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Analysing factors impacting BPMS performance: a case of a challenged technology adoption

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Business Process Management Suites (BPMSs) have been adopted in organisations to model, improve and automate business processes as they aim to increase the quality, efficiency and agility of their business processes. Yet, many organisations struggle to achieve the benefits they expected from a BPMS. This interpretive case study in a large South African financial services organisation explains factors found to negatively impact successful BPMS adoption. The paper describes how an IT team struggled to increase process agility with a BPMS in a large legacy application landscape. The dominant factors causing the struggle were the difficulty of integrating with other applications and a lack of governance around BPM. Interesting findings on the difficulties in resourcing BPM IT teams are presented. The impact of BPM strategy, culture and governance on BPM methods, resourcing, data and technology is explained. The BPM literature lacks empirical qualitative case studies and theoretical models. This paper aimed to contribute to both needs. The theoretical contribution of this paper is two models. The first inductively derived explanatory contextual model should be useful for practitioners wanting to adopt a BPMS. Using this study’s findings and models from the literature, a second, more generic explanatory model of information system performance is derived for a BPMS.

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Correspondence to Lisa F. Seymour.

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Communicated by Selmin Nurcan and Pnina Soffer.

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Appendix: semi-structured interview protocol

Appendix: semi-structured interview protocol

  1. 1.

    Describe your role with regard to BPM within the organisations?

  2. 2.

    Describe your team’s role with regard to BPM within the organisation?

  3. 3.

    What is your past experience within the organisation?

  4. 4.

    What is your understanding of business process agility?

  5. 5.

    How do you believe agility within business processes benefits an organisation?

  6. 6.

    What is the current level of business process agility within the organisation?

  7. 7.

    What is the current organisational strategy?

  8. 8.

    What is the current BPM strategy within the organisation?

  9. 9.

    How does the BPM strategy align with the current organisational strategy?

  10. 10.

    What is required in order for successful BPM strategy implementation from an IT perspective?

  11. 11.

    What are the potential challenges (IT specific) that arise when trying to implement a BPM strategy?

  12. 12.

    How do IT project priorities (based on organisational strategy) affect resource allocation for BPM IT projects?

  13. 13.

    Organisational strategies determine the projects that are undertaken within organisations. How is IT project infrastructure needs dealt with within the BPM IT environment?

  14. 14.

    Can IT infrastructure be easily reused across applications? What are the implications of IT infrastructure reuse?

  15. 15.

    How is misalignment of IT infrastructures dealt with in the BPM IT solution?

  16. 16.

    How do project priorities across IT infrastructures teams affect BPM IT projects?

  17. 17.

    Does complexity across IT infrastructures affect the BPMS solution? If yes, please explain?

  18. 18.

    How are IT projects that require redesign of existing IT solutions dealt with in the organisation?

  19. 19.

    What are the organisational policies and procedures that impact the BPM IT team when involved in IT projects? e.g. change control procedures, etc.

  20. 20.

    Individuals can become resistant to change within their work methods based on their years spent within the organisation. How does the attitudes of staff both internal and external to the BPM IT team affect the team from meeting BPM project demands?

  21. 21.

    Can the processes that currently run on the BPMS be easily changed? Please explain?

  22. 22.

    When it has been identified that a process needs to change, what is the procedure that is followed in order to implement the change?

  23. 23.

    When new staff join the BPM IT team, what procedures are followed during the on-boarding/upskilling process?

  24. 24.

    How often are customers of the BPM IT team engaged with?

  25. 25.

    What procedures are followed when engaging (e.g. gathering requirements) from customers of the BPM IT team?

  26. 26.

    How is the information used within the different processes stored?

  27. 27.

    Do members of the BPM IT team have to request access to the information per process? If yes, do these process affect delivery of BPM projects?

  28. 28.

    What are the various technologies that the BPMS integrates with?

  29. 29.

    Describe the complexity of the integrated solutions?

  30. 30.

    Does the complexity of these solutions impede delivery for the BPM IT team?

  31. 31.

    If yes, explain how it impedes solution delivery?

  32. 32.

    Does the BPMS integrate with legacy applications?

  33. 33.

    If yes, how does this affect agility within the BPM IT solution?

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Seymour, L.F., Koopman, A. Analysing factors impacting BPMS performance: a case of a challenged technology adoption. Softw Syst Model 21, 869–890 (2022).

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