Guide to Develop a Business Process Management Strategy
Whenever a Business Process Management Strategy has been developed within a customer’s project, it has been proved that an overall concept for Business Process Management consists basically of nine different aspects, and these include Solution Support Organization, Business Process Analysis, Business Process Monitoring, Integration and Interface Management, Program Scheduling Management, Master Data Maintenance, Data Management and Archiving, Change Management and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
These should be considered when operating business processes in a complex and distributed system landscape.
What are the Aspects of Business Process Management Strategy?
• Solution Support Organization
The roles and responsibilities, for all persons involved in the customer’s Solution Support and Monitoring Organization, have to be defined. As an example, during an implementation project there is usually an Implementation project team responsible for the Application Support before the Going Live of the project.
Hence it is important that there is also someone responsible and doing the Application Support after Going Live and after the implementation project team left the project. Therefore a handover procedure and a team responsible for the Application Support after Going Live have to be defined.
• Business Process Analysis
When creating a Business Process Management concept, it is essential that the business processes are known and well understood. Therefore, the business processes have to be analyzed and documented in detail, including all relevant business process steps, involved interfaces, availability requirements, performance and throughput requirements, and functional dependencies.
• Business Process Monitoring
Business Process Monitoring as one essential aspect of Business Process Management, means the proactive and process-oriented monitoring of a company’s core business processes including the observation of all technical and business application-specific functions that are required for a steady and stable flow of the business processes.
• Integration and Interface Management
Integration and Interface Management includes techniques regarding interface operation and the interfaces impact on business processes in order to ensure data quality and consistency, interface security and recovery reliability.
• Program Scheduling Management
Program Scheduling Management means the planning, controlling or scheduling, and monitoring of all system and business-process related operational activities (such as background job scheduling of programs and reports) in a distributed system landscape.
Basically, Program Scheduling Management determines in which sequence all background activities have to be scheduled and thus executed to avoid hardware bottleneck situations and in order to meet processing deadlines, e.g. specific time windows reserved for maintenance and administration activities for hardware and software components.
• Master Data Maintenance
Master Data Management includes methods regarding the exchange of master data between different software components in a distributed system landscape with focus on master data consistency throughout the entire solution landscape.
• Data Management and Archiving
Data Management and Archiving aims to avoid unnecessary data growth within a solution and consists of four different parts:
• Data Avoidance, which means do not write unnecessary application data
• Data Summarization, which imply write only limited business data
• Data Deletion to delete a targeted set of non-relevant business information
• Data Archiving, helps to remove and keep approved business data objects
It also includes having procedures at hand that check for data inconsistencies on a regular basis and correct them if necessary.
• Change Management
Change Management includes measures for a defined workflow on how changes of business processes are applied.
• Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Key Performance Indicators can be used to quantify and verify the success of Business Process Management and Application Operation in order to support and ensure that the defined business objectives are met. KPIs are somehow associated with business-related or business-wise measures such as average business transaction response times in order to check and ensure the progress of the related business processes.
Key Performance Indicators can be used to define Service Level Agreements between different support levels or organizational units, for instance the IT Department of a company and the business departments.
By defining Key Performance Indicators and their related threshold values it is possible to verify the business process flow or progress during the day-to-day operation within a Solution Landscape. A summary of these verification results and the adherence to possibly defined Service Level Agreements is provided by means of Service Level Reporting.