Business Process Management in German Higher Education Institutions – The Case of Jade University of Applied Science

Jan Bührig, Thorsten Schoormann und Ralf Knackstedt

Situation faced: Faced with challenges like heterogeneous processes across three campuses, a campus management system that was not up to date, and loss of knowledge because of demographic changes and undocumented, inconsistent processes, Jade University of Applied Science implemented a campus-management system developed by HIS. This system includes an integrated reference model for processes that are related to campus management. The university wanted to use common standards and needed a guide based on best practices. Implementing business process management (BPM) provides an opportunity to document, standardize, and centralize processes across their campus locations.

Action taken: Implementation of the campus management system and reference processes was structured in steps that can be described using BPM lifecycle model: (I) initialization, (II) process identification, (III) process discovery, (IV) process analysis, (V) process redesign, (VI) process implementation, and (VII) process monitoring. Each of these steps is directly related to using the HISinOne reference model to obtain recommendations based on best practices.

Results achieved: Both expected and unexpected results were obtained from implementing the campus management system: (I) the standardization of processes across three campus locations was improved by (II) adopting best practices, and internal workshops to standardize processes (III) strengthened Jade University’s overall team spirit. In general, (IV) individual barriers to using process models and process documentation were reduced, and a BPM-supportive culture was developed such that some departments have begun to document other processes and to consider the implementation of a broader BPM department.

Lessons learned: Five primary lessons were learned during the project: (I) orienting to existing solutions like process reference models supports the initialization of new projects, and (II) standardization limits the involved stakeholders’ creativity. In addition, (III) guidelines for consistently documenting the implementation’s progress are important to easily provide relevant information to all stakeholders at all times, (IV) integrating relevant stakeholders into the process enables the standards across different locations to be determined, and (V) limited project resources must be taken into account in order to plan suitable and feasible actions.

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