BPM Communication (Part 3) – BPM Communication Strategy and Plan


When does the stakeholder need the information? How does she get the right information? On which device is it presented? What does it look like?  What is the regularity? Etc.

These roles and requirements are the starting point in determination of the goals of the BPM initiative, its scope, timing and the business case.

Besides this, roles and requirements determine a lot more, i.e. the members of the project team and the project board, the way the process is designed and described, the key-performance indicators that will be incorporated in the process, the way the process is communicated and presented and the way the process can be governed and controlled.

Most of these points in the user-centered approach have been described in the other subjects and chapters of this book. This chapter focuses on the Communication Management aspects and therefore on the BPM user roles used within the process portal.

Once AirTide has designed and modeled their processes the repository contains a big source of data and knowledge. It is important that this knowledge should be presented to the different stakeholders in the most suitable way at the appropriate time.

While setting up the BPM portal, AirTide needs to be aware of the requirements of all the requirements from the stakeholder. All stakeholders will access the BPM portal for their specific view of the process model including detailed information such as:

  • business rules,
  • documentation,
  • organizational entities,
  • KPI’s and performance measures,
  • system support,
  • location data,
  • master data,
  • risk & compliance measures.

In order to provide this information in the right way, at the right time and according to the users requirements AirTide has created a BPM communication strategy and plan.

The BPM communication strategy and plan contains the answers to four questions[i]:

  1. What do we want to say?                    – The message
  2. When will we say it?                            – The timeline
  3. To whom do we want to say it?         – The audience
  4. How will we say it?                              – The channels

In the case of AirTide the answer to the first question is aligned with the deliverables of each BPM project stage, for example:

  • These are our agreed on processes.
  • Here can you find them.
  • This is how to read them.
  • This is how the change process works.
  • These are the process goals, the performance indicators and the measures.
  • These are the business rules, risks & compliancy regulations and measures.
  • This is how you can read and use the process model.
  • These are the documents used in the processes.

The answer to question two is related to the project stages. The information is presented at a moment that best suits the purpose of the message.

We can define four stages or communication[ii]:

1.    Awareness; during the BPM strategy and set-up, as building blocks are being defined, various process communities are create and continuously informed about the BPM transformation progress and future plans.

2.    Pilot; when main BPM building blocks have been established in the BPM transition and pilots are showing first results, all audiences should be informed about the pilots and the overall BPM roadmap. In addition, BPM trainings should begin.

3.    Implementation; when the BPM transition has been completed, a continuous communication plan should be set for all audiences

4.    Continuous feedback; Throughout the BPM transformation, feedback mechanisms should be in place to measure the progress being made in the communication efforts.

For example; in order to gather the information as input for the process model workshops are held. This is still the awareness stage. In this stage the community existing of HR employees is being informed about the BPM goals and approach. It is important that contributors to the workshop know exactly what the scope is of the processes, what kind of information is needed and how it will be used in creating the model in ARIS using the BPMN language. An example of communication in the second stage is training of people in pilot environments in usage of ARIS Business publisher.

For the answer to the fourth question an analysis was made of all the stakeholders. Stakeholders or the audience is then grouped based on their interests regarding the BPM project and based on what the BPM projects expects from the stakeholder group. Per stakeholder group their interest, the expectation and the used messages and channels, the way the messages are presented as being the answer to the last question, is presented in the communication matrix.

Figure 4: example of a communication matrix

With this matrix and the roll-out of the several communication messages using the right channels B-Air was able to keep all stakeholders aligned and informed.


There are several things to keep in in in BPM communications:

  1. Make sure all messages are aligned in content and time, and there are no inconsistencies.
  2. Used channels should be aligned with the message and with the audience.
  3. Channels used should be easy to access at the right time and place for all stakeholders in the audience.
  4. Create clear definitions of each stakeholder group. However don’t create to much stakeholder groups and don’t deviate on a too detailed level.
  5. It should be clear who is in charge of the deployment of the BPM communication strategy and plan; who is the communication officer?
  6. Have all stakeholder definitions in place before creating the actual Business Process Model so you can communicate the scope, impact, requirements and validations.
  7. Use the stakeholder definitions while creating the Business Process Model in deciding the modeling conventions such as: the detail level needed, the objects used, the definitions given to events and actions and the naming conventions.
  8. In selecting the channels make sure you align with the devices used for communications. For example, are people using mobile devices then be sure to align the communication protocol and also the messages.
Next time we will discuss New Developments and Innovations in the final part of BPM Communication

[i] Business Process Management – The SAP Roadmap; Galileo Press; Snabe, Rosenberg et all.

[ii] Business Process Management – The SAP Roadmap; Galileo Press; Snabe, Rosenberg et all.

BPM Communication (Part 1) – Description of the process area

Recently I wrote a blog on BPM communications describing a case showing how and why communications is important in a BPM project and how to deal with this topic. This is the first part (of 4):

  1. Description of the process area
  2. BPM Communications in B-Air Airline Company
  3. BPM Communications strategy and plan
  4. New developments and innovations

One of the main drivers for BPM is to create operational excellence and agility in your process environment. Nowadays processes that are effective and governable, that lack differentiation in its outcome and that are adaptive, changeable and manageable are the main driver for success. First step in order to reach operational excellence and agility in your processes is to scope, design and describe the to-be situation and to determine added-value from your process organization. While doing so the target audience, people that have a stake in the process, has to be taken as a starting point. Proper communications management takes care of all people with their stakes, roles, responsibilities and requirements in the BPM project but also in the targeted process and in its execution and management.

 The short description of Communications Management given in the BPM Framework by IDS-Scheer (http://www.ariscommunity.com/users/frlu/2009-03-02-enterprise-bpm-framework) is:

‘The integration of BPM user-roles within the SAP/ARIS business process portal assures right information at the right time’.


Figure 1: real time, role based process data


In order to deliver the right information at the right time it is important to, not just, integrate user roles, but even more to build your BPM initiative from a user-centered approach.

This means that in the definition stage of your initiative (project or journey) you have to start with the definition of requirements coming from the diversity of roles in the target audience.

Because communication is a key element for the success of BPM vendors such as SAP and Software AG provide suitable solutions.

B-Air a BPM Communications case

Starting 2010 a small airline company called B-Air wants to start an eHRM project. B-Air has 1200 employees of which 800 are pilots and cabin crew. B-Air flies to 26 countries around the world. Their current HR processes are merely covered with SAP HCM. The HR department consists of 150 people that conduct HR processes such as:

  • Recruitment,
  • Replacement,
  • Flexible benefits,
  • Evaluations,
  • Job advices,
  • Etc.

The target of B-Air is to become the best employer in the business by creating an innovative and open business culture. One of the ways to deploy this strategy is by offering all sorts of online services. For HR this means creating an HR process portal that will cover the majority of HR tasks on a role based manner. Employees will have their personal self-service environment they can access at any time, from any place. In order to create this self-service HR portal, B-Air needs to describe their processes first and determine how to translate their process model in actual self-services.

In the next part we will look at the BPM communications case for B-Air.