Current Implementation Level of Business Process Management in Corporate Practice

A Quantitative Analysis

by Bachelor of Science Michel Hecking (Author) Christian Schröder (Author)

Term Paper 2013 79 Pages

Computer Science - Commercial Information Technology


Table of Contents

Table of Acronyms

Table of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Fundamentals of Business Process Management
2.1 Definitions
2.2 Lifecycle and Objectives
2.3 Modelling Languages and Software Tools

3 Methodology
3.1 Literature Review
3.2 Questionnaire Design and Implementation
3.3 Cluster Analysis

4 Current Implementation Level of Business Process Management
4.1 Data Clean-up and Transformation
4.2 Socio-demographic Analysis
4.3 Quantitative Analysis
4.4 Cluster Analysis

5 Conclusion


List of References

Table of Acronyms

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Table of Figures

Figure 1: General research approach

Figure 2: The business process

Figure 3: Selected goals of BPM

Figure 4: BPM lifecycle

Figure 5: Selected modelling languages

Figure 6: Selected companies and modelling tools

Figure 7: Structure of literature categorisation

Figure 8: Relevant literature narrowed down by formal criteria

Figure 9: Sample and formal clean up

Figure 10: Number of companies’ employees

Figure 11: Annual companies’ revenues

Figure 12: Do you use BPM?

Figure 13: In which divisions BPM is used in your company?

Figure 14: Which software tool do you use for modelling business processes?

Figure 15: Which specific features of this software solution do you use?

Figure 16: How often are the processes reviewed, optimised, and re-designed?

Figure 17: Are processes evaluated and improved based on KPIs?

Figure 18: Why have you not implemented a BPM System so far?

Figure 19: Comparison of current and planned departments for BPM use

Figure 20: Overview on BPM modelling languages

Figure 21: Used databases for the literature review

Figure 22: Academic literature on BPM studies

Figure 23: Practical literature on BPM studies

Figure 24: Questionnaire structure

Figure 25: Surveygizmo diagnostics test results

Figure 26: Complete questionnaire

Figure 27: Survey results

Figure 28: Cluster analysis results

1 Introduction

Against the background of an organisation’s (global) network and the intense competi- tion the corporate conditions underlie a continuous change. This change leads to busi- ness processes and the resulting benefits that are only achieved for a limited time. Therefore, continuous optimisation of business processes is essential for overall busi- ness success (cf. PwC 2011; Softselect 2010, 9). Especially in the current volatile mar- ket environment in the European Union, concerning the debt crisis, companies are look- ing for ways to adapt their organisation to market conditions and customers' requests (cf. Maass 2010). Industry-independent, companies assign process management related to integrated information technology systems a high value for achieving successful business performance (cf. Gartner 2009, 4; Mainzer 2010, 72-73). The management consultancy PwC (2011, 12) conducted a survey with 239 German and Austrian execu- tives with relevant expertise and decision-making power. 73% of respondents agreed with the proposition that the future of Business Process Management (BPM) plays a leading role in achieving the company's business goals. More than 85% of respondents see the continuous improvement of existing processes as a necessity for the preservation of their own competitiveness. In Addition, Gartner (2009, 4) presents a survey of 1500 chief information officers that ranked “improving business processes” in first place (4 years in a row), asked for the priority in business improvements by information technol- ogy (IT).

From this perspective, the absolute relevance of the subject area is derived. Although, BPM was conceived in research in the early 90s and used in practice from the mid 90s (cf. Hammer/Champy 1993). The continuing strong interest in BPM results from its immense advantages. Likewise, BPM often represents theoretical and technical concepts that are not implementable in corporate practice. As a result benefits of BPM and sustainable performance are not ensured due to realisation issues.

According to Indulska et al. (2009a, 9) “[...] practitioners are concerned with issues re- lated to the purpose and adoption of process modelling while academics tend to concen- trate on issues related to the development and evaluation of artifacts. “Therefore, scien- tific articles often consider strategic components, whereas operational use and benefits are neglected. Most practical studies examine questions about the strategic alignment of BPM and exclude operational issues like concrete implementation including utilization of BPM. Detailed operational information including the approach, underlying modelling languages, software tools, modelled areas and responsibilities are rarely considered. Additionally, the main purpose of BPM in daily business is not considered, though less formalized methods might still provide a high value for companies.

Research Objective

Lamont (2009, 10) underlines that “Modelling tools play a pivotal role in the develop- ment of BPM systems because they provide a high-level, visual representation of organ- isational processes. Business users and developers both receive benefits from the tools”. For this purpose three research questions are defined and ansered in this study.

How is the current implementation level of BPM software tools in corporate practice characterised?

For what purpose are BPM software tools used in corporate practice und what are their major functions?

Which categories (clusters) can be formed based on the results?

The target group of this study consists of practitioners and academics engaged in BPM operations in context of corporate practice. Focusing on BPM implementation the current study provides an overview on the BPM topic and examines the "real" current state of BPM in corporate practice.

Proceeding and Structure

The study’s structure follows the approved scientific study design approach described by Bortz/Döring (2006, 46-81) (cf. Figure 1).

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Figure 1: General research approach (Source: cf. Bortz/Döring 2006, 46-81)

Therefore the content for answering the research questions is divided into five chapters. Initially the fundamentals of BPM are described in chapter 2. Based on essential termi- nologies, required for a clear understanding of the BPM topic the functions and objec- tives of BPM are explained. The fundamentals part is completed with a description of modelling languages and software tools that are necessary for using a comprehensive BPM approach.

The methodological procedure for conducting and evaluating the survey is presented in chapter 3. First, the implementation and results of the literature research (secondary research) are presented. Existing BPM literature is identified and analysed concerning the research topic of this survey. Subsequently, the design and implementation of the questionnaire is presented. The explanation of the analysis method for evaluating the survey results completes the chapter.

Chapter 4 focuses on answering the research questions based on the data gathered by conducting the questionnaire survey (primary research). In this chapter the survey re- sults are presented and evaluated. For this purpose the initially executed data clean up and transformation is described. Based on cleaned data the respondents’ socio- demographic information and the quantitative questionnaire data are analysed and eval- uated. Thereafter the findings of the cluster analysis are presented. The conclusion in chapter 5 completes the study.

2 Fundamentals of Business Process Management

In order to conduct a survey in the field of BPM it is necessary to understand the mean- ing and tasks of BPM. In the following chapter, common definitions in BPM research are presented. Afterwards, lifecycles, objectives, and modelling languages are dis- cussed. A market overview of supporting tools complements the fundamentals.

2.1 Definitions

To get a general insight in BPM research, initially common definitions shall be present- ed. This aims in particular towards an understanding of the terms often used in modified forms and different contexts that will help to discuss management issues in later shown frameworks, lifecycles, and practical situations. There are several existing definitions, depending on the point of view. After presenting common variants of the term process overlaps of the different variants are presented as definition aspects of a business process.

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Figure 2: The business process (Source: Wilhelm 2007, 1; DIN ISO 9000 2005, 8)

Initially, according to Hammer and Champy (1993, 35), a process is ”[...] a collection of activities that takes one or more kinds of input and creates an output that is of value to the customer.” (cf. Figure 2). Referring to Schulte-Zurhausen (2010, 51), a process ”[...] involves the targeted creation of an achievement or change of an object through a series of logically related activities that are carried out within a period of time according to specific rules.”. Allweyer (2005, 51) defines a business process as a series of sequential or parallel running functions, to meet an operational task. The performance achieved is the provision of information and material transformation.

Logically related activities, customer value, performance, results and time reference are mentioned as important components of a business process. In addition, many authors name a necessary input and output before and after the activity, process owners, targets and measures (cf. Schmelzer/Sesselmann 2008, 63-65; Allweyer 2005, 51; Ham- mer/Champy 1993, 35; Schulte-Zurhausen 2010, 51). Business processes can be built in a hierarchical structure. Lower categories of the business process are the sub-processes that consist of several tasks and the elementary process showing individual activities. The amount of used stages depends on the complexity of the process structure (cf. Schulte-Zurhausen 2007, 100).1

Based on the definition of a business process, the term BPM is explained.2 For a deeper understanding, selected basics of competitive strategy and a common lifecycle for managing business processes by Houy (2009, 623) are presented in the following.

Aalst (2003a, 4) defines BPM as “[...] supporting business processes using methods, techniques, and software to design, enact, control, and analyze operational processes involving humans, organisations, applications, documents and other sources of infor- mation.”. Gartner (2013) explains BPM as “[...] a management discipline that treats business processes as assets that directly contribute to enterprise performance by driving operational excellence and business agility.”. Referring to Brooke and Rosemann (2010, 11-16), BPM deals with the identification, design, documentation, implementation, con- trol, and improvement of business processes. Holistic approaches of BPM not only ad- dress technical issues but especially organisational aspects, such as the strategic direc- tion, organisational culture, or the integration and management of process participants (cf. Brooke/Rosemann 2010, 11-16).

The introduced definitions show that BPM is discussed in several ways. In general, BPM is “the discipline that combines knowledge from information technology and knowledge from management sciences and applies this to operational business process- es.” (Aalst 2013a, 1). After presenting selected ways of defining BPM, the connection to business success and the need of BPM is built through an explanation of one concept of competitive theories. Porter’s idea of a value chain (1992, 62) focusing on business processes across the entire organisation is met with wide recognition in practice and research.3 His competitive strategy follows the basic idea that the profit margin of the company is based on the profitability of the product and the resources used. Porter’s business processes can be divided into two basic categories. Primary business processes are value-adding activities, for instance logistics, production or marketing and sales. They are directly involved in the creation stages of the end product delivered to a de- fined market. Primary business processes are frequently referred to as core processes (cf. Gaitanides 2007, 116-117; Schulte-Zurhausen 2010, 55). Porter believes that value- adding activities enable a differentiator from the competitors. Additionally there are secondary processes, which enable the primary value processes’ performance like fi- nance and accounting, human resource management and information technology. Sec- ondary processes are often quoted as supporting processes (cf. Gaitanides 2007, 116- 117; Schulte-Zurhausen 2010, 55). Upstream the value chain is associated with e.g. suppliers, whereas downstream the processes are connected with e.g. customers, imply- ing a total value chain according to the particular industry structure. The exact distribu- tion of the profit margin on multiple partners is varying depending on the industry sec- tor (cf. Dressler 2007, 63; Porter 1992, 62).

After explaining the main idea behind process orientation in companies the visualising, automation and managing of business processes needs to be addressed by a standardised formal foundation (cf. Aalst 2003a, 6). Therefore the underlying basis, consisting of different models, is defined. Their creation is done through modelling languages in a selected BPM modelling tool.

According to Wüstneck (1963, 1504-1523) a model refers to “[...] a system that [...] is used as a representative of a complicated original [...] for a specific task [...] in order to enable [...] measurement or control of the original or to facilitate resources, or to replace it.”. A model simplifies and generalises the complex reality to get a deeper understanding. Based on the model expression, the term modelling shows reality excerpts in a deliverable model. In BPM the modelling builds extracts of reality within the business environment, using the named business processes (cf. Gadatsch 2010, 2). Therefore, a standardised modelling language is used to describe models and requirements, but also real-world objects (cf. Booch et al. 2006, 37-38).

A modelling language is a formal description method. In case of business processes it is used for instance for graphical representations or support of software programming. Including all necessary stakeholders, it results in a complex structure. The use of a for- mal language for the specification of a process model is the accurate way to guarantee that alternative interpretations are ruled out. A lack of formal semantics or definitions in natural language often result in different interpretations by the participating stakeholders (cf. Aalst 2003a, 6).

Various modelling tools exist to depict a model in a modelling language. They support the use of, among others, BPM methods, cycles and modelling languages. The tools provide the users with the ability to model, implement and execute their complex busi- ness processes and are also used for centralised documentation in a database e.g. for older process versions and execution metrics. Based on existing data, redefining of pro- cess models and transparency of the business process structure is feasible.

As a short definition of a specific type of tools, Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) are “a generic software system that is driven by explicit process designs to enact and manage operational business processes“ (Aalst 2003a, 1).

2.2 Lifecycle and Objectives

An organisation based on business processes is more customer-focused, has fewer interfaces and a lower coordination effort (cf. Schulte-Zurhausen 2010, 53).

First, there is the need to analyse the main objectives of BPM. Classic strategic (high level) objectives include comparative advantage, flexibility and transparency. Several more specific objectives are documentation, simulation and employee training (cf. Figure 2).

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Figure 3: Selected goals of BPM (Source: Staud 2006, 17)

To achieve these objectives, different approaches and several lifecycles exist on the market of BPM solutions. The majority of business consultancies, e.g. KPMG, PwC and BearingPoint, present their own “optimised” lifecycle to perform BPM successfully (cf. KPMG 2008, 17-18; PwC 2011, 37; BearingPoint 2012, 39). Furthermore, there are many scientific approaches (cf. Schulte-Zurhausen 2010, 81-83; Houy 2009, 623; vom Brocke/Rosemann 2010, 5).

Moreover, the approaches differ in the perspective on BPM. Some authors focus on modelling and illustration of organisational structures with a clean technical solution (cf. Koo 2009, 6; Aalst 2013a, 8). Others follow the concept of value creation and a consequent business driven, e.g. benchmark based, concept (cf. Elzinga 1995, 120; Aalst 2013a, 4; Andrikopoulos et al. 2008, 26). Additionally, it depends on the level of view dividing strategic (developing a corporate strategy), operational (defining production budget), direct (capturing sales entry) and indirect (recruiting staff) governance processes (cf. Dillerup/Stoi 2008, 484; Gadatsch 2010, 2)4.

Basically, the approaches consist of the following phases based on a management cycle: Strategy development regarding the management of business processes, definition and modelling of relevant processes, implementation of these in an organisation, execution of implemented processes as well as monitoring and controlling of process execution, optimisation and improvement (Houy 2009, 621).

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Figure 4: BPM lifecycle (Source: Houy 2009, 623; Cannon et al. 2011, 1-7; ISACA 2013)

Each step subsumes management areas and underlying activities e.g. problem manage- ment, interactive process support and incident management in step execution (cf. Figure 4). Examples are elevated using reference processes of the IT Governance Framework Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) and the best prac- tice Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) (cf. Cannon et al. 2011, 1-7; ISACA 2013).

2.3 Modelling Languages and Software Tools

The financial success of a company essentially depends on their own understanding of the internal service production. The business process modelling abstracts the business processes at a high level and illustrates them in a model. As a basic task for process management it supports the construction, maintenance, and application of conceptual models of business processes of companies and administrations (cf. Becker 2012, 99- 104). BPM modelling documents operational procedures in order to gain an understand- ing of the functioning of business activities. Therefore, based on an analysis of the cur- rent state, the optimisation of business processes is enabled through the identification and elimination of vulnerabilities (Staud 2006, 17). There is a variety of methods and languages to perform the business process modelling.5 Figure 5 shows a selection of existing modelling languages. Four common variations of modelling languages are briefly explained.6

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Figure 5: Selected modelling languages (Source: Ko 2009, 11)

The Trend Report “The State of Business Process Management 2012” (cf. Har- mon/Wolf 2012, 34) shows the increasing international importance of Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) in the last six years. According to Harmon/Wolf (2012, 35), BPMN is developing into a future standard. By using BPMN, the representation of complex processes is possible. The modelling can be based on precise temporal condi- tions and on different levels of abstraction. A variety of elements increase the clarity. One main disadvantage is the complex syntax with a high amount of elements (cf. All- weyer 2009, 10-13). The Event-driven Process Chain (EPC)7 was developed in a work- ing group led by August-Wilhelm Scheer at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken (Germany) in 1992 (cf. Scheer 2002, 1-5, Becker 2012, 67-71). It is integrated in the ARIS Platform released by the Software AG and therefore chosen for modelling in many business cases. EPC is one key component of the model-driven configuration of a SAP system (cf. Scheer 2002, 20). In general, EPC is easy to use due to a simple syntax and understandable by employees missing advanced IT skills (cf. Scheer 2001, 124- 128). Unified Modelling Language (UML) is used in more technical cases for support- ing software development and building meta models. For non-experts they are both confusing and difficult to understand due to their complexity (cf. Staud 2006, 414). The academically-driven Petri nets are versatile, but not often used in practical business oriented cases because complex diagrams quickly become confusing. Their placetransition structure otherwise enables simulation for detection of bottlenecks and deadlocks in process chains (cf. Priese/Wimmel 2008, 49-58).

For the named BPM lifecycle phases, several different IT tools and systems exist on the software market. A general agreement about the exact definition of BPM software tools is missing in scientific literature (cf. Gadatsch 2012, 103-111). Becker (2012, 99-104) presents a criteria catalogue for choosing an appropriate modelling tool.8 Visualisation and modelling tools focus on features such as the documentation of business processes. As a specific type of BPM tools, BPMS try to realise a complete support of all areas of responsibility and the direct connection to the implementation of business processes (cf. PwC 2011, 31). An abstract of a market overview, presented in Figure 6, shows differ- ent suppliers and their tools.9

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Figure 6: Selected companies and modelling tools (Source: Schnägelberger 2011, 123- 124)

BPM software like ARIS Platform or SAP NetWeaver BPM are able to model complex processes, involving different people and resources. Worldwide, more than 25% (in Germany more than 50%) of multi-corporate enterprises deploy customised versions of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)10 components delivered by the market leader SAP (cf. SAP 2008). Therefore, several solutions focus on SAP solutions or are even devel- oped together with SAP (cf. Scheer 2002, 20). Referring to Koch (2011, 47), the Mi- crosoft (MS) Office tools11 are also used to model simple business processes with only few people involved in the modelling or for a limited project size (e.g. material flow optimisation). The suite is easy to use and “no special software is necessary to create or view process models” (Koch 2011, 47), but it has a limited range of functions for com- prehensive BPM purpose.

In this chapter, common definitions were presented, followed by a standard lifecycle and objectives of BPM. Subsequently, a short overview of the existing business process modelling languages and tool solutions on the software market was given. After provid- ing an basic understanding of BPM the methodology applied in this study is described in the next chapter.

3 Methodology

The present study intends to explore the current implementation level of BPM in corpo- rate practice. In order to identify a research gap, a literature review is performed. The methodology including identification, and classification of papers and reports, which also examine the implementation level of BPM, is explained below. Subsequently, the research purpose is defined whereof the research questions, as stated in chapter 1, are specified. Afterwards the questionnaire is designed with the structure and implementa- tion described in part two. Finally, the method selected for the systematic cluster analy- sis is explained.

3.1 Literature Review

The literature review is performed to identify a current gap in BPM research that has not yet been investigated. Referring to Booth (2006, 421-429), a systematic literature review is performed using four separated steps:

1. Keyword search
2. Literature categorisation
3. Literature limitation based on formal criteria
4. Defining the research purpose

Keyword Search

Relevant literature is initially identified by conducting a keyword search using the Göt- tinger University Catalogue (GUK), the web pages of Bielefeld Academic Search En- gine (BASE), Ebscohost (choosen databases: Business Source Premier and Econlit), Google, Google Books, Google Scholar and Wiso-net.12 The databases are searched for studies in the field of BPM. Initially, the search is conducted with the keywords “busi- ness process management”, “BPM” and “process management”. Additionally, the catchwords “survey” and “practice” are added to each of these main keywords. The search also included the corresponding German translations of all keywords.13

The search results are a combination of academic papers, articles and practical studies. In order to narrow down the identified literature, categories are defined and classified according to the results. Studies like Capgemini (2012) are conducted annually performing identical research methods and using equal questions. In this case, only recently conducted studies are analysed.14

Literature Categorisation

In the following, the structure of literature classification is described which is illustrated in Figure 7. All identified literature is separated into the two groups “academic litera- ture” and “practical literature”. Analysing academic literature examines the current state of research on BPM implementation in corporate business and in how far this issue has already been considered scientifically in information science. Practical literature is used to investigate whether surveys have previously been conducted in corporate practice.

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Figure 7: Structure of literature categorisation (Source: author’s illustration)

Papers with academic research purpose focussing on the improvement of further research are combined in the first group (academic literature). They were conducted by universities and the results were published in academic journals or conference proceedings. The second group consists of empirical studies conducted by business consultancies (e.g. KPMG AG, Capgemini S.A.) or market research companies (e.g. Forrester Research Inc., Gartner Inc.). They focus on corporate practice and use a practical research approach like questionnaires or structured market analyses.

Furthermore, both identified groups are classified by formal and content-related criteria. In addition to the year, which represents the date when the paper or study was pub- lished, the country represents the location on which the research is focussed on. Re- search technique identifies on the one hand theoretical research methods, e.g. literature reviews (cf. Ko et al. 2009; Houy et al. 2010), keyword analysis (cf. Aalst 2013b), structured market analysis (cf. Forrester Research 2012; Gartner 2011) or theoretical papers building frameworks and models for BPM surveys (cf. Eikebrokk et al. 2010; Cohn/Hull 2009; Forrester Research 2011a) and on the other hand empirical research methods like questionnaires (cf. Capgemini 2012; Small/Yasin 2011) or interviews (cf. Softselect 2010; Feldbacher et al. 2011). The respondents’ classification expresses the participating people in case of empirical research. This includes for example practition- ers and experts working in companies or members of user networks and corporate socie- ties. The attribute number of respondents reflects the quantity of the survey sample size.

Content-related categories describe the subjects on which the studies focused on. Ac- cording to Ravesteyn and Batenburg (2010, 499), the issues discussed in the surveys were classified as strategic and operational. Surveys assigned to the strategy category examine business alignments and objectives pursued by the implementation of BPM (cf. Capgemini 2007, 6; KPMG 2008, 16-20), identify the maturity level of empirical BPM research (cf. Al-Mashari et al. 2001, 442-447; Feldbacher et al. 2011, 9-12) or the future development of BPM (cf. Indulska et al. 2009, 10-12; Harmon/Wolf 2012, 46-50). Questions referring to the strategic benefits of BPM are for instance:

- “Does a comprehensive BPM strategy exist in your company?” (cf. Bearingpoint 2012, 24)
- “How is the BPM system implementation strategically motivated?” (Pen- tadoc/Trovarit 2010, 4)
- “Which objectives do you pursue with Business Process Management?” (Bearingpoint 2012, 13)

Moreover, studies gather information about the implementation and utilization of BPM in daily business. These operational categorised literature examines, for example, the BPM role concept (cf. Bearingpoint 2012, 27; Schnägelberger et al. 2011, 10-14), the evaluation of processes with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) (cf. PwC 2011, 32-34), or the technical implementation of BPM software tools and modelling notations (cf.

KPMG 2008, 24; Minonne/Loretan 2012, 206-207). Questions describing this category are for example:

- How are BPM responsibilities organised within companies? (cf. Harmon/Wolf 2011, 23)
- How important is a clear role concept for the organisational institutionalization of BPM? (cf. Bearingpoint 2012, 27)
- How can BPM modelling languages be compared with their runtime change management techniques? (cf. Rajabi/Lee 2009, 37)

Twenty-two analysed studies and articles are categorised as strategic and operational. This literature does not focus on one special topic in detail, but rather examines a holis- tic view of BPM in academic and corporate practice. To gather information about the specific technical implementation of BPM studies, data about software tools and their most important functions for BPM are examined. Hence, the criteria features and tools are distinguished. Surveys assigned to the features category analyse the most important functions of BPM software, e.g. process simulation, process modelling or evaluation of KPIs (cf. Shaw 2007, Andrikopoulos et al. 2010). The BPM tools category reflects stud- ies examining the BPM tools or notations that are used in corporate practice (cf. Softse- lect 2010, Forrester Research 2012, Forrester Research 2010a).15

Literature Limitation based on formal Criteria

Based on the described formal criteria, the identified literature is narrowed down to de- termine the current implementation level of BPM. For this reason, studies conducted before 2008 (last five years) are not relevant for the identification of the research ques- tions. Furthermore, this work focuses primarily on BPM practice in the German market. Studies executed in other countries are not considered. Studies using theoretical re- search techniques are excluded to focus on BPM in corporate practice. Studies like Capgemini (2012) or Andrikopoulos et al. (2010) are eliminated because they do not provide information to classify all categories. In summary, only questionnaire studies conducted after 2008, addressed to companies in Germany are used to define the re- search questions.

Defining the Research Purpose

Based on the explained contend-related criteria, literature was analysed to specify the research gap. Figure 8 shows that no identified literature jointly examines the current operational management level of BPM as well as BPM software features and BPM software tools.

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Figure 8: Relevant literature narrowed down by formal criteria (Source: author’s illustration)

Practical studies mainly focus on process modelling software or its features (cf. Schnä- gelberger et al. 2011; PwC 2010; Softselect 2010). Recent academic research rarely examines BPM in this context (cf. Minonne/Turner 2012b). Following this, the present study fills the gap between academic and practical literature in examining operational management level of BPM in corporate practice. To gather information about the prac- tical implementation level of BPM, this survey focuses on process modelling and the utilization of BPM software in daily business. Process modelling, whether it is done with software tools or paper based, is one of the main tasks of BPM. Existing process models are one of the basic requirements for BPM utilisation (see chapter 2.2). Fur- thermore, none of the present studies try to identify different segments of BPM users. To detect whether different groups of BPM users can be identified in corporate practice, a segmentation is performed. For this purpose, the three research questions are defined (see chapter 1).


1 Schulte-Zurhausen (2007, 98-104) presents a detailed description and graphics of hierarchical stages of business processes.

2 Beside the presentation of core definitions, a brief history of developing BPM solutions is given in Paim (2008, 695).

3 The basis of a value chain is presented by Porter (1992, 62). Dressler (2007, 59-67) updates the concept in order to meet current requirements e.g. technology development and trends e.g. outsourc- ing and shared service centre.

4 Dillerup/Stoi (2008, 484) and Gadatsch (2010, 2) present detailed examples of possible views on BPM.

5 Ko et al. (2009, 753) present three levels of modelling standards, consisting of graphical standards (e.g. BPMN), interchange standards (e.g. XML Process Definition Language (XPDL)) and execu- tion standards (e.g. BPEL). They are controlled by using diagnosis standards (e.g. Business Process Runtime Interfaces (BPRI)). Focusing on practical business perspective (not technical realisation) this survey refers to graphical standards.

6 The detailed structure, notation and comparison of languages is explained by Becker (2008, 66-74) and Gadatsch (2012, 63-100). A more complete list of modelling languages and practical relevance is shown by Ko (2009, 11) in appendix, Figure 20.

7 Extended Event-Driven Process Chain (eEPC) enlarges the modelling method including organisa- tion, data and performance related elements (cf. Becker 2012, 102).

8 Becker (2008, 100) examines e.g. multi-user capability, integrated modelling languages and ease of use.

9 Schlägelberger (2011, 123-124) presents a structured list of companies providing modelling tools and their features.

10 ERP is a process of planning and managing all resources and their use in the entire enterprise (cf. Becker 2012, 56).

11 MS Office suite consists of several stand-alone software tools (cf. Microsoft 2013c). Detailed de- scription of Office tools used in business environment is presented in chapter 4.3.

12 Figure 21 in appendix shows the web addresses for accessing the used literature databases.

13 Translated search terms include the words “Geschäftsprozessmanagement”, “GPM”, “Studie” and “Praxis”.

14 Studies by Harmon/Wolf (2012) are also conducted annually, since 2006. However, as each of them has another focus and different questions on BPM they are analysed individually.

15 Complete overviews of classified academic and practical literature in BPM research are shown in Figure 22 and Figure 23 in the appendix.


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Title: Current Implementation Level of Business Process Management in Corporate Practice