Success with Business Process Management Requires ERM

Steven Minsky | Aug. 21, 2006

If Business Process Management is the answer, what is the business question? Industry analyst studies have shown that most of the leading Business Process Management vendor products achieve or exceed the ROI targeted. But are the resources on the business side factored into this equation? There is no question that Business Process Management technology can provide an incredible new agility in optimizing and automating a business process. However, achieving that success across the enterprise especially on core processes presents difficult challenges.

Core processes are the fundamental activities or group of activities that are so critical to an organization’s success that failure to perform them will result in deterioration of the organization. These are typically processes that directly touch the organization’s customers, reflect the major cost drivers, or are on the critical path in the service chain. Core processes by definition may cut across organization boundaries.

How do you set objectives for business performance, and how do you stay out of trouble with the compliance and internal audit folks in your organization and regulators in your industry? Agility is like fire, it can heat your house or burn it down! How do you know what new risks you are exposed to due to your Business Process Management efforts? How do you define core processes? How can you empower these process experts to own their risks? What controls are needed to be in place for your revised process? How do you design appropriate controls to meet business objectives as well as compliance?

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