Business Process Management (BPM) is a Team Sport


Book Name



Business Process Management Is a Team Sport


Play  it to Win

Andrew Spanyi

Important notes about the book :

  • Contains the books that can be read to increase knowledge.
  • Literature in business process management did not sufficiently address the need to integrate business process thinking with strategy, organizational structure and people issues.
  • Senior internal consultants and middle manages complain when it came to enterprise business process management, their senior leaders simply didn’t get it.
  • Literature on business process management does little  to encourage widespread adoption.
  • The author believes that business process management is best suited to those leaders who have a burning desire to win. That’s why it’s a team sport. And the teams that count are the cross-functional teams at multiple levels throughout the organization who must deliberately and collaboratively work to create enduring value for customers and shareholders.


  •  Notes from Chapter 1: Searching for Answers
  • Key strategies: protect margins, decrease costs, increase cash flow, improve bottom line results.
  • Peter White believes that applying business process is part of the answer. Organizations to get better at managing complex, cross-departmental, technology- enabled, business processes.
  • “business- IT divide”
  • “mental model problem”- the problem of how to come develop a “shared understanding;” Allow people from different departments and with different professional backgrounds to share common point of view on what is needed to create value for customers and shareholders, and collaborate more effectively across functional groups.
  • IT needed to be seen as an enabler for these critical business processes.
  • Peter White had weathered the reengineering craze of the nineties and the onslaught of Six Sigma fervor. He had grow his practice by working with a handful of thoughtful CEOs who recognized that there is no such thing as a “quick fix,” and who understood central thesis that organizations are complex business systems, within which a change any one component is likely to have an impact on other components.
  • BPM, is the most powerful way to leverage the organization’s capabilities for optimal performance- something everyone is struggling to do in the current economy.


  • Notes from Chapter 2:The Framework
  • “ Type of business process thinking required to successfully implement enterprise business process management practices is a customer-centered management philosophy that enables leaders to align their planning and operations more closely with market intelligence. This permits them to adapt more quickly to changing market conditions and fast-breaking market opportunities.”
  • Business process management- is the deliberative, collaborative, and increasingly technology-aided definition, improvement and management of a firm’s end-to-end enterprise business process.
  • Management of a firm’s end-to-end, cross-department business processes that touch customers.
  • Business Process
  • Enterprise Business Process
  • Business Process Management (BPM)-
  •  A deliberate and collaborative approach to systematically – and systemically- managing all of a company’s business processes. BPM is enabled by business process thinking and process-centric information technologies. BPM concepts apply both to end-to-end enterprise business processes as well as sub-processes contained within functional groups and specific departments.

(1)       Look at the business from the outside-in, from the customer’s

         perspective, as well as from the inside-out.

(2)       Tightly integrate strategy with enterprise business processes.

(3)       Articulate strategy to inspire, from the  boardroom to the 


(4)       Design enterprise business processes to deliver on strategic goals.

(5)       Ensure that organization design enables enterprise business process execution.

(6)       Deploy enabling technology based on the value added to enterprise business process performance.

(7)       Hard wire the enterprise performance measurement system to budgets and operating reviews.

(8)       Sustain focus and alignment.

·       BPM need to be implemented from the top down.

·       Process innovations often come form the bottom up from front-line  

            workers, especially those that interact directly with customers.

  • Book- Improving Performance- How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart, Dr. Geary Rummler and Alan Brache.
  • Environmental assumptions
  • We are living in an age where there is more change than ever before and the rate of change is gathering speed.
  • Customer power will likely continue to increase and competition will remain fierce in most sectors.
  • Business process thinking is predicated upon the central belief that it is fundamentally the complex, cross-departmental, technology-enabled, business processes that create value for customers and shareholders.
  • Should begin with an analysis of customers’ needs.
  • Belief in customer-centric strategy.
  • Social systems in which a change occurring in one component is likely to affect other components.
  • Technology alone will not create the kind of collaborative human relationships needed to make BPM work. To adopt collaborative working methods requires leadership by senior managers who are held to account and reward for the performance delivered by the cross-functional processes.
  • It is necessary to explicitly define customer requirements.
  • The critical business processes that will create the value demanded by customers.
  • Explicit definition: each major business process – clarity- inputs, key sub-steps, functions involved, outputs, key measures.
  • It is important to measure the current performance of each critical business.
  • Reluctance to modify management reward systems to support business process performance.
  • ERP systems that seemed malleable during the design phase proved to be inflexible once implemented- cast-in-concrete might be better term.
  • BPM is nearing what Malcolm Gladwell calls the ‘tipping point’


  • Notes from Chapter 3: Strategy Clarity:
  • Companies want increased revenues and higher earnings.
  • “What is Strategy? “ being different.
  • Competitors would face many obstacles in copying success. Strategic focus begins with this combination of focus on the customer and the convergence of executive thinking on what it takes to differentiate the firm and its offerings.
  • It is virtually impossible to manage activities that are neither documented nor measured.
  • A graphic representation  captures the flow of work in terms of the major enterprise-wide, cross-functional business processes, providing a template for discussion of performance and dependencies.
  • Many departments already have umpteen detailed work activities documented in great detail, but it’s the high-level, enterprise business processes that are too often neglected as they cross departmental boundaries, and no one as been made explicitly responsible for them.
  • Leaders cannot implement business process management without deliberately and collaboratively developing this view of the business.
  • Maybe we are beginning to see that by explicitly defining customer requirements and business processes that will create value for customers, leaders can use the BPM framework to facilitate greater clarity on strategic direction and also provide the context to express it in terms that are more meaningful and concrete than platitudes and buzzwords.


  • Notes from Chapter 4: Building the Plan:
  • They don’t talk to one another at all, and I get stuck in the middle.
  • The ability to execute  on those decisions that counts, and that’s where tightly integrating strategy to enterprise business processes comes in.
  • Otherwise, who would be accountable for monitoring and improving enterprise business process performance?
  • Sell-collect-buy-make-deliver-service. Dell and Southwest and others have arrived at a defendable strategic position through the use of business process thinking.
  • We’ve started to grow from our roots as a product company, to a “product services’ company offering total solutions for our customers.
  • Product-related services
  • Seventy % of GE’s revenues are estimated to come from product services.
  • You can listen to customers, but if you don’t figure out a way to execute on what they tell you and in a timely manner, you are sunk.
  • Pitfalls: Failing to listen customers.
  •              Setting goals that are too modest to drive innovation.
  •              Defining the scope of business too narrowly.
  •              Excessive use of jargon or buzzwords.
  •              Trying to do too much- not making the tough choices.
  •               Not making a commitment to link strategic initiatives to operating plans, budgets, and management rewards.
  • BPM provides- given a set of data, a robust way of evaluating the decisions you have to make about your key strategic initiatives.
  • Draft BPM Plan –REMOCO Case Exercise, pg 75
  • Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they surprise you with their ingenuity. That fits right in with BPM principles.
  • By expressing strategy in terms of business processes and performance gaps that need to be bridged, leaders can minimize the use if jargon and buzzwords.
  • The BPM framework furthermore sets the stage for leaders to make tough choices and creates a context in which strategic initiatives can be tightly linked to operating plans, budgets and management rewards, as we will see in the next two days.
  • Reading Assignments: Jeanne W. and Peter Weill, “ Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn’t Make,” Harvard Business Review, November 2002, pgs 84-91.
  •  Guess is that the growth and maturity of BOM systems and technologies will follow a similar pattern to the way database management systems were developed and assimilated two decades ago. On the other hand, early adopters are already claiming attention-grabbing ROI numbers from BPM technologies.