Sunday, November 15, 2009


The lessons learned from a BPM perspective across the Industrial Engineering curriculum show that a few key themes emerge: complexity, the multi-disciplinary approach, skill levels, and South African socio-economic issues.

BPM is a complex science: it requires the balance of man, machine, and money through an ‘invisible’ mechanism – the business process. So when BPM is carried out, all these various disciplines need to be exercised in a way that creates value.

Multi-disciplinary approach
This immediately raises the matter of a multi-disciplinary approach. Besides considering the socio-economic competencies needed to facilitate the appropriate change management and financial management in BPM, the engineering of the system must also play a role. Questions arise: “How do we engineer change into the business system?”; “What does the blueprint design look like for the business?”; and “How do I best allocate and use scare resources in my business processes?”.

Skills levels
BPM deals with the complexity of business, and thus requires a multi-disciplinary approach. So we need the appropriate level of skills to meet these requirements. Companies In South Africa struggle with the BPMS solutions, and even more so with the skills required for BPM.

Industrial Engineering Suitability
Industrial Engineers are well qualified to play important roles in BPM. However, university Departments of Industrial Engineering need to recognise this fact, and align their curricula more strategically with BPM requirements.

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