The Rules For Process

I’ve been pretty busy here at the Building Business Capability conference the past two days with little time for blogging, and with two presentations to do today, I don’t have much time, but wanted to attend Roger Burlton’s “The Rules For Process” keynote, which he refers to as his business process manifesto. After some terms and meta-rules (e.g., short, jargon-free and methodology-neutral), he got into his eight main principles:

  1. A business process is a unique capability of an organization.
  2. A business process exists within a clearly defined business context.
  3. The name of a business process must be consistently structured, unambiguous and commonly used.
  4. A model of a business process holds knowledge about a business process.
  5. A model of a business process associates a business process with other capabilities of the organization.
  6. A business process is guided by the business’ strategy and its policies.
  7. The performance of a business process is measured and assessed in business terms.
  8. A business process is an essential asset of the organization.

He spent quite a bit of time delving into each of these principles in detail, such as describing a business process as an action, not a policy, business rule or technology application.

I’m not sure if Roger is considering publishing a paper on this; definitely lots of good information about what business processes are and are not, which could help many people with their business process capture efforts. There’s apparently a discussion about this on the BPTrends LinkedIn group where you can find out more and join in the conversation, although I haven’t found it yet.

4 thoughts on “The Rules For Process”

  1. Hmm. On #1, I’d say a Business Process instantiates / delivers / executes a capability of an organization, but unless you are ADP doing Payroll processing, than the Business Process is not your Capability. It’s your How.

  2. Personally it would have been a little more comforting for me if “customer” was mentioned somewhere in there…

  3. There was a lot more to this than I could capture at the time. I’ve pinged Roger on the BPTrends LinkedIn group, since he still hasn’t published the whole thing — I think that it would be good to get it out for open discussion in all its detail.

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