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BPM - Areas of Control

The aspects of a business process that need to be controlled differ based on the business needs of an enterprise. Risk and Compliance management is a critical factor in industries like BFS, Energy and Insurance. There are other key aspects of a business process that need to be controlled. Here we look at the different aspects of a business process that need to be controlled:

Risk and Compliance- Ensure compliance to regulations from internal and external sources

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) - Metrics of performance of the business

Change Management - process for approving changes to the system, access control

Escalation mechanisms - Alerting in exception scenarios

Audit Trail - Track the work item from initiation to completion

Control Strategies

To achieve efficient control of the areas listed in the previous section, a comprehensive control strategy should be in place. The strategy could encompass the following functional areas, depending on the enterprise needs:

1) Compliance and risk management
2) Change Management and User Management
3) Business Activity Monitoring
4) Escalation and approval workflows
5) Audit Trail
6) Security

Here we look at some of the illustrative strategies:

1) Risk and Compliance Management - Ensures that the business processes implemented meet the internal and external regulatory requirements. It includes identifying risk - affected processes, risk assessment, implementing an internal control system and monitoring control effectiveness.

It enables the:

Implementation of an enterprise - wide compliance management system.
Reuse of process documentation in future programmes and the proven internal control system.
Provides support for mandatory standards and regulatory requirements.

2) Change Management and user Management - The framework should provide managing system changes and systems access:

Manage the approval process for systems-access requests and changes, bundling changes into releases and notifying appropriate parties for approval.
Provide easy access to reports on system access and system changes for audit purposes.
Force periodic business-owner review of access privileges for audit compliance.

3) Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) - The framework should also provide real-time access to key performance indicators (KPIs) of an enterprise to improve the effectiveness of business operations. BAM provides personalized dashboards customized to the users -executive, operations, business analyst and IT application support groups.

Executive management - monitor real-time performance and overall health of business activity. Through executive dashboards, management can monitor key performance indicators to mitigate any potential risks.
Analysts - evaluate real-time process performance metrics, to aid in transforming static process models into operational models. Through real-time process analytics, analysts gain valuable information to identify needed process improvements, or opportunities to further optimize the business.
Operational managers - monitor real-time business process execution across silos to detect abnormalities and respond before they impact performance.
Application and Production Support groups - align monitoring of infrastructure supporting key business processes with the same performance objectives that business operations use. By understanding how IT performance metrics impact business process execution, Application Support staff can more quickly prioritize events and anticipate business impact.

4) Escalation and approval workflows - The control framework should provide rules for escalation. This allows business line managers to dictate how long a process should take. If steps are not completed on time, escalation emails will be sent or any other predefined action will be taken.
The framework should also allow for setting up and modifying the approval workflow to dictate the levels of approvals that a particular task needs to undergo.

5) Audit Trail

The control framework should allow for setting of audit trail for a program to:

Track the full history of a work from initiation to completion.
Report on specific actions during the process may be generated to improve accountability.

Thus, the control for a business process goes beyond risk and compliance management. The areas of BAM, change management, user management, and audit trail and escalation and approval workflow are also critical for efficient control. For a control framework to be effective, it must support monitoring and control of all these aspects.

About the Author

Aparna Naikdalal is a BPM solution architect working for Corporate Technology Excellence Group in TCS with 9+ years of experience in the industry including EAI, SOA and BPM. She is also part of BPM and EAI think tank in TCS.

More by Aparna Naikdalal



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