Friday Nov 18, 2011

Gauging Maturity of your BPM Strategy - part 1 / 2

In this post I will discuss the essence of maturity assessment and the business imperative for doing the same in the context of BPM. Social psychology purports that an individual progresses from being a beginner to an expert in a given activity or task along four stages of self-awareness:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence where the individual does not understand or know how to do something and does not necessarily recognize the deficit and may even deny the usefulness of the skill.
  2. Conscious Incompetence where the individual recognizes the deficit, as well as the value of a new skill in addressing the deficit.
  3. Conscious Competence where the individual understands or knows how to do something but demonstrating the skill requires explicit concentration.
  4. Unconscious Competence where the individual has had so much practice with a skill that it has become "second nature" and serves as a basis of developing other complementary skills.
We can extend the above thinking to an organization as a whole by measuring an organization’s level of competence in a specific area or capability, as an aggregate of the competence levels of individuals it is comprised of. After all organizations too like individuals, evolve through experience, develop “memory” and capabilities that are shaped through a constant cycle of learning, un-learning and re-learning. Hence the key to organizational success lies in developing these capabilities to enable execution of its strategy in-line with the external environment i.e. demand, competition, economy etc. However developing a capability merits establishing a base line in order to
  • Assess the magnitude of improvement from past investments
  • Identify gaps and short-comings
  • Prioritize future investments in the right areas

A maturity assessment is essentially an organizational self-awareness check that is aimed at depicting the “as-is” snapshot of an existing capability in-order to guide future investments to develop that capability in-line with business goals. This effectively is the essence of a maturity assessment.

Organizational capabilities stem through its architecture, routines, culture and intellectual resources that are implicitly and explicitly embedded in its business processes. Given that business processes underpin realization of organizational capabilities, is what has prompted business transformation and process management efforts. Thus, the BPM capability of an organization needs to be measured on an on-going basis to ensure delivery of its planned benefits.

In my next post I will describe Oracle’s BPM Maturity assessment methodology.

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A business centric perspective on Private Cloud, Data-center Modernization and EAI.

Author:
Sanjeev Sharma
Twitter: @sanjeevio

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