BPM – A key step for organizations

Initially, organizational restructuring should take a BPM approach

BPM provides an approach for aligning the organization’s processes with its stakeholders;
As a promoter of computerization and automation of companies, BPM is the integrating key between technology and organization.
The implementation of Business Process Management (BPM) approaches has been used extensively in aligning the processes of an organization with the requirements of different stakeholders, namely customers, suppliers, employees, managers and investors. Viewed as a methodology that promotes effectiveness and organizational efficiency, BPM is easily adopted by organizations, given:

i) the ease with which it implements the PDCA (Plan-Do-Control-Act) management cycle;
ii) the operational tools it implements, namely the mapping of the activities of the organization in structured and intelligible processes, and the standardization of the information produced;
iii) control and action mechanisms, namely the development of KPIs;
iv) the underlying philosophy of optimization and continuous improvement and strong adaptability to changes in business processes.

Based on these characteristics, the implementation of BPM is considered essential for the restructuring of an organization, given the scope of intervention, which contemplates the totality of the operations of the organization, and the standardization of artifacts, which allows a complete and structured analysis of the processes . In addition, BPM implements, from the outset, the foundation for the needs of the management of activities and resources based on data produced in real time – in what is now referred to as Operational Intelligence.

As a promoter of computerization and automation of companies, being referred to as the integrating key between technology and organization, BPM combines the need to integrate different sources of information with the need for an increasing adaptability of organizations, which leads to the coupling of BPM with other development and support technologies such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), BI (Business Intelligence) and Cloud services, among others. Organizations respond to this opportunity by requiring platforms that enable the management of their activities and services orchestrated by processes, coordinating workflows in B2B and B2C models, in a comprehensive and real-time manner. BPM platforms now include mechanisms for integration with ERPs, CRMs and Document Management, or, alternatively, to make the corporate modules necessary for the organization available in a single package.

On the other hand, BPM is also the foundation stone for the introduction of different management methods, such as Six Sigma, Lean or Management by Objectives. The potential for operational change associated with these management methods requires that employees know the reality of their organization in a structured way, and that this knowledge is not restricted only to their activities but to the whole of the organization. The models, workflows and information, rules and performance metrics provided by BPM are fundamental for the introduction of new management models and for their adaptation of the organization to a process of change.

The problem of Objective Management

  • The MBO provides an approach for clarifying the activities and responsibilities of the leadership structure and each employee;
    However, the MBO is challenged when it is abusively reduced to numerical quotas, dashboards and short-term objectives.
    Management by Objectives (MBO) is one of the methods most used by organizations to operationalize the strategic objectives in the organizational structure, that is, to transform vision into action.


    The MBO provides an approach to clarify the activities and responsibilities of the leadership structure and each employee, facilitating the definition and agreement of a performance evaluation model within the organization’s objectives. However, despite its recognition, the MBO is challenged when it is abusively reduced to numerical quotas, dashboards and short-term objectives (usually financial or accounting).


    This reductionist vision of MBO creates an organizational culture in which employees seek only to achieve immediate objectives, not promoting consistency of results, collaboration and organizational synergy and continuous improvement of processes.


    Such an approach is more akin to setting targets, not objectives, which is precisely the opposite of the philosophy underlying MBO implementation.

    In essence, the MBO is a methodology for planning, executing and controlling long-term objectives that contributes to the continuous improvement of organizations.

    This improvement is achieved through: two-way communication between managers and employees; consequent optimization of processes; and action on deviations and consolidation of good practices. Thus, an objective becomes a safeguard mechanism, guaranteeing an involvement and commitment in the pursuit of results, which are fruitful and aligned with the strategy and defined directions.

Relational productivity coupled with a collaborative and technological culture

In the knowledge society, the economy must be based on collaboration as a privileged means for the conversion of ideas and creativity into economic value;
Organizations today begin to understand this reality and seek to invest in tools and methods that allow them to extract the full potential of the resources at their disposal;
The current technology provides the functionalities appropriate to this new reality.

Troubleshooting the 5 Whys

  • Do you use a structured approach to solving the problems that occur in your organization?
    Can you document and identify the root cause (the primary and primary reason) that was at the root of this problem?
    Do you know the best approach to prevent the problem from recurring?
    The analysis and resolution of business problems is the target of a myriad of methods and techniques that seek to establish strategies that aim to implement a systematic approach to problem solving in the shortest possible time. However, given the complexity and breadth of the types of problems that can occur in an organization, it is not always easy to find a single method, and it is usual to resort to a limited set of techniques that adapt not only to organizational culture but also to operational reality of the company.

    One of the methods that stands out for its universality and adaptability is the root cause analysis method. In a generic way, this method offers a structured approach to identify the factors that originated a given event, allowing to identify the behaviors, actions or conditions necessary to implement to prevent the repetition of this same event.

    The method

    In practice, the root-cause analysis method seeks to solve a problem through the following approach:

    1. The problem must be documented

    Beginning at the end, that is, by the analysis of the final state or the factual description of it, all data and evidence demonstrating the damaging consequences of the problem must be lifted;

    2. The causes of the problem must be questioned iteratively

    Based on the collection of information from the previous point, the technique of the 5 whys should be applied. This technique tries to find out the reasons for a problem, analyzing the causes that gave rise to it, according to a systematic approach in which iteratively questions the answers to the questions found in the previous iteration. The process must be carried out as many times as necessary until the root cause of the problem is identified;

    3. Root causes should be identified

    All root causes must be recognized and documented for further analysis, prioritization and optimization;

    4. Identification of corrective actions

    Analysis and documentation of corrective actions that, if implemented, would avoid the occurrence of root causes and other causes identified in the meantime. If possible, demonstrate that the implementation of these corrective actions would lead to the non-occurrence of the problem;

    5. Implementation of corrective actions and remedies

    To seek a consensual agreement on the measures to be implemented, with clear and attainable goals and objectives, with particular attention to the non-introduction of potential new problems;

    6. Implementation of control measures

    Ensure the effectiveness and correctness of measures implemented through the establishment of control and reporting measures.

    Being very used in quality management systems, this technique can, for example, help the manager of continuous improvement in the correct identification of the causes that are the cause of the poor performance of the management processes. In fact, instead of stressing the reason or immediate cause of the problem, the manager should seek to find the root cause that gave rise to it.

    Practical case

    For example, and in a simplistic way, in a situation of complaint of delay in the delivery of an order, this technique can be applied as follows:

    1. Identification of the problem – Survey of the complaint data, including deadlines, products and processors;

    2. Iterative identification of the causes (the 5 whys) – Iterative, seek to deepen the reasons for the problem:

    i. What is the reason for the delay? Because the products did not leave the factory at the planned time.
    ii. What explains the output of the products at a later date? Because production orders are badly staggered.
    iii. Why are production orders poorly scaled? Because the calculation of production hours always fails by default.
    iv. Why is the calculation of production hours wrong? Because the software used is outdated.
    v. Why is the software still being used? Because the head of the Department of Information Systems (S.I.) did not evaluate the implementation of an alternative software.

    3. Root cause identification – The root cause of the above problem is the SI department’s perception that the currently used software package does not present any problems (for example, because there are no errors or bugs related to the software);

  • 4. Identification of corrective actions – The head of the IS department should, together with the heads of other departments, regularly assess the functional requirements of the organization’s IT applications and present management with potential problems, capital gains and solutions to situations found;

    5. Implementation of corrective actions – Establishment of biannual meetings between the directors of the different departments and the director of information technology and between this and the administration;

    6. Implementation of control measures – Elaboration of documents for the registration of requirements and evaluation of solutions in a repository accessible to the administration and to the directors. These should be updated every six months, including the minutes of the meetings.

    The flexibility and simplicity of this method allows its application in a simple and immediate way, allowing you to take a new approach to solving your organization’s problems right away.