Here in my first blogs we have dealt with how to initiate process change with the help of BPM, what BPM is and how it differs from other popular management philosophies geared to enhancing processes and changes such as Lean and Six Sigma. Now that we have a grasp of the basics, we’ll delve deeper here into the BPM story. This time I’ll tell you about the maturity levels of the processes and what are the steps toward dynamic business structure.

Maturity levels

When I talk about BPM, I also usually talk about maturity levels, in other words, how well a company has already incorporated the elements of process management into their business operations. Maturity levels reveal what stage a company is at, what is being done at the company, and how prepared the organisation is for developing process management. With the help of maturity levels, it is possible to see where the organisation is right now and what steps need to be taken in order to begin raising its maturity level.

There are six maturity levels. Companies that are at the first level (0) know that there are problems but they don’t know how to tackle them. Typically, activities are measured at a departmental level instead of at a process level. When the maturity level rises, it is accompanied by process modelling, monitoring, organisational changes, etc. The following picture describes the maturity levels and through that the road to more efficient processes and business operations.



Roughly 90% of companies are at the first, inefficient conscious level, or even below it. Less than 10% of companies have process awareness or are process developers. Only a marginal fraction of companies are process-oriented or the kind which has integrated process management and functions in a dynamic business structure.

What is my starting level?

Although all companies are unique, certain laws of business are always applicable. For this reason, there are certain hallmarks that reveal the current state of a company. The maturity level is assessed in the following areas:

  • Processes
  • Strategy
  • Company culture
  • Organisation
  • ICT
  • BPM organisation

If you are interested in finding out what level your company is operating at, you can ask yourself (or your colleagues for the sake of comparison) a few questions concerning your business operations. By getting answers to these questions, we take a step forward, closer to a state of process awareness:

  • Are people in your company aware of their own processes? Are they clear and consistent?
  • Does the business strategy take process quality into account? How is the strategy manifested in the actual business activity, that is, does the strategy influence the actual processes?
  • Is constant improvement and development of processes part of your company’s culture? Are people encouraged to improve and develop processes?
  • Is business organised in a process-oriented manner? What business processes are included in the business?
  • To what degree does IT support business processes? Are these systems configured in a process-oriented manner?
  • Are there BPM initiatives in place at your company? Are people ready to create space for a BPM management style?

Raising the maturity level takes time. This is simply due to the fact that raising the maturity level is a company-wide project that requires commitment at both the management and employee levels. Let’s hope that this piece of writing has given you some ideas and inspired you to develop the maturity of your own company.

In the future I will say more about how the BPM process progresses and how companies with the help of BPM can make their processes more efficient. Now that I’ve got started, it’s good to stay on board. Follow us on Twitter and Linkedin and you’ll stay with us on our shared journey towards a dynamic business structure.