APQC Study Identifies Best Practices to Build Strong Process Management Capabilities

Data and insights featured from Energias de Portugal, Hospira, Lincoln Trust, National University, Northrup Grumman, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ CSP Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center

(Houston, Texas - July 17, 2012)  APQC, the nonprofit leader in benchmarking and best practices research, releases the results of its latest study, Building Strong Process Management Capabilities. Nimbus, a TIBCO company and global provider of business process management (BPM) solutions, served as research champion. The study documented various effective and leading process management practices, but specifically noted the following three as characteristics of best-practice organizations:

  1. Focus: Best-practice organizations maximize the results of process management investment by focusing on strategic alignment and governance capabilities. These organizations also centralize process management capabilities for maximum effect.
  1. Mature: Process management maturity grows over time. Organizations at initial levels of process management maturity benefit greatly from tactical investments in local process management. Mature organizations depend on strong governance, strategic alignment, and clear process models to fuel widespread adoption of process management capabilities. Best-practice organizations build and develop these capabilities as they mature and develop enterprise-wide process management capabilities.
  1. Motivate: Employees at best-practice organizations gain motivation from external influences such as the adoption of recognized quality or compliance programs. These programs galvanize process management efforts and help management more easily engage and motivate all employees.

The best-practice findings were gathered from a five-month study of six leading organizations—Energias de Portugal (EDP), Hospira Inc., Lincoln Trust Co., National University, Northrup Grumman Corp., and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ CSP Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center. While these organizations vary in their process management capability development, together they illustrate that:

  • The most commonly cited ideal-world focus among best-practice organizations is strategic alignment and governance.
  • Change management is critical to developing strong process management capabilities.


“Identifying tasks that can jumpstart a process management program is perhaps one of the most difficult activities at an organization,” said John Tesmer, APQC senior program manager. “Our research demonstrated that, for leading organizations, it is indeed a journey as they leverage organizational culture and previous process management efforts to continue the development of strong process management capabilities. This report distills the findings into suggested process management focus areas, with related case studies for review, based on organizational culture and history with process management.”

“It was an easy decision to accept APQC’s invitation to serve as a Research Champion on this study, as many of our customers use APQC’s Process Classification Framework as a means of structuring and benchmarking their business processes,” said Nigel Warren, head of marketing for Nimbus.  “In this study we were keen to gain a wider perspective of how organizations are approaching their process management endeavors and identify common approaches that underpin success.”

The full best practices report is available for download at www.nimbuspartners.com/apqc.

APQC will have the report and individual case studies available on its website starting July 31.

About APQC

APQC is a member-based nonprofit and one of the world’s leading proponents of knowledge management, benchmarking, and best practices business research. Working with more than 750 organizations worldwide in all industries, APQC provides organizations with the information they need to work smarter, faster, and with confidence. Visit www.apqc.org or call +1.713.681.4020 and learn how to Make Best Practices Your PracticesSM.

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