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Global BPM Survey 2023: Adoption Trends, Current Challenges, Skills Assessment and Strategies

Over the past decade, Business Process Management (BPM) has seen a tectonic shift. Once considered a discipline for large-scale enterprises with complex processes, BPM is now recognised as a strategic business imperative for organisations of all sizes, across industries and their years of existence. The growing digital landscape is further fuelling BPM’s growth.

As many organisations continue joining the BPM bandwagon, they seek answers to these critical questions. What are the biggest obstacles to process mapping and business improvement success? How do we assess the skills and training requirements? What organisations that succeed with BPM do differently?

To get answers to these critical questions, PRIME BPM carried out a survey of a diverse group of BPM professionals from across the APAC, North America and Europe regions. The first-of-its-kind Global BPM Survey, featuring input from 4,000+ BPM practitioners, provides actionable insights to help BPM leaders refine their strategies, understand their training requirements and drive impactful process improvements.

We delve into the key survey findings to get an insight into objectives, current challenges and training requirements.

Key Objectives of Process Mapping

What are the key reasons that organisations embark on process mapping? What objectives do they wish to achieve?

As per the survey findings, a substantial (67%) of BPM professionals rated Continuous Improvement as a top goal they want to achieve with process mapping. Preparation for a system’s implementation (45%) emerged as another significant objective. Organisations often undertake process mapping before implementing new systems to ensure seamless integration and maximise system benefits.

Knowledge Management (44.34%), securing the third spot and Process Automation (43.50%) were also recognised as high-priority objectives for undertaking process mapping.

The survey findings highlight that organisations see process mapping as a key enabler for achieving several key business requirements, driving sustainable success. Additionally, process mapping is seen as an essential resource for navigating complexities during system implementation and effectively managing knowledge, facilitating the transformation into a process-driven organisation.

Essential Elements for Successful Process Mapping

The survey findings show that most organisations rush into process mapping, missing crucial preparatory steps and essential elements. Almost half of the 4,412 BPM professionals said their organisations started creating process maps without a detailed architecture.

A process architecture serves as a hierarchical model of an organisation’s business processes. It provides a bird’s eye view of the business to help organisations identify business functions with pain points and understand which processes need urgent attention and should be mapped in the first phase. Without a detailed architecture, organisations are shooting in the dark, unaware of the scope of the process mapping initiative.

Further, over 50% of BPM professionals report that their organisations lack a defined Business Process Improvement Methodology. A methodology is the cornerstone of consistent and comprehensive process documentation, addressing critical questions like:

  • To what level should I map my process?
  • What information needs to be captured?
  • Who needs to be included in gathering process information?
  • What needs to be included in the process map?

This absence of a structured approach poses significant challenges, hindering the creation of accurate and consistent process maps across the organisation. As there are no guidelines on levels of detail to capture, it results in inconsistent documentation and varying quality of process maps across business units.

This lack of standardised and consistent documentation directly impacts key objectives that organisations aim to achieve with process mapping, including knowledge management, continuous improvement, and process automation.

To achieve optimal results from their process mapping initiatives, organisations must adhere to a systematic, step-by-step approach.

Prioritising Processes for Mapping

When asked about how they identify and select the critical processes for mapping from amongst the thousands of business processes, a significant 86% of respondents recognised ‘Processes aligned with organisational goals’ as the top criteria.

‘Requirements from different business units’ (57.14%) and ‘Based on current project requirements’ (43%) emerged as other two key criteria for prioritising processes to map.

While respondents acknowledged the need to prioritise the processes to map, this cannot be done without building a detailed process architecture and library—a crucial step that a majority of organisations are currently overlooking.

An accurate Business Process Architecture and Library shows how many processes make up a business area, where a process starts and ends, and gives a broad view of the process objective. All this information helps recognise high-value, high-risk, high-volume and high-frequency processes, which, when mapped, analysed and improved, give the highest return to business in the shortest possible time.

Roadblocks to Process Mapping Success

Process mapping is the foundation of any BPM initiative. Any issue with process mapping results in a ripple effect, impacting the entire BPM lifecycle. The survey highlights some common challenges BPM professionals face that hinder effective process mapping.

A resounding concern voiced by over 40% of BPM professionals is the absence of well-defined rules and standards for process mapping. Without clear guidelines, the process mapping endeavour becomes prone to inconsistent documentation.

Inadequate time allocation by businesses for process mapping teams as significant (37%) and the lack of skills (35%) are other significant roadblocks highlighted by respondents.

Skills: A significant barrier to BPM Success

Survey findings identify the skills gap as a major concern. Nearly 35% of respondents said their organisations are struggling with process mapping due to a lack of appropriate skills.

The survey data also highlights a concerning BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation) skills gap within organisations. Nearly 60% of professionals rate their BPMN skills as average or below average, indicating a need for upskilling and training. Alarmingly, over 20% of respondents admit to being unfamiliar with BPMN.

Being a worldwide recognised language for process mapping, proficiency in BPMN is essential for creating accurate maps that are easy to understand and follow throughout the organisation.

Business Process Improvement Goals and Results

The survey findings shed light on the primary objectives pursued by organisations in their business process improvement endeavours. Notably, respondents prioritise Improving Quality (62%), followed by Productivity Enhancement (58%) and Improving Customer Experience (51%) as their top three goals.

However, due to lags in process mapping stages, as highlighted by survey results, many organisations don’t get the desired outcome from their initiative.

More than 55% of respondents rated lack of clear process improvement goals as the top reason that prevents them from achieving Business Improvement Results, followed by lack of standard/methodology (42%) and lack of stakeholder engagement (26%).

The survey results clearly spotlight the existing gap in BPM planning and implementation. To maximise the return on investment from their process mapping initiatives, organisations must emphasise gathering prerequisites during the mapping stage and invest in skill enhancement and development.

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Power Your Process Improvement with PRIME BPM

Organisations can navigate these roadblocks and challenges with an appropriate BPM tool. One BPM software that stands out is PRIME BPM–an easy-to-use, cloud-based BPM tool designed for both business users and process experts.

PRIME BPM packs many functionalities, including in-built methodology and BPMN 2.0 for standardised process documentation; one-click analysis on process value, time, and efficiency; collaboration features, etc., to help you maximise your process improvement outcomes.

Try the functionalities of PRIME BPM first-hand; take a 30-Day Free Trial.