Posted by: Adam Deane | 02/06/2010

BPM: The Five Ps

5PsFollowing up on my previous posts about BPM and BI, this post is about the five BPM Ps.

People Process Progress Policy Performance

The five Ps are a good starting point for every BPM dashboard and BI analysis. Looking at the data from 5 points of view.
They cover the five essential areas that need analysing, monitoring and reporting.

Instead of just talking around it, I thought it would be more helpful if I’d actually show you what I meant. To help you visualize…


These are screenshots from an application I built using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology for the gauges. But apart from the pretty gauges, the idea here is to show the concept of five Ps and the logic behind them.



The Business Pain: Who are the slackers? Who are not efficient?
Showing: Line per employee / task recipient / team employee
• By Process
• By Timeline (last 30 days, last 3 months, last 6 months, last year)
• Time To Complete Tasks
• Number of Open Tasks / Closed Tasks / Late Tasks
• Work Cost (Employee Rate * Time to complete task)



The Business Pain: Where are the bottlenecks?
Showing: Line per workflow step / Line per workflow status (open, closed, late, at risk)
• By Process
• By Timeline (last 30 days, last 3 months, last 6 months, last year)
• Time To Complete Tasks
• Number of Open Tasks / Closed Tasks / Late Tasks
• Work Cost (Employee Rate * Time to complete task)



The Business Pain: What is happening with a specific process instance?
Showing: Line per process instance / Line per workflow status (open, closed, late, at risk)
• By Process
• By Recipient
• Status
• Last step / pending
• Audit trail



The Business Pain: What are the KPIs, Exceptions and Errors?
Showing: Process statistics, KPIs with option to recalculate, Exceptions
• Process KPIs
• Task KPIs
• Process KPIs
• Financial KPIs
• By Duration KPIs
• System Errors



The Business Pain: Are we meeting our SLAs?
Showing: Process statistics, SLAs,
• By Process SLAs
• By Task SLAs
• By Process SLAs
• By Financial SLAs
• By Duration SLAs


Drill Down

System Generated Analysis Recommendations
Each of the Ps has a drilldown. Think of them as “Simulation-lite”. The idea is to let the system generate a list of recommendations to solve the business pain (based on process data from the database):
Who takes the most time to complete their tasks, who has the most number of open tasks, which business rule has the highest failure percentage…

The Five Ps are used in other areas of BPM, but I find the best place to use them is in the BI.
It’s easy explaining them to the customer, easy to use and makes business sense.

As I said in a previous post, gauges don’t show all the required information as in real crunch number reporting, but they do give a good indicator on what’s happening.


  1. Adam,

    Excellent posts on BPM and BI, and especially this one covers some very important aspects of all round coverage.

    However, I have my doubts on this approach even though it looks comprehensive.

    While five dimensions are good for coverage, the focus on these may take the attention away from what I would refer as “top three items business wants to focus on” for their specific process areas. Dimensions based KPI system clutters the minds, diverts attention and one starts falling in the trap to look for “comprehensiveness as against business criticality” while designing the measurements.

    I would look at these as a check-list while dash board would need to really focus on process areas and the specific KPIs for those…

    While we speak on this subject, I had last week written about SLAs being the root cause of mediocre services – – and I’m afraid such an approach could lead to KPI-fanaticism again…

    A very good reference though!

  2. Hi Ashish,

    After reading your post last week about SLAs I had intended to write a follow up about KPIs and SLAs.
    I’ll see if I can finish it tonight or tomorrow. I was planning to have a quiet evening without writing any posts, but look what you made me do….. (I’m joking).

    In a nutshell, I think that KPIs and SLAs are important.
    They might not always be effective and might not always have the desired effect in mature organisations, but they are required so to set a minimum standard in inefficient organisations.

    People need targets. People need limits. It’s human nature.

    As for your comment on “top three items business wants to focus on”. I agree. Gauges are pretty and give an indicator. Too many of them cause clutter and distraction. They are needed, because managers like pretty colourful things that go up and down.
    Gauges only assist the main BI tool: Reporting.
    Reporting needs to be around the business pains (“top three items business wants to focus on”. )


    • Adam, we both seem to be on the same page with respect to KPIs as well as gauges and dashboards. KPIs & SLAs are indeed critical and there’s no doubt that they are “intended” in the right direction. It’s the application of these sound MBO concepts that yields the unintended consequences 🙂

      Have a nice, quite evening… 🙂

  3. […] This week my posts were related to BPM reporting, monitoring and analysis: (The BPM Bottleneck, BPM Reporting, The Five Ps) […]

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