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Defining Business Process Maturity. A Journey towards Excellence

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  • G. POELS

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.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 11/725.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:11/725
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