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Defining business process maturity: a journey towards excellence

Amy Van Looy (UGent) , Manu De Backer (UGent) and Geert Poels (UGent)
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Abstract
Organisations are increasingly focusing on their business processes to excel. Since the journey towards process excellence is challenging, various authors have proposed a business process maturity model (BPMM) to gradually improve maturity and capability. Nonetheless, a comprehensive definition for BPMM, maturity and capability is missing. Moreover, the differences between maturity and capability are frequently neglected. Therefore, this study elaborates on the lacking foundation. In particular, a thorough literature study is conducted to address three gaps regarding the BPMM scope, terminology and design. It reveals six basic BPMM components within a business process lifecycle (scope gap): (1) modelling, (2) deployment, (3) optimisation, (4) management, (5) culture, and (6) structure. Their overall growth refers to maturity, whereas the growth of an individual component includes capability (terminology gap). To increase its usability, a BPMM gives guidance on both assessing and improving business processes (design gap).The findings allow clear communication about BPMMs, and new models based on the identified components. This unambiguous understanding helps to avoid confusion and inappropriate assumptions in the business process literature. Future research will further validate the definitions by comparing BPMMs.
Keywords
continuous improvement, process excellence, business process orientation, business process capability, PROCESS MANAGEMENT, STANDARDS, business process management, business process maturity, business excellence

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Van Looy, Amy, Manu De Backer, and Geert Poels. 2011. “Defining Business Process Maturity: a Journey Towards Excellence.” Total Quality Management & Business Excellence 22 (11): 1119–1137.
APA
Van Looy, Amy, De Backer, M., & Poels, G. (2011). Defining business process maturity: a journey towards excellence. TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS EXCELLENCE, 22(11), 1119–1137.
Vancouver
1.
Van Looy A, De Backer M, Poels G. Defining business process maturity: a journey towards excellence. TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS EXCELLENCE. 2011;22(11):1119–37.
MLA
Van Looy, Amy, Manu De Backer, and Geert Poels. “Defining Business Process Maturity: a Journey Towards Excellence.” TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT & BUSINESS EXCELLENCE 22.11 (2011): 1119–1137. Print.
@article{1963377,
  abstract     = {Organisations are increasingly focusing on their business processes to excel. Since the journey towards process excellence is challenging, various authors have proposed a business process maturity model (BPMM) to gradually improve maturity and capability. Nonetheless, a comprehensive definition for BPMM, maturity and capability is missing. Moreover, the differences between maturity and capability are frequently neglected. Therefore, this study elaborates on the lacking foundation. In particular, a thorough literature study is conducted to address three gaps regarding the BPMM scope, terminology and design. It reveals six basic BPMM components within a business process lifecycle (scope gap): (1) modelling, (2) deployment, (3) optimisation, (4) management, (5) culture, and (6) structure. Their overall growth refers to maturity, whereas the growth of an individual component includes capability (terminology gap). To increase its usability, a BPMM gives guidance on both assessing and improving business processes (design gap).The findings allow clear communication about BPMMs, and new models based on the identified components. This unambiguous understanding helps to avoid confusion and inappropriate assumptions in the business process literature. Future research will further validate the definitions by comparing BPMMs.},
  articleno    = {1},
  author       = {Van Looy, Amy and De Backer, Manu and Poels, Geert},
  issn         = {1478-3363},
  journal      = {TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT \& BUSINESS EXCELLENCE},
  keyword      = {continuous improvement,process excellence,business process orientation,business process capability,PROCESS MANAGEMENT,STANDARDS,business process management,business process maturity,business excellence},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1:1119--1:1137},
  title        = {Defining business process maturity: a journey towards excellence},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14783363.2011.624779},
  volume       = {22},
  year         = {2011},
}

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