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The previous chapters gave an insightful introduction into the various facets of Business Process Management. We now share a rich understanding of the essential ideas behind designing and managing processes for organizational purposes. We have also learned about the various streams of research and development that have influenced contemporary BPM. As a matter of fact, BPM has become a holistic management discipline. As such, it requires that a plethora of facets needs to be addressed for its successful und sustainable application. This chapter provides a framework that consolidates and structures the essential factors that constitute BPM as a whole. Drawing from research in the field of maturity models, we suggest six core elements of BPM: strategic alignment, governance, methods, information technology, people, and culture. These six elements serve as the structure for this BPM Handbook.
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The Six Core Elements of
Business Process Management
Michael Rosemann and Jan vom Brocke
Abstract The previous chapters gave an insightful introduction into the various
facets of Business Process Management. We now share a rich understanding of the
essential ideas behind designing and managing processes for organizational pur-
poses. We have also learned about the various streams of research and development
that have influenced contemporary BPM. As a matter of fact, BPM has become a
holistic management discipline. As such, it requires that a plethora of facets needs
to be addressed for its successful und sustainable application. This chapter provides
a framework that consolidates and structures the essential factors that constitute
BPM as a whole. Drawing from research in the field of maturity models, we suggest
six core elements of BPM: strategic alignment, governance, methods, information
technology, people, and culture. These six elements serve as the structure for this
BPM Handbook.
1 Why Looking for BPM Core Elements?
A recent global study by Gartner confirmed the significance of BPM with the top
issue for CIOs identified for the sixth year in a row being the improvement of
business processes (Gartner 2010). While such an interest in BPM is beneficial for
professionals in this field, it also increases the expectations and the pressure to
deliver on the promises of the process-centered organization.
This context demands a sound understanding of how to approach BPM and a
framework that decomposes the complexity of a holistic approach such as Business
Process Management. A framework highlighting essential building blocks of BPM
can particularly serve the following purposes:
M. Rosemann (*)
Information Systems Discipline, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of
Technology, Brisbane, Australia
J. vom Brocke and M. Rosemann (eds.), Handbook on Business Process Management 1,
International Handbooks on Information Systems,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-00416-2_5, #Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010
lProject and Program Management: How can all relevant issues within a BPM
approach be safeguarded? When implementing a BPM initiative, either as a
project or as a program, is it essential to individually adjust the scope and have
different BPM flavors in different areas of the organization? What competencies
are relevant? What approach fits best with the culture and BPM history of the
organization? What is it that needs to be taken into account “beyond modeling”?
People for one thing play an important role like Hammer has pointed out in his
chapter (Hammer 2010), but what might be further elements of relevance? In
order to find answers to these questions, a framework articulating the core
elements of BPM provides invaluable advice.
lVendor Management: How can service and product offerings in the field of BPM
be evaluated in terms of their overall contribution to successful BPM? What
portfolio of solutions is required to address the key issues of BPM, and to what
extent do these solutions need to be sourced from outside the organization?
There is, for example, a large list of providers of process-aware information
systems, change experts, BPM training providers, and a variety of BPM consult-
ing services. How can it be guaranteed that these offerings cover the required
capabilities? In fact, the vast number of BPM offerings does not meet the
requirements as distilled in this Handbook; see for example, Hammer (2010),
Davenport (2010), Harmon (2010), and Rummler and Ramias (2010). It is also
for the purpose of BPM make-or-buy decisions and the overall vendor manage-
ment, that a framework structuring core elements of BPM is highly needed.
lComplexity Management: How can the complexity that results from the holistic
and comprehensive nature of BPM be decomposed so that it becomes manage-
able? How can a number of coexisting BPM initiatives within one organization
be synchronized? An overarching picture of BPM is needed in order to provide
orientation for these initiatives. Following a “divide-and-conquer” approach, a
shared understanding of the core elements can help to focus on special factors
of BPM. For each element, a specific analysis could be carried out involving
experts from the various fields. Such an assessment should be conducted
by experts with the required technical, business-oriented, and socio-cultural
lStandards Management: What elements of BPM need to be standardized across
the organization? What BPM elements need to be mandated for every BPM
initiative? What BPM elements can be configured individually within each
initiative? A comprehensive framework allows an element-by-element decision
for the degrees of standardization that are required. For example, it might be
decided that a company-wide process model repository will be “enforced” on all
BPM initiatives, while performance management and cultural change will be
decentralized activities.
lStrategy Management: What is the BPM strategy of the organization? How does
this strategy materialize in a BPM roadmap? How will the naturally limited
attention of all involved stakeholders be distributed across the various BPM
elements? How do we measure progression in a BPM initiative (“BPM audit”)?
108 M. Rosemann and J. vom Brocke
A BPM framework that clearly outlines the different elements of BPM has the
potential to become an essential tool for such strategy and road-mapping exer-
cises as it facilitates the task of allocating priorities and timeframes to the
progression of the various BPM elements.
Based on this demand for a BPM framework that can be used for project and
program management, vendor management, complexity management, standards
management, and strategy management, we propose a framework that can guide
BPM decision makers in all of these challenges. In the following section, we outline
how we identified these elements. We then introduce the six core elements by first
giving an overview and second presenting each element and its subcomponents in
more detail.
2 How to Identify Core Elements of BPM?
The framework to be identified has to comprehensively structure those elements of
BPM that need to be addressed when following a holistic understanding of BPM,
i.e., BPM as an organizational capability and not just as the execution of the tasks
along a process lifecycle (identify, model, analyze, improve, implement, execute,
monitor, and change). This standpoint requires an organization-wide perspective
and the identification of the core capability areas that are relevant for successful
BPM. We, thus, base our work on BPM maturity models that have been subject to
former research.
Recently, a number of models to decompose and measure the maturity of
Business Process Management have been proposed as shown in Fig. 1.
The basis for the greater part of these maturity models has been the Capability
Maturity Model (CMM) developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie
Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. This model was originally developed in order to
assess the maturity of software development processes and is based on the concept of
immature and mature software organizations. The basis for applying the model is
confirmed by Paulk et al. (1993) who stated that improved maturity results “in an
increase in the process capability of the organization”. CMM introduces the concept
of five maturity levels defined by special requirements that are cumulative.
Among others, Harmon (2004) developed a BPM maturity model based on the
CMM (Harmon 2003). In a similar way, Fisher (2004) combines five “levels of
change” with fives states of maturity. Smith and Fingar (2004) argue that a CMM-
based maturity model, which postulates well-organized and repeatable processes,
cannot capture the need for business process innovation. Further, BPM maturity
models have been designed by the Business Process Management Group (BPMG)
and the TeraQuest/Borland Software (Curtis et al. 2004) that is now supported by
the OMG (OMG 2008).
The Six Core Elements of Business Process Management 109
Curtis and Alden (2006) take a prescriptive approach to process management.
This model combines a number of process areas by either applying a staged or a
continuous approach. Progress through the stages is dependent on all requirements
of preceding and completed stages. Some discretion is allowed at lower stages
using the continuous approach but it largely evolves around the order in which the
process areas are addressed. Hammer (2007), likewise, adopts a prescriptive
approach (the “Process Audit”) defining a number of process and enterprise com-
petencies. Hammer also demands that all aspects of a stage are to be completed
before progressing to higher stages of maturity.
A recognized shortcoming of the universalistic approaches adopted by Curtis
and Alden (2006) and Hammer (2007) is that they seem to be more appropriate for
relatively narrow domains and do not capture various aspects of an organization
sufficiently (Sabherwal et al. 2001). A further critique of these BPM maturity
models has been the simplifying focus, the limited reliability in the assessment,
and the lack of actual (and documented) applications of these models leading to
limited empirical validations.
Model Subject Source
Process Condition Model Effectiveness and efficiency
measurement to rate a
process’ condition
DeToro and McCabe
Strategic Alignment Maturity
Maturity of strategic
Luftman (2003)
BPR Maturity Model Business Process Re-
engineering Programmes
Maull et al. (2003)
Harmon’s BPM Maturity
BPM maturity model based
on the CMM
Harmon (2003, 2004)
Rummler-Brache Group’s
Process Maturity Model
Success factors for
managing key business
OMG’s BPM Maturity Model Practices applied to the
management of discrete
Curtis et al. (2004);
OMG (2008)
Rosemann and de Bruin’s
BPM Maturity Model
Maturity of Business
Process Management
Rosemann; de Bruin
(2005); de Bruin (2009)
Capability Maturity Model
Integration (CMMI)
Maturity of software
development processes
SEI (2006a, 2006b)
Hammer’s BPM Maturity
Model (Process Audit)
Defining process and
enterprise competencies
Hammer (2007)
Fig. 1 Selected maturity models in BPM
110 M. Rosemann and J. vom Brocke
A proposal to divide organizations into groups with regard to their grade and
progression of BPM implementation was made by Pritchard and Armistead (1999).
The Rummler–Brache Group commissioned a study, which used ten success factors
gaging how well an organization manages its key business processes (Rummler–
Brache 2004). The results have been consolidated in a Process Performance Index.
Pritchard and Armistead (1999) provide a proposal for how to divide organizations
into groups depending on their grade and progression of BPM implementation.
In an attempt to define maturity of BPR programs, Maull et al. (2003) encoun-
tered problems in that they could not use objective measures. They define BPM by
using two dimensions, an objective measure (time, team size, etc.) and a “weighting
for readiness to change” (Maull et al. 2003). This approach, however, turned out to
be too complex for measurement. Therefore, they chose a phenomenological
approach assessing the organization’s perception of their maturity, using objective
measures as a guideline. Another example of how to define maturity (or in their case
“process condition”) is provided by DeToro and McCabe (1997), who used two
dimensions (effectiveness and efficiency) to rate a process’ condition. These mod-
els show that a clear distinction should be made between process maturity models
and Business Process Management maturity models.
In addition to these dedicated process and BPM maturity models, a number of
models have been proposed that study and structure the maturity of single elements
of BPM in a more general way. An example is Luftman’s (2003) maturity model for
strategic alignment.
As our base for identifying the core elements of BPM, we have used Rosemann
and de Bruin’s (2005) BPM maturity model (de Bruin 2009). This BPM maturity
model was selected for a number of reasons:
lFirst, it was developed on the contemporary understanding of BPM as a holistic
management approach.
lSecond, it is based on a sound academic development process. Starting with an in-
depth and comprehensive literature review, the experiences and preliminary ver-
sions of three previous BPM maturity models have been consolidated. The model
has been validated, refined, and specified through a series of international Delphi
studies involving global BPM thought leaders (de Bruin and Rosemann 2007). A
number of detailed case studies in various industries further contributed to the
validation and deeper understanding of the model (de Bruin 2009).
lThird, the model distinguishes factors and capability areas on two levels of
abstraction. This hierarchical structure allows different types of granularity in
the analysis. As a result, definitions of the factors and capability areas are
available and provide a basis for consistent interpretation (Rosemann et al.
2006; de Bruin 2009).
lFourth and finally, the model has been applied within a number of organizations
by means of documented case studies including embedded surveys and work-
shops (Rosemann and de Bruin 2004; Rosemann et al. 2004; de Bruin and
Rosemann 2006; de Bruin 2009). Hence, the core elements have been validated
and proven to be of practical relevance in real life projects.
The Six Core Elements of Business Process Management 111
For all these reasons, we are using this maturity model to identify the six core
elements of BPM. That said, we use the model in a slightly modified way: We do
not explicitly elaborate on the maturity assessment process and the various maturity
stages of this model. Rather we take a static view and simply discuss the factors and
corresponding capability areas of this BPM framework.
3 Introducing the Six Core Elements of BPM
3.1 Overview
The consolidation of related literature, the merger of three existing BPM maturity
models, the subsequent international Delphi studies and the case studies led to a set
of well-defined factors that together constitute a holistic understanding of BPM
(de Bruin 2009). Each of the six core elements represents a critical success factor
for Business Process Management. Therefore, each element, sooner or later, needs
to be considered by organizations striving for success with BPM. For each of these
six factors, the consensus finding Delphi studies (de Bruin and Rosemann 2007)
provided a further level of detail, the so called Capability Areas. Both factors and
capability areas are displayed in Fig. 2.
Our model distinguishes six core elements critical to BPM. These are strategic
alignment, governance, methods, information technology, people, and culture.
lStrategic Alignment: BPM needs to be aligned with the overall strategy of an
organization. Strategic alignment (or synchronization) is defined as the tight
linkage of organizational priorities and enterprise processes enabling continual
and effective action to improve business performance. Processes have to be
Improvement &
Improvement &
Implementation &
Process Roles
Process Metrics &
Monitoring &
Monitoring &
Attention to
Process Attitudes
& Behaviors
Strategy & Process
Capability Linkage
Process Measures
Customers &
Process Program
& Project
Process Program
& Project
Process Related
Implementation &
Decision Making
Social Networks
Process Values &
Process Design &
Process Design &
Process Skills &
to Process
Governance Methods People Culture
Factors Capability Areas
Fig. 2 The six core elements of BPM
112 M. Rosemann and J. vom Brocke
designed, executed, managed, and measured according to strategic priorities and
specific strategic situations (e.g., stage of a product lifecycle, position in a
strategic portfolio; Burlton 2010). In return, specific process capabilities (e.g.,
competitive advantage in terms of time to execute or change a process) may
offer opportunities to inform the strategy design leading to process-enabled
lGovernance: BPM governance establishes appropriate and transparent account-
ability in terms of roles and responsibilities for different levels of BPM (portfo-
lio, program, project, and operations). A further focus is on the design of
decision-making and reward processes to guide process-related actions.
lMethods: Methods in the context of BPM are defined as the set of tools and
techniques that support and enable activities along the process lifecycle and
within enterprise-wide BPM initiatives. Examples are methods that facilitate
process modeling or process analysis and process improvement techniques. Six
Sigma is an example for a BPM approach that has at its core a set of integrated
BPM methods (Conger 2010).
lInformation Technology: IT-based solutions are of significance for BPM initia-
tives. With a traditional focus on process analysis (e.g., statistical process
control) and process modeling support, BPM-related IT solutions increasingly
manifest themselves in the form of process-aware information systems (PAIS)
(Dumas et al. 2005). Process-awareness means that the software has an explicit
understanding of the process that needs to be executed. Such process awareness
could be the result of input in the form of process models or could be more
implicitly embedded in the form of hard-coded processes (like in traditional
banking or insurance applications).
lPeople: People as a core element of BPM is defined as individuals and groups
who continually enhance and apply their process and process management skills
and knowledge in order to improve business performance. Consequently, this
factor captures the BPM capabilities that are reflected in the human capital of an
organization and its ecosystem.
lCulture: BPM culture incorporates the collective values and beliefs in regards to
the process-centered organization. Although commonly considered a “soft-fac-
tor,” comparative case studies clearly demonstrate the strong impact of culture
on the success of BPM (de Bruin 2009). Culture is about creating a facilitating
environment that complements the various BPM initiatives. However, it needs to
be recognized that the impact of culture-related activities tends to have a much
longer time horizon than activities related to any of the other five factors.
The six identified factors in this BPM maturity model are heavily grounded in
literature. A sample summary of literature supporting these factors is shown in
Fig. 3.
In the following, we will elaborate on the capability areas that further decom-
pose each of these six factors. Here, we particularly draw from the results of a set of
international Delphi Studies that involved BPM experts from the US, Australasia,
and Europe (de Bruin and Rosemann 2007). We can only provide a brief overview
The Six Core Elements of Business Process Management 113
about each of the six factors in the following sections and refer to the chapters in
this Handbook for deeper insights per factor.
3.2 Strategic Alignment
Strategic alignment is defined as the tight linkage of organizational priorities and
enterprise processes enabling continual and effective action to improve business
performance. Five distinct capability areas have been identified as part of an
assessment of strategic alignment in BPM.
lA strategy-driven process improvement plan captures the organization’s overall
approach towards BPM. The process improvement plan should be directly
derived from the organization’s strategy, and outline how process improvement
initiatives are going to meet strategically prioritized goals. This allows a clear
articulation of the corporate benefits of BPM initiatives. The process improve-
ment plan also provides information related to how the BPM initiative relates to
underlying projects such as the implementation of an Enterprise System.
lA core element of strategic alignment, in the context of BPM, is the bidirectional
linkage between strategy and business processes. Do the business processes
directly contribute to the strategy? Do organizational strategies explicitly incor-
porate process capabilities? By way of example, do we know which processes
Factor Source
Strategic Alignment Elzinga et al. 1995; Hammer, 2001; Hung, 2006; Jarrar
et al. 2000; Pritchard and Armistead, 1999; Puah K.Y. and
Tang K.H, 2000; Zairi, 1997; Zairi and Sinclair, 1995
Government Braganza and Lambert, 2000; Gulledge and Sommer, 2002;
Harmon, 2005; Jarrar et al. 2000; Pritchard and Armistead,
Methods Adesola and Baines, 2005; Harrington, 1991; Kettinger et al.
1997; Pritchard and Armistead, 1999; Zairi, 1997
Information Technology Gulledge and Sommer, 2002; Hammer and Champy, 1993;
McDaniel, 2001
People Elzinga et al. 1995; Hung, 2006; Llewellyn and Armistead,
2000; Pritchard and Armistead, 1999; Zairi and Sinclair,
1995; Zairi, 1997
Culture Elzinga et al. 1995; Llewellyn and Armistead, 2000; Pritchard
and Armistead, 1999; Spanyi, 2003, Zairi, 1997; Zairi and
Sinclair, 1995
Fig. 3 The six BPM core elements in the literature
114 M. Rosemann and J. vom Brocke
are impacted by a change of the strategy? Which processes could become a
bottleneck in the execution of the strategy? Is the strategy designed and contin-
ually reviewed in light of current and emerging process capabilities? How
should scarce resources be allocated to competing processes? Which processes
are core to the organization and should be executed in-house (core competency)?
Which processes are candidates for process outsourcing or off-shoring (Bhat et
al. 2010)? Common methodologies such as Strategy Maps (Kaplan and Norton
2004) play an important role in linking strategy and process design.
lAn enterprise process architecture is the highest level abstraction of the actual
hierarchy of value-driven and enabling business processes (Aitken et al. 2010;
Spanyi 2010). A well-defined enterprise process architecture clearly depicts
which major business processes exist, describes the industry-/company-specific
value chain, and captures the enabling processes that support this value chain,
for example, finance, human capital management, or IT services. A well-
designed process architecture provides a high level visualization from a process
view and complements, and not replicates, organizational structures. In addition,
it serves as the main process landscape and provides a starting point for more
detailed process analyses and models.
lIn order to be able to evaluate actual process performance, it is important to have
a clear and shared understanding of process outputs and related key performance
indicators (KPIs). A hierarchy of cascading, process-oriented, and cost-effectively
measured KPIs provides a valuable source for the translation of strategic objec-
tives to process-specific goals and facilitates effective process control. Relevant
KPIs can differ in their nature, including financial, quantitative, qualitative, or
time-based data, and will be dependent on the strategic drivers for the specific
enterprise process (vom Brocke et al. 2010). As far as possible, such KPIs should
be standardized across the various processes and in particular across the different
process variants (e.g., in different countries). Only such a process performance
standardization allows consistent cross-process performance analysis (e.g., what
processes can explain a drop in the overall customer satisfaction?). Often equally
important, but more difficult to measure, are those KPIs related to characteristics
of an entire process, such as flexibility, reliability or compliance.
lStrategies are typically closely linked to individuals and influential stakeholder
groups. Thus, a strategic assessment of BPM has to evaluate the actual priorities
of key customers and other stakeholders such as senior management, share-
holders, government bodies, etc. For example, it can be observed that a change of
a CEO often will have significant impact on the popularity (or not) of BPM even
if the official strategy remains the same. The consideration of stakeholders also
includes an investigation of how well processes with touch-points (“moments of
truth”) to external parties are managed, how well external viewpoints have been
considered in the process design, and what influence external stakeholders have
on the process design. Such a view can go so far that organizations consciously
design processes the way they are perceived by their business partners, and then
start to position their services in these processes.
The Six Core Elements of Business Process Management 115
3.3 Governance
BPM governance is dedicated to appropriate and transparent accountability in terms
of roles and responsibilities for different levels of BPM (portfolio, program, project,
and operations). Furthermore, it is tasked with the design of decision-making and
reward processes to guide process-related actions.
lThe clear definition and consistent execution of related BPM decision-making
processes that guide actions in both anticipated and unanticipated circumstances
is a critical challenge for BPM governance. In addition to who can make which
decision, the speed of decision-making and the ability to influence resource
allocation and organizational responses to process change is important. This
requires alignment with related governance processes such as IT change man-
agement or Business Continuity Management.
lA core element of BPM governance is the definition of process roles and
responsibilities. This covers the entire range of BPM-related roles, from busi-
ness process analysts to process owners up to potential chief process officers
(CPO). It also encompasses all related committees and involved decision boards,
such as Process Councils and Process Steering Committees. The duties and
responsibilities of each role need to be clearly specified, and precise reporting
structures must be defined.
lProcesses must exist to ensure the direct linkage of process performance with
strategic goals. While the actual process output is measured and evaluated as part
of the factor strategic alignment, accountabilities and the process for collecting
the required metrics and linking them to performance criteria is regarded as being
a part of BPM governance.
lProcess management standards must be well-defined and documented. This
includes among others the coordination of process management initiatives
across the organization, and guidelines for the establishment and management
process measures, issue resolution, reward, and remuneration structures.
lProcess management controls as part of BPM governance cover regular review
cycles to maintain the quality and currency of process management principles
(e.g., “process reuse before process development”). Appropriate compliance
management forms another key component of process management controls
(Spanyi 2010).
3.4 Methods
Methods, in the context of BPM, have been defined as the tools and techniques that
support and enable consistent activities on all levels of BPM (portfolio, program,
project, and operations). Distinct methods can be applied to major, discrete stages
of the process lifecycle. This characteristic, which is unique to the “methods” and
“information technology” factors, has resulted in capability areas that reflect the
116 M. Rosemann and J. vom Brocke
process lifecycle stages rather than specific capabilities of BPM methods or infor-
mation technology. An advantage of associating the method capability with a
specific process lifecycle stage is that a method can be assessed with regards to a
specific purpose. For example, it is possible to assess the specific methods used for
designing processes as distinct from those used for improving processes. Therefore,
the methods dimension focuses on the specific needs of each process lifecycle, and
considers elements such as the integration of process lifecycle methods with each
other and with other management methods, the support for methods provided by
information technology, and the sophistication, suitability, accessibility, and actual
usage of methods within each stage.
lProcess design and modeling is related to the methods used to identify and
conceptualize current (as-is) business processes and future (to-be) processes.
The core of such methods is not only to process modeling techniques but also to
process analysis methods.
lProcess implementation and execution covers the next stages in the lifecycle.
Related methods help to transform process models into executable business
process specifications. Methods related to the communication of these models
and escalation methods facilitate the process execution.
lThe process control and measurement stage of the process lifecycle is related to
methods that provide guidance for the collection and consolidation of process-
related data. These data can be related to process control (e.g., risks), or could be
process performance measures (e.g., time, cost, and quality).
lThe process improvement and innovation stage includes all methods which
facilitate the development of improved business processes. This includes
approaches that support the activities of process enhancement (e.g., resequen-
cing steps in a process), process innovation (e.g., creative thinking techniques),
process utilization (better use of existing resources such as people, data, or
systems), and process derivation (reference models, benchmarking, etc.).
lThe assessment component process project management and program manage-
ment evaluates the methods that are used for the overall enterprise-wide man-
agement of BPM and for specific BPM projects. The latter requires a sound
integration of BPM methods with specific project management approaches (e.g.,
3.5 Information Technology
Information technology (IT) refers to the software, hardware, and information
systems that enable and support process activities. As indicated, the assessment
of IT as one of the BPM core elements is structured in a similar way to that of BPM
methods, and also refers to the process lifecycle stages. Similar to the methods
dimension, the IT components focus on the specific needs of each process lifecycle
stage and are evaluated from viewpoints such as customizability, appropriateness of
The Six Core Elements of Business Process Management 117
automation, and integration with related IT solutions (e.g., data warehousing,
enterprise systems, reporting). Further evaluation criteria capture the sophistica-
tion, suitability, accessibility, and usage of such IT within each stage.
lIT solutions for process design and modeling cover the (semi-)automated sup-
port that enables derivation of process models from log files (process mining),
and tool-support for business process modeling and analysis (e.g., process
animation, process simulation) (van der Aalst et al. 2010).
lIT-enabled process implementation and execution focuses on the automated
transformation of process models into executable specifications and the
subsequent workflow-based process execution, (Ouyang et al. 2010). This also
includes related solutions such as document management systems or service-
enabled processes. This entire category of software is often labeled “process-
aware information systems” (Dumas et al. 2005).
lProcess control and measurement solutions facilitate (semi-)automated process
escalation management, exception handling, performance visualization (e.g.,
dashboards), and process controlling. There is a high demand for these type of
solutions to be integrated in the corporate landscape (e.g., via Balanced Score-
card systems).
lTools for process improvement and innovation provide (semi-)automated sup-
port for the generation of improved business processes. These could be solutions
that provide agile (i.e., self-learning) tools that continuously adjust business
processes based on contextual changes.
lProcess project management and program management tools facilitate the over-
all management of different types of BPM initiatives. They provide among others
decision support systems for process owners.
3.6 People
While the information technology factor covered IT-related resources, the factor
“people” comprises human resources. This factor is defined as the individuals and
groups who continually enhance and apply their process and process management
skills and knowledge to improve business performance.
lProcess skills and expertise is concentrated on the comprehensiveness and depth
of the capabilities of the involved stakeholders in light of the specific require-
ments of a process. This is an important capability area for process owners and
all stakeholders involved in the management and operations of a process.
lProcess management knowledge consolidates the explicit and tacit knowledge
about BPM principles and practices. It evaluates the level of understanding of
BPM, including the knowledge of process management methods and informa-
tion technology, and the impact these have on business process outcomes
(Karagiannis and Woitsch 2010). In particular, business process analysts and
118 M. Rosemann and J. vom Brocke
the extent to which they can apply their process management knowledge to a
variety of processes are assessed within this capability area.
lProcess education and learning measures the commitment of the organization to
the ongoing development and maintenance of the relevant process and process
management skills and knowledge. The assessment covers the existence, extent,
appropriateness, scope of roll-out, and actual success (as measured by the level
of learning) of BPM education programs. Further items are devoted to the
qualification of the BPM educators and BPM certification programs.
lProcess collaboration and communication considers the ways in which indivi-
duals and groups work together in order to achieve desired process outcomes.
This includes the related evaluation of the communication patterns between
process stakeholders, and the manner in which related process knowledge is
discovered, explored, and disseminated.
lThe final “people” capability area is dedicated to process management leaders.
The assessment according to this element evaluates the willingness to lead, take
responsibility, and be accountable for business processes. Among others, this
capability area also captures the degree to which desired process leadership
skills and management styles are actually practiced.
3.7 Culture
Culture, the sixth and final BPM core element, refers to the collective values and
beliefs that shape process-related attitudes and behavior to improve business
lResponsiveness to process change is about the overall receptiveness of the
organization to process change, the propensity of the organization to accept
process change, and adaptation. It also includes the ability for process change to
cross functional boundaries seamlessly and for people to act in the best interest
of the process.
lProcess values and beliefs investigates the broad process thinking within the
organization. For example, do members of the organization naturally see pro-
cesses as the way things get done? Do “processes” play a prominent role in the
corporate vision, mission, value statements? (vom Brocke et al. 2010). Further-
more, this capability area concentrates on the commonly held beliefs and values
of the key BPM stakeholders. Among them is the longevity of BPM, expressed
by the depth and breadth of the ongoing commitment to BPM.
lThe process attitudes and behavior of those who are involved in and those who
are affected by BPM form a further assessment item in the “culture” factor. This
includes, among others, the willingness to question existing BPM practices in
the light of potential process improvements. It also captures actual process-
related behavior (e.g., willingness to comply with the process design or extent to
which processes get priority over resources).
The Six Core Elements of Business Process Management 119
lLeadership attention to process management covers the level of commitment
and attention to processes and process management shown by senior executives,
the degree of attention paid to process on all levels, and the quality of process
leadership. For example, do “processes” regularly appear as a term in presenta-
tions of the senior executives of the organization?
lFinally, process management social networks comprise the existence and influ-
ence of BPM communities of practice, the usage of social network techniques,
and the recognition and use of informal BPM networks.
4 Conclusion and Outlook
This chapter aimed at providing a brief overview of a framework for BPM com-
prising of six core elements. Each element represents a key success factor for
implementing BPM in practice. We referred to a well-established and empirically
validated BPM maturity model in order to identify the six core elements of BPM:
strategic alignment, governance, methods, information technology, people, and
These grounded elements provide the primary structure of the BPM Handbook at
hand. The following chapters present contributions to each of these elements and
have been provided by the most recognized thought leaders in these areas. While
focussing on a specific element each contribution also considers relations to the
other elements. We are presenting contributions from academics as well as case
studies from practitioners. Some are more technical in nature, some more business
oriented. Some look more at the soft side of BPM while others study the conceptual
details of advanced methodologies. By proposing this sixfold structure, the reader
may grasp what they consider most appropriate for their individual background.
In any case, we trust that the discussion of these six core elements and the
corresponding capability areas helps to make the holistic view on Business Process
Management more tangible.
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... To gain a deeper understanding of DTIs' interplay, we drew on the research, which distinguishes between five management aspects that originate from the business process management (BPM) literature (Kerpedzhiev et al., 2020;Rosemann and Vom Brocke, 2015). This helps us to understand the changes that DTIs imply to companies' established processes and value-creation paths (Mendling et al., 2020). ...
... Overview over the interviews and the interviewees Overview over previous conceptualizations of the management aspects in the literature Explanations of the dimensions comprise the main differences compared to the original capability areas fromRosemann and Vom Brocke (2015).Fischer et al. (2020) refer toRosemann and Vom Brocke (2015) definitionsCultureRefers to the collective values, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals and teams, along with leadership-related practicesMethods/ITStressing the need for dealing with unexpected changes and for constructive (non) compliance; distinguishing transformational process redesign and agile process improvement; adding methods for data analysis as well as methods and tools for automation ...
... Overview over the interviews and the interviewees Overview over previous conceptualizations of the management aspects in the literature Explanations of the dimensions comprise the main differences compared to the original capability areas fromRosemann and Vom Brocke (2015).Fischer et al. (2020) refer toRosemann and Vom Brocke (2015) definitionsCultureRefers to the collective values, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals and teams, along with leadership-related practicesMethods/ITStressing the need for dealing with unexpected changes and for constructive (non) compliance; distinguishing transformational process redesign and agile process improvement; adding methods for data analysis as well as methods and tools for automation ...
Currently, incumbent companies launch digital transformation initiatives (DTI) to cope with technological changes, challenging competitive environments, increasing customer demands, and other digitalization challenges. The DTI spectrum is broad and covers structural as well as contextual changes. Often companies launch multiple concurrent DTIs resulting in considerable organizational complexity. However, research on successfully managing DTIs’ interplay is still scarce. Drawing on five management aspects (i.e. strategic alignment, governance, methods/IT, people, culture) and insights from three case companies, we elucidate DTIs’ interplay. Thereby, we illustrate that beneficial DTI interplay management leads to achieving a complementary duality instead of a competing dualism in organizational ambidexterity. We explicate that multiple concurrent DTIs can foster structural and contextual ambidexterity, i.e. leading to hybrid ambidexterity and conclude that contextual ambidexterity coheres and balances exploration and exploitation efforts. Thereby, we contribute to a better understanding of DTIs, their interplay management, and their roles to foster hybrid ambidexterity.
... As Table 3 summarises, the identified internal pressures are discussed in the BPM literature as core elements of BPM (e.g. Rosemann and vom Brocke, 2015), as critical success factors of BPM (e.g. Alibabaei et al., 2009;Trkman, 2010;Vuksic et al., 2016), as essential factors influencing BPM adoption (e.g. ...
... We next turn our attention to the new factors identified as influencing the transitions between the different stages of the institutionalisation process. Tobert and Zucker (1996) Internal pressures Sample BPM literature discussing similar aspects (d) Need for strategic alignment As a critical success factor for BPM and as a core element of BPM (Bai and Sarkis, 2013;Buh et al., 2015;Ngai et al., 2008;Rosemann and vom Brocke, 2015;vom Brocke and Mendling, 2018) Strategic alignment influence on the success rate of reengineering and continuous improvement programmes (Lok et al., 2005) (e) Need for removing deviations from performance targets Performance measurements as a critical success factor (Alibabaei et al., 2009;Bai and Sarkis, 2013;Buh et al., 2015;Trkman, 2010) Performance measurements as critical for achieving sustainable improvement (Trkman, 2010) (f) Cost control/cost reduction As boosting operational efficiency and reduce costs (Scheer and Hoffmann, 2015) (g) Improve employee and process issues As attempts made to improve the operational efficiency (Scheer and Hoffmann, 2015) (h) Continuous improvement culture As a critical success factor for BPM (Trkman, 2010) As the heart of the "BPM value" proposition (Rudden, 2007) Importance of developing "a culture of change, continuous improvement and cross-functional team work" to succeed in BPM. (Thompson et al., 2009, p. 12) As part of the "continuity" principle of BPM (vom Brocke et al., 2014) (i) The existence of an active BPM CoE Creating a BPM CoE is discussed as an important phase (reached only with some maturity) when creating an enterprise-wide adoption of BPM (Rosemann, 2015) CoE is a symbol of BPM institutionalisation; according to the principles of "good" BPM (vom Brocke et al., 2014) discussed only those factors that influence the transition from Habitualisation to Objectification and from there to Sedimentation. ...
... Note that the three factors (q, r and t) that relate to both Objectification and Sedimentation stages are presented only once to avoid repetition. The mapping of new factors (based on case data) to these sample BPM papers shows that prior People aspects(Alibabaei et al., 2009;Rosemann and Vom Brocke, 2015) Provide suitable training and education(Alibabaei et al., 2009) Process awareness by management and employees) Denagama Vitharanage et al., 2019Vuksic et al., 2015) *{(q), (r) and (t) related literature presented together with Sedimentation subprocess in the next row to avoid repetition} ...
Purpose Understanding how organisations can institutionalise the outcomes of process improvement initiatives is limited. This paper explores how process changes resulting from improvement initiatives are adhered to, so that the changed processes become the new “norm” and people do not revert to old practices. This study proposes an institutionalisation process for process improvement initiatives. Design/methodology/approach Firstly, a literature review identified Tolbert and Zucker’s (1996) institutionalisation framework as a suitable conceptual framework on which to base the enquiry. The second phase (the focus of this paper) applied the findings from two case studies to adapt this framework (its stages and related factors) to fit process improvement contexts. Findings The paper presents an empirically and theoretically supported novel institutionalisation process for process improvement initiatives. The three stages of the institutionalisation process presented by Tolbert and Zucker (1996) have been respecified into four stages, explaining how process changes are institutionalised through “Planning”, “Implementation”, “Objectification” and “Sedimentation” (the original first stage, i.e. “Habitualisation” being divided into Planning and Implementation). Some newly identified Business Process Management (BPM) specific factors influencing the institutionalisation processes are also discussed and triangulated with the BPM literature. Research limitations/implications The study contributes to the BPM literature by conceptualising and theorising the stages of institutionalisation of process improvement initiatives. In doing so, the study explicitly identifies and considers several key contextual factors that drive the stages of institutionalisation. Practitioners can use this to better manage process change and future researchers can use this framework to operationalise institutionalisation of process change. Originality/value This is the first research study that provides an empirically supported and clearly conceptualised understanding of the stages of institutionalising process improvement outcomes.
... The BPM lifecycle describes in an idealized way how processes can be managed , including, for instance, the design and implementation of business processes. Also, it has been suggested that organizational capabilities for successful BPM form around six pillars, including strategic alignment, governance, methods, information technology, people and culture (Rosemann & vom Brocke, 2015;Schmiedel, Recker, & vom Brocke, 2020). University courses typically build onto these frameworks, and either progress along the entire lifecycle or zoom into specific aspects of BPM, such as process modeling (Recker & Rosemann, 2009). ...
... Frameworks, tools and (computational) methods to support the design and management of business processes (e.g. Rosemann & vom Brocke, 2015) Theories to explain the dynamics of organizational routines through inductive research designs, drawing on interviews and/or ethnography (e.g. Dittrich, 2021;Feldman et al., 2016) Exemplary research questions -How to (re-)design a business process in optimal ways? ...
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Information systems students need to be prepared to understand and manage unfolding dynamics in businesses operating in a digital world. We present a university course that systematically integrates knowledge from two streams of research that deal with dynamics: business process management and routine dynamics. Both streams of research study processes, dynamics, and change, but from different perspectives and with different methods and approaches. Our course synthesizes concepts, methods, and theories from routine dynamics with traditional business process management education, to provide students with competences to not only design business processes but also recognize, explain, and react to process dynamics. We present two variants of our course design, which we implemented and delivered at two European universities to students who had different levels of prior knowledge about business process management. We report on evaluations, provide recommendations for teaching and point to implications for research. All course materials are freely available at
... A business process represents ''a collection of interrelated events, activities and decision points that involve a number of actors and objects, which collectively lead to an outcome that brings value to at least one customer'' (Dumas et al. 2018, p. 6). From a process lifecycle perspective, BPM includes the activities of process identification, discovery, analysis, redesign, implementation, and monitoring and controlling Rosemann and vom Brocke 2015c). Apart from the lifecycle perspective, BPM has been increasingly conceptualized as a corporate capability that can be decomposed into distinct capability areas, typically grouped into respective capability frameworks (Van Looy et al. 2014;Kerpedzhiev et al. 2021). ...
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Process Mining is an active research domain and has been applied to understand and improve business processes. While significant research has been conducted on the development and improvement of algorithms, evidence on the application of Process Mining in organisations has been far more limited. In particular, there is limited understanding of the opportunities and challenges of using Process Mining in organisations. Such an understanding has the potential to guide research by highlighting barriers for Process Mining adoption and, thus, can contribute to successful Process Mining initiatives in practice. In this respect, this paper provides a holistic view of opportunities and challenges for Process Mining in organisations identified in a Delphi study with 40 international experts from academia and industry. Besides proposing a set of 30 opportunities and 32 challenges, the paper conveys insights into the comparative relevance of individual items, as well as differences in the perceived relevance between academics and practitioners. Therefore, the study contributes to the future development of Process Mining, both as a research field and regarding its application in organisations.
... In such conditions, one of the most critical competencies of management is business process management (BPM) (Plattfaut, 2014). BPM allows for the holistic view for management of the organisation and provides a cohesive focus for all of the business processes in the organisation, as well as shows how they relate to the organisation's primary goals (Rosemann & vom Brocke, 2015). ...
The aim of the paper is to propose the authors' business process nature assessment method and to indicate how to use the data provided by it as guidance for implementing and developing business process management (BPM) in organisations operating in the present complex and dynamic knowledge economy (KE). The study is based on the existing research literature relating to BPM and knowledge management (KM), and thus investigating how the evolving KE affects the nature of business processes and thus the whole BPM ecosystem. The empirical section of the paper employs action research methodology. The data was collected through internal documentation analysis, interviews, workshops (focus groups), process modelling and, observation during workshops. This part of the study confirmed that the use of the proposed method allows for the diagnosis of the nature of business processes in the organisation, including the identification of the nature of the key processes and their characteristics, which allows selection of the optimal BPM implementation methodology. At the same time, the use of action research allows for efficient communication between management and the team implementing BPM, which has been shown to be a necessary condition for the successful implementation of BPM.
Conference Paper
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The increased knowledge intensification of work directed the business process management (BPM) research from 'traditional' routine and repetitive business processes to knowledge-intensive business processes (kiBPs). No agreement on universal "kiBPs" definition or conceptualization has been reached, and we have found no attempts to systemize kiBPs research. Therefore, we conducted a structured literature review (SLR) to improve the state of the art. The SLR consisted of three stages: literature search, extracting relevant papers, and content analysis. In the literature search stage, we retrieved peer-reviewed journal papers by applying a search query using "knowledge-intensive business process*" as a topic in Scopus and WoS databases and ended up with an initial sample of 71 papers. Next, the number of papers in the sample was decreased to 28 by applying a series of exclusion criteria. In the content analysis stage, relevant papers were coded to find content related to kiBPs characteristics or topics in kiBPs research. The content analysis allowed us to develop the framework of kiBPs characteristics, which showed that the primary reason for processes to be labelled knowledge-intensive is the uncertainty and unpredictability of their inputs, flows and outputs. Due to uncertainty and unpredictability associated with them, kiBPs strongly rely on knowledge workers and thus are being referred to as decision-oriented, collaborative, creative and innovative. Thus, the structure of kiBPs is being developed only during the process execution, which makes kiBPs goal-oriented rather than structure-oriented. KiBPs characteristics that distinguish them from "traditional" processes directly influence the topics of kiBPs research that were included in the framework of kiBPs research also developed within our study. Uncertainty and unpredictability of kiBPs are being addressed by incorporating knowledge perspective into kiBPs improvement methodologies and lead to multiple studies investigating the influence of knowledge processes on kiBPs performance. The unstructured and decision-oriented nature of kiBPs is being addressed in studies dedicated to kiBPs modelling and case management systems. We see frameworks developed in this study as beneficial for scientific and business communities. The framework of the kiBPs characteristics might serve as a basis for empirical research within the field and show business practitioners which characteristics of kiBPs should be addressed to improve process performance. The framework of the kiBPs research might serve as a starting point for researchers interested in the field and allow business practitioners to identify and elevate constraints in kiBPs management methods.
Declarative logic programming formalisms are well-suited to model various optimization and configuration problems. In particular, Answer Set Programming (ASP) systems have gained popularity, for example, to deal with scheduling problems present in several domains. The main goal of this paper is to devise a benchmark for ASP systems to assess their performance when dealing with complex and realistic resource allocation with objective optimization. To this end, we provide (i) a declarative and compact encoding of the resource allocation problem in ASP (compliant with the ASP Core-2 standard), (ii) a configurable ASP systems benchmark named BRANCH that is equipped with resource allocation instance generators that produce problem instances of different sizes with adjustable parameters (e.g., in terms of process complexity, organizational and temporal constraints), and (iii) an evaluation of four state-of-the-art ASP systems using BRANCH. This solid application-oriented benchmark serves the ASP community with a tool that leads to potential optimizations and improvements in encodings and further drives the development of ASP solvers. On the other hand, resource allocation is an important problem that still lacks adequate automated tool support in the context of Business Process Management (BPM). The ASP problem encoding, ready-to-use ASP systems and problem instance generators benefit the BPM community to tackle the problem at scale and mitigate the lack of openly available problem instance data.
Purpose Organizations nowadays require services supplied by shared service centers (SSCs) to achieve organizational responsiveness. Previous contributions focused on distinct qualitative-explorative factors for explaining successful SSC implementation but failed to consider the interdependencies and combined effects between factors. Design/methodology/approach Drawing on complexity and configuration theories, this research employed a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). A unique dataset of 121 international firms was obtained to examine the combined effects of five conditions (factors), namely, modularization, standardization, decision-rights, portfolio and customer-orientation . Findings The findings show that multiple configurations of conditions (or solutions) can lead to successful SSC implementation. The fsQCA results indicated that portfolio and standardization are perceived as core conditions in all configurations. Firms that focus on portfolio and continuous evaluation of customer-orientation are more likely to be successful. Furthermore, in some configurations, the size of the firm size matters. Research limitations/implications The cross-sectional survey data might be a potential limitation. In future research, a more extensive survey can be collected to help generalize the results. Practical implications Success factors are dependent on the SSC configuration. Standardization, portfolio management and regular evaluations of changing customer services by executive management are needed. Originality/value To the best of the authors' knowledge, there is no academic study that examines SSC implementation based on salient conditions using a configurational thinking approach. As such, the findings of the research allow us to better understand the causal complexity and interdependencies between essential SSC factors.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a comparably new phenomenon in process digitalization and automation. Prior research has identified a clear need to analyze Critical Success Factors (CSF) for RPA. In this study, we set out to derive a corresponding framework. Based on a structured review of the literature and an analysis of 19 expert interviews, we identify 32 CSFs which we subsume in several contextual clusters. Building on prior literature on CSF, we critically discuss how far the success factors we found are RPA-specific or hold for other process automation technologies or process improvement efforts in general, too. Based on this, we highlight implications for both theory and practice and areas for future research.
Environmental factors significantly affect the dynamic strategic alignment of information systems (IS) in coping with a rapidly changing environment, especially for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in emerging economies. By examining the case study of a medium-sized Chinese state-owned real estate company, this research aims to investigate what environmental factors affect SOEs’ strategic alignment. The thematic analysis method was used to analyse semi-structured interviews with staffs at all levels of the organisation and relevant strategy documents. The research develops a holistic model to illustrate the influencing factors from SOEs’ internal (i.e., organisational structure, culture and resources) and external environments (i.e., politics, economy, technology and national culture) while highlighting the overall influences from the nature of SOEs. It identifies that organisational resources, whose easy access is enabled by SOEs’ state-owned character, significantly reduce the need for strategic alignment to gain competitive advantage in the short term. In addition, SOEs’ inherent attributes of organisational structure and culture impede the social and structural integration between business and IT. Managerial implications are suggested with a particular emphasis on internal factors, such as developing IS/IT from organisational resources and cultivating the perception of the importance of IS. The paper also points to the importance of implementing government authorities’ policies and instructions about IS strategy.
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With the design of reference models, an increase in the efficiency of information systems engineering is intended. This is expected to be achieved by reusing information models. Current research focuses mainly on configuration as one principle for reusing artifacts. According tothis principle, all variants ofa model are incorporatedin the reference modeI facilitating adaptations by choices. In practice, however, situations arise whereby various requirements to a model are unforeseen: Either results are inappropriate or costs of design are rising strongly. This chapter introduces additional design principles aiming at giving moreflexibility toboththedesignandapplicationofreference,models.
This book presents a new set of practical and powerful tools to help business get the full benefit from their information technology (IT) investments. It addresses how organizations can work together to improve business performance. It elaborates on the approach for assessing the maturity of IT-business alignment; once maturity is understood, businesses can identify opportunities for enhancing the harmonious relationship of business and IT. The book is divided into eight parts, with parts II-VII focusing on the six strategic alignment maturity assessment criteria.
With business process management, organizations will avoid total allegiance to one approach.
In BPM, discussions of Information Technologies are traditionally limited to specialized BPM tools and workflow management solutions. In this chapter, we develop an expanded view of IT support for business processes that allows considering the process-enabling role of a variety of ITs from telecommunication infrastructure to business intelligence solutions. We propose that the information that is used by a business process can be classified based on two dimensions, information domain and information level, into instance level business information, instance level process information, reference level business information, and reference level process information. We further propose that IT enables business processes by providing information management, information processing and communication support for the aforementioned information types. In this chapter we discuss examples of how different classes of IT provide different types of business process support. The expanded view of IT support for business processes allows for a closer integration of various IT-related initiatives with BPM efforts. It also offers a framework for measuring the level of IT support for business processes.
Several prior articles have emphasized the importance of alignment between business and information system (IS) strategies, and between business and IS structures. Seeking to advance our understanding of alignment, we examine the dynamics of changes in alignment through strategy/structure interactions in the business and IS domains. More specifically, we address the following question:In what ways does alignment evolve over time? Changes in the strategic IS management profile (which includes business strategy, IS strategy, business structure, and IS structure) over time are examined using a punctuated equilibrium model, involving long periods of relative stability, or evolutionary change, interrupted by short periods of quick and extensive, or revolutionary, change. Case studies of changes in business and IS strategies and structure over long time periods in three organizations suggest that the punctuated equilibrium model provides a valuable perspective for viewing these dynamics.The cases suggest that a pattern of alignment may continue over a long period, because either the level of alignment is high or the managers do not recognize the low alignment as a problem. Revolutions, involving changes in most or all dimensions of the strategic IS management profile, interrupt the evolutionary changes. However, organizations hesitate to make such revolutionary changes in strategic IS management profiles. Complete revolutions apparently require a combination of strong triggers. Finally, post-revolution adjustments to one dimension of the strategic IS management profile seem to follow revolutionary changes.
Organizations increasingly recognize the need to adopt a process orientation as a means of approaching challenges such as globalization, Enterprise Systems implementations or alternative improvement perspectives. A comprehensive understanding of the operational capacity to support and extend BPM strategies is critical to this endeavour. To this end, organizations require appropriate frameworks, which assist in identifying and evaluating their BPM capabilities. The development of maturity models has long been recognized as a means of assessing capabilities within a given domain. However, due to the idiosyncratic structure of many of the more than 150 available maturity models they can not be translated into tools that are embraced and applied by practitioners. To address this issue, the Delphi technique has been adopted during the development of a maturity model for Business Process Management. This paper presents the design and conduct of the Delphi Study series including the major outcomes being definitions of the six factors critical to BPM (i.e. Strategic Alignment, Governance, Methods, Information Technology, People and Culture) and the identification of capability areas whose measurement is seen to be necessary for assessing the maturity of these factors.