Why are we talking about BDM (Business Decision Management)?

After a decade and a half on Business Process Management projects in both Europe and North America we see countless companies adopting one form or another ofmanaging their business by managing their processes.  They are in various stages of process maturity to driveimprovement, control and measure processes, drive business agility based on the understanding that business processes are not important to the business but that business processes are the business.

But today’s business reality is more complex than ever. It demands ever increasing adaptiveness of on- time or at least near- timeagility to respond to ever changing business requirements by customers, regulatory needs, and needs to orchestrate lead and opportunity generation in the complex world of digital business and social media.

The underlying business process may be swiftly defined based on longstanding BPM experience and practice. However, it is the complex business decisions that make or break an organization.  Despite the criticality of decisions, companies often don’t know the rules or data or even the processes that drive the decision. If decisions are modeled as part of a traditional process model it may introduce a process complexity that creates ‘sluggish’ processes.

Business decisions have to be made fast, need to rely on optimized data both in quality and volume, and need to adapt to requirements of frequent changes.

What is BDM?

Decisions are not important to the business, decisions are the business in the digital era. Therefore, business decisions need to be managed the same way we are managing business processes by deploying a methodology of:

  • identifying, defining, monitoring and managingbusiness decisions and
  • governingtheadaptivenessof changing decision requirements based business and data ownership

Identify: Companies are dealing with various types of decisions: strategic, tactical and operational decisions. Operational decisions which are high volume and may have a low to high financial impact are targeted in BDM since even small changes may produce a high business impact

Define: Define the process and decision point. Define the decision logic, rules and data requirements. Define collaboratively: with the process role to provide the business perspective defining decision requirements and with the data role to provide decision logic and input based on relevant data models to leverage data analytics to its fullest.

Monitor and Manage:Decision results need to be put into action (as identified in the process path to follow a decision. Process and decision are integral.) Once implemented, the actions have to be monitored for expected results and can be adjusted as needed.

Govern:The co-created yet separately owned domains allow governing changes on process and decisions independently which support clear, transparent structures and increases agility and speed.

Much like BPM, the described phases of BDM follow a lifecycle concept to ensure that both process and decisions are continuously improved and respond to the changing requirements of the business reality.

How to get started with BDM?

Check back on the next installment of our BDM discussion when we investigate approaches and standards for BDM.