den Bergh, Işik Öykü, Viaene Stijn and Helsen Eddy – colleagues associated with Vlerick Business School and Prime Foundation Partner ViCre, – explore the future of BPM as a management discipline and identify the key capabilities required for process support units to remain meaningful in a world of business transformation.

Process Improvement

Process Improvement: Real Process Ownership

What is real process ownership? Applying his twenty-five years of experience as a consultant in performance improvement at the Performance Design Lab, Alan Ramias defines real process ownership and also suggests how to create and sustain it in your organization.

Process Improvement: Business Modeling—Is That What We Do?

Alan Ramias doesn’t think the BPM label adequately describes what many process practitioners actually do. In his experience as a consultant called in to provide solutions to a variety of process problems, he begins by modeling the existing organization before seeking solutions. Many organizations do not properly identify their problems and by modeling the organization as it exists, it is easier to identify the problems and opportunities and to gain consensus regarding the solutions and establish priorities. In his Column he presents The Value Creation Hierarchy, the frame of reference he and his colleagues use to do the modeling.

Process Measurement

Harmon on BPM: Measuring Process Performance

Paul’s focus in this Column is on the Ongoing Process Performance Measures (KPI’s) that every organization ought to track. He discusses the key features associated with Process Performance Measures and suggests that organizations need a BPM operating model to continuously drive innovation in its operational and management processes.

Process Framework

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

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.

Connecting Process to Business Value: Leveraging Frameworks for end-to-end Product Development, Part One

In December of 2015, APQC conducted its annual survey to understand the challenges and priorities of process and performance management practitioners in 2016. In this Article, Roger Burlton, President of Process Renewal Group, and Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, Research Program Manager at APQC, present the results of the survey and lay the ground work for two subsequent Articles in which they will introduce process frameworks and examine their role in the development of end-to-end processes.

Connecting Process to Business Value: What is an End-to End Process Architecture? Part Two

In this Article, Roger Burlton and Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, Research Program Manager at APQC, present the second in their series of three Articles summarizing the results of the APQC survey. This Article focuses on defining an end-to-end process and demonstrating what a good end-to-end process should look like.

New Technology and BPM

Harmon on BPM: The Digital Transformation and Business Process

Paul Harmon believes the current digital transformation is ultimately a business process transformation and that the challenge organizations face is not what to automate, but what to automate first. Read his insights into the Digital Transformation movement and its impact on business processes.

Calendar of Events


Building Business Capability—October 31-November 4, 2016, Las Vegas, Nevada. This popular annual North American Conference brings together a broad range of professionals who collaborate to provide integrated solutions for enterprise performance improvement.

Education and Training

View Complete Calendar