Three Ways BPM Must Change to Reflect the Digital World

Written by Niamh Elisabeth McShane | 2 min read
bpm in the digital world shining globe surrounded by digital icons

As a discipline, Business Process Management (BPM) is now undeniably a well-established aspect of any modern, successful company’s operational strategy for the digital age. Yet although the benefits and aims of Process Management are clear, getting there can sometimes prove challenging. So what do we need to improve in classic BPM initiatives to reflect the digital age and to harness as much value as we can from our processes?


Three core elements that should be embraced by modern, fit-for-purpose BPM initiatives

  • BPM needs to be collaborative and inclusive
  • BPM practice needs to go beyond modeling and also embrace the operationalization of business processes in modern digital workplaces
  • BPM needs to be agile and iterative

We’ve been discussing the imperative value of collaborative BPM for years and it’s certainly no longer a new concept. Yet many BPM initiatives that start off with the best intentions begin to stagnate when the project becomes the exclusive domain of highly-trained process experts working in isolation. For BPM to reflect the digital world, process initiatives need to expand their focus away from process design. Adoption of process thinking across departments and throughout your team is more important than process design perfection. Therefore, tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experience already available to you within your workforce is the real key to achieving success. The best way to win people over to a new, targeted and compliant approach is to involve them in creating the solution. Process stakeholders are the most capable of recognizing bottlenecks and issues in the processes they carry out on a daily basis - they are also unlikely to resist changes and improvements that they have suggested themselves.


More than just modeling – take your BPM to the next level


Despite the obvious importance of process modeling and simulation, aspects such as automation and workflow should also be intrinsic to fit-for-purpose business software applications in the digital world. BPM practice needs to go beyond modeling and also embrace the operationalization of business processes in modern digital workplaces, by automating tasks and carrying out operational processes in a target-driven and measurable way.

In many cases, classical process improvement approaches lead to change-averse attitudes. This is where modern technology enablers, such as cloud-computing, SaaS, social software and data analysis can come into play to meet the requirements for a fast pace of change and an experimental attitude to operational improvement itself.

Is your organization struggling to implement social BPM, or are you having difficulties with any of the three elements mentioned above? As you consider your current BPM capability, how well does it reflect the characteristics that will ensure its relevance and value? The recommendations discussed above come from an in-depth analysis by MWD Advisors in their whitepaper:

The Value of a Modern Approach to BPM



Published on: December 15th 2016 - Last modified: May 17th, 2021