Michal Sobotkiewicz
Michal SobotkiewiczKANBO PRODUCT OWNER
He leads the KanBo Technology & Innovation strategy team to map, build and inspire a future we want to work in.

Find out how KanBo, smart conversations, and smart decisions can help you achieve greater business outcomes.

What is Business Process Management?

At its heart, Business Process Management – BPM is about improving the way work gets done. But really it is about making it easy for the business to make better decisions about how work gets done. If you look at any single organization, there are a number of things that occur that employees take for granted. These occur on a daily basis: conversations, meetings, interactions between departments or business partners, the way work gets prioritized, the way decisions get made, what is relevant to the work being done. All of these are processes, though some are more formal, documented, monitored, and controlled than others. Some processes are even repeated in the same way each time. The challenge is that business needs to take advantage of the output of these processes without understanding them well enough.

Questions and Answers

How to understand process output?

Process output is about the stuff that gets produced in the business. There are many questions that we need to consider: How often does this process run? How long is it? What are we measuring? What do we do with the output of this process? Does the organization have the right tools, people, and skillsets to manage the processes output appropriately?

BPM is a method of describing processes output, identifying what is good and not so good about them, how they are created, how they are maintained, how they interact, and how they can be made better and more efficient.

What is the BPM approach?

Enterprise map – define the range of work that can be accomplished by a person or group in the enterprise. BPM methodology spans across all levels of the organization, from the most senior executive all the way to entry-level. The core idea is to provide a common reference frame to ensure your work gets done in a consistent manner. Map the current set of processes across your organization to create an “enterprise map.” This will identify the work that needs to get done and any dependencies that exist. Map the “work to be done” as well as the “work to be done and when it is done.” Map the results and dependencies of the work that needs to get done. What is the first or last step needed to complete it? What additional processes do you need?

Example: Describe what the “delivery time” of each work product should be, where they should be delivered, when they should be delivered, and at what price.

Process map – this step is not as common and often only practiced in very large organizations. It is all about ensuring that work gets done in the best possible way. Simply using BPM to define the output of a process that is currently used will not be enough. You need to map the process against the business goals of the organization and identify what changes are needed to make processes work better. A process map identifies processes and identifies whether the current method is effective or not. This includes: Identify the business drivers. Understand how the current work is currently managed and what improvements are needed. Define the work to be done. Identify and map the work that is needed to complete the work. Where are all the dependencies (or bottlenecks)? Example: Describe the process flows that will be needed to make the change in the production process.

Value chain– specifies the end-to-end logical activities that need to happen for that procedure to be complete. By identifying the dependencies between these activities, you can identify the best possible way to create the work that needs to be done.

Relationship mapping – shows relationships between processes. This map will help identify which processes are related to each other. How much time is spent on each process? How is the status of the process in relation to its direct business objective? This will help the organization understand the issues of how processes work together.

Core operating model – helps identify key business processes. It identifies how the business really functions and identifies activities that should be aligned with the organization’s objectives. Process Model The core operating model is a model that can be used for both process mapping and process management. It identifies all the processes and how they are operated. While BPM methodology is often used for process mapping, core operating models are more often used for process management, where process operations are defined by terms, called process models.


Just like businesses are no longer defined by their geographic location and the products and services they offer, processes in organizations need to be reimagined to deliver higher value to the business. Using BPM and KanBo, the business is empowered to create business value. An organization that is equipped to unlock process opportunities can deliver better results, and better performance, than an organization that is not.