Synopsis - bpExpert's Business Transformation Day 2019 @ Merck


Depending on the objective of your BPM initiative your process documentation will differ in its underlying architecture and methodology, the manner in which processes are described and what artifacts are attached to them. However, all sustainable initiatives share one thing: They succeed in providing a common structure and business dictionary to enable communication.

On the 26th of September, we had the pleasure that our 7th annual customer event was hosted by Merck in Darmstadt. The agenda of the day you can find here. I’d like to express my deepest thanks to our hosts and would like to give a synopsis of the presentations and break-out sessions we had:

The first presentation showed us that multiple business area-specific ERP templates can be managed within one BPM framework at Merck. How the “abstract” process world from an ERP template can be linked to the operations of organizations within one particular country. It was explained how a common structure enables an industrialized roll-out approach from business roles to authorizations and training.

Participants of bpExpert’s 7th annual customer event in Darmstadt

Participants of bpExpert’s 7th annual customer event in Darmstadt

Having achieved the objective of supporting first-time rollouts, the next challenge is transforming the BPM organization to enable them for a combined rollout and run mode.

This was the topic of the second speaker from Phoenix Contact. Since 2003, empowered by a strong mandate of senior management, Phoenix contact established a strictly governed process lifecycle management. Among the benefits of having a common process language worldwide and a single source of truth are high internal customer satisfaction, business insights into harmonization potentials, internal benchmarks, and easy comparison and evaluation of processes. Not for free – challenges and constant efforts to maintain a strong community over so many years and to administer a holistic process management set-up must be mentioned.

A great example of how a common process language acts as a catalyst for boosting improvements and automation was given by the next speaker, responsible for BPM in R&D at Merck Healthcare. The objective, in this case, was not efficiency but effectiveness. Effectiveness in the collaboration between the different departments within the R&D organization and beyond. In a short period of time and with an approach of small incremental steps, the project succeeded in adding structure to the assignments of responsibilities, in interactions and handovers. With this, the guardrails on the way towards a consolidated landscape of quality documents (e.g. procedures and related information) were defined and thus the space for creativity and innovation in a highly regulated environment was enlarged.

Giving freedom for adjustments of process documentation to reflect the nature of different areas within a research-driven organization while keeping everything together in one structure was the topic of the presentation by Miltenyi Biotec. Objectives such as efficiency and better collaboration had to be in line with out-of-the-silo thinking as well as regulatory compliance. All this for building the basis for future digitalization. A comprehensive but robust and simple structure combined with easy comprehensible and uniform process mapping enables a broad communication and collaboration among empowered contributors and fosters active ownership and encourages taking responsibility.


In break-out sessions and individual conversations in smaller groups throughout the day, all participants elaborated on the various aspects of the presented initiatives and shared their individual insights under the motto “What’s in it for me”. Some of the highlights from this sessions where the benefit of integrating classic LEAN tools like SIPOC sheets (supplier, input, process, output, customer) on a higher level of the process architecture, different approaches towards governance and approval workflows, ways of stakeholder management and connecting the individual to the whole, and – across all the different facets of change – BPM does not replace communication but it enables it with the provided structure and common process language.

Please feel free to comment or reach out to me personally if you are interested in discussing any of the above-mentioned topics. And for sure we will be glad to greet you to our next year’s event.