Business Process Management (BPM) Case Study | IBM - (2022)

IBM Software WebSphere

Case Study

Lincoln Trust Company
Process and document management flexibility from integrated process implementations
Lincoln Trust Company is among the country’s leading independent providers of self-directed IRAs, in addition to providing recordkeeping, administrative, and custodial services to 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans. Lincoln Trust’s extensive expertise with respect to administering accounts that hold alternative assets attracts a wide variety of individuals, businesses, and retirement plan sponsors who want the flexibility to invest beyond traditional assets, including purchasing real estate in an IRA or in another retirement plan. For more information, visit or call 1-800-525-2124.

Business challenges

Client complaints due to lost documents Implementation of “shadow applications” (Excel, Access) to make process visible Process improvement team decommissioned as it was locked into “analysis paralysis”


Need for process improvement
Lincoln Trust Company was handling incoming retirement account service and transaction requests from more than 100,000 documents they received from the mailroom every month. The various business units of the company attempted to create their own “shadow applications” in Excel spreadsheets and Access databases and then manually filing the immense amount of paperwork. As a result of the divestiture, the company was forced to reduce its workforce by 75 percent, but the incoming document volume was only expected to decrease by 25 - 30 percent. The alternative assets segment of the IRA business has historically struggled to effectively change their business model due to the complexity and manually intensive nature of alternative assets. As a smaller private company, it was imperative that

Integrated process solution automated several hundred business processes Replaced several legacy systems with redundant workflow capabilities Key centerpiece of enterprise architecture


(Video) 5 Key Benefits of Creating Business Systems & Processes

90 percent reduction in customer complaints due to lost or mishandled documents Achieved expected ROI of 120 percent in less than one year and an overall cost savings to date of USD2.2 million Reduced process cycle times by up to 75 percent in some areas

IBM Software WebSphere

Case Study

“We now have tools to map out, study and improve all of our processes. They are user friendly and logical. I’m excited that we’ve embraced the BPM technology and culture that supports the way we want to manage our business.”
—LaTeca Fields, Business Analyst-Specialized Support Services

LTC changed its business model to provide an appropriate return on investment. The Lincoln Trust Company Business Process Management (BPM) program was initiated as one of several key initiatives to enable this change to the business model. The new BPM program had to take into account several “lessons learned” from the company’s past pre-divestiture past. A process improvement team had existed several years prior, but was decommissioned due to lack of meaningful automation solutions, no partnership with IT and was viewed as being locked into “analysis paralysis.” In order to survive, the BPM program had to deliver measurable results early and often. From a technology perspective, there were also lessons from the past that needed to be integrated into the new program. Prior attempts at process automation using the workflow module of their ECM system failed due to overly complex solutions and scope challenges. In January, 2007, Lincoln Trust formed an executive steering group and a small BPM team comprised of one project manager, one developer and one business analyst. They formed a two-tiered strategy where they decided they would first use a “common shared process” model that could be rolled out quickly across the enterprise using the workflow features of their ECM system. This model would deliver imaged documents in a basic business process workflow and discontinue paper delivery. After a substantial portion of the business was “paperless,” they would initiate the second tier of the strategy, which would be to implement true, or “first order” business process models for the company’s core business processes. While there would be customizable features for each implementation of the common shared process, in order to provide the necessary speed of implementation, the executive steering group committed to ensuring that their business units would not demand highly specialized features that would slow down the implementations. Throughout 2007 and into 2008, this strategy was implemented with greater than anticipated success. By July, 2008, fifteen business units’ business process documents, which initiated or supported over 145 business processes, were implemented using the “common shared process” to


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Case Study

Solution components:

Lombardi Blueprint®, now offered as IBM BPM Blueprint Lombardi Teamworks®, now offered as IBM® WebSphere® Lombardi Edition

resolve the paper problem quickly. However, as the BPM team implemented this process model across the business, they learned that even simple customizations to the workflow model in the ECM system were costly and time-consuming. The team realized that this limited capability threatened the second-tier of the strategy for “first order” business process analysis and automation. At the same time, as a result of the divestiture and another key initiative to reduce complexity of business applications in an all new SOA compliant IT architecture, the process team was asked to replace some legacy, custom process tracking applications which did not require integration with the document management system. It was the convergence of these factors that drove Lincoln Trust Company to select a business process management suite (BPMS) that could support the business goals of the BPM program for process analysis and ongoing improvement, as well as the technology goals of the program and the whole range of process technology solutions that would be required as a result in the BPM projects conducted by the business—from simpler, ad hoc human to human processes to more advanced processes that would require not only human to human activities, but integration with their internal and external portals, line of business trust system, partner firm technology and the document management system. After a careful selection process involving representatives from across the company, Lincoln Trust Company selected Lombardi Teamworks® and Lombardi Blueprint® in August, 2008. Since then they have not only migrated the “common shared model” (with several significant improvements to the model overall) but also several “first order” business process solutions, all served with a shared set of web services that provide the all required integrations, including services for all document management activities. With its user friendly features and low barriers to usability, the business units of Lincoln Trust Company very quickly adopted Blueprint as a key tool in their BPM project for detailed current and future state business


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Case Study

process documentation and analysis. The BPM program’s executive sponsors challenged their management teams to conduct BPM projects for at least five strategic business processes that operate within and across their business units that yielded solutions that were later implemented in Teamworks® but many that did not require process technology as well. Lincoln Trust Company has implemented numerous business process technology solutions used by all business units in the company in Teamworks. Some of those processes include:

Established solutions Document manager
This process serves as a virtual mail station for all teams using processes integrated with the document management system. A virtual “envelope” of documents received in the same physical envelope by mail or fax transmission are delivered to each team that processes the type(s) of request(s) on the documents. Those teams can perform several different types of actions with the documents in the envelopes. Most commonly, they will initiate a new business process by choosing which process (or processes, in the case where more than one process is required to perform the requests on the documents) to initiate and attach one or more documents from the envelope to it and assign it to a role consisting of team members with rights to perform the process work or to an individual processor. The list of processes displayed to the user is dynamic and will display only processes that are applicable to their business unit. Both the “common shared process” and “first order” process types can be selected to create. Alternatively, the user can also attach one or more of the documents to one or more processes already “in flight” in the cases where the documents represent supporting documentation rather than the first time receipt of a request. Other actions document related actions that can be taken include: document metadata in the document (content) management system can be added or corrected, documents can be redirected or copied to other teams and the team can request original documents from storage in the mailroom. These same document-related actions are available on all other document-enabled processes as well.


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Case Study

When enough information is known about the documents through barcoding technology and other electronic cues, the document manager process is not required and the appropriate business process is “autolaunched” and documents are “auto-attached” in Teamworks. However, since many of the documents received for the alternative asset related business processes are generated by other firms and difficult to recognize and classify without extremely advanced and expensive character recognition technology, the document manager process enables an intelligent knowledge worker to review them and deal with them appropriately in a structured, visible way.

This process represents one of the newer “first order,” document-enabled business processes. This process can be initiated by a user-friendly wizard on the company’s external portal that walks a client through what can be a very complex, regulation-laden process to take money out of their Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Once the client completes the wizard and submits their request, the external portal initiates the distribution process in Teamworks and attaches a PDF record of the request that is also provided as a confirmation to the client and filed into the document management system as an electronically signed, legal record of the request. The distributions process can also be initiated by the document manager process described above (when request is received by mail or fax). This process has many key features including integration with a “customer value” cube that will prioritize and provide special routing for requests based on a customer’s profitability score, the ability to create ad hoc requests to the appropriate client relations team member for call out to the customer to gather more information/provide status updates, and so on. These requests are sub-processes, related to the distribution “case,” which contains all process information and attached documents for the client relations employee to appropriately handle the outbound call. For the simpler cases of this process, Lincoln Trust Company is currently integrating the process with web services so that the entire transaction is executed “straight through” from the external portal to a client account, eliminating all human process activities.


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Plan establishment
Plan establishment is another more advanced process that Lincoln Trust Company has implemented recently to manage the set up of a new or transfer of an existing employer sponsored retirement plan to the Corporate Retirement Services (CRS) business unit. This is initiated by the sales staff through an application on the company’s Sharepoint portal. Through integration with a partner vendor’s electronic contract and signature product, called DocuSign, as legal plan setup documents are completed and signed electronically by customers, they are automatically attached to the running process and filed into the document management system. Follow on documents received by mail or fax can also be attached by document manager or other document-enabled processes. The process has a user-friendly checklist feature and the checklist and other process status data is reported to management through dashboard reporting.

The basic workflow process implemented to handle the rest of the company’s document enabled processes is called “eDelivery.” This is the “common shared” process model for all other business processes in the company which share a very similar processing pattern and for which a “first order” business process either has not yet been implemented or will not be implemented because it would not provide a return on the investment to build it. However, because of the data-driven implementation of this process, each process (also called “work type”) running through eDelivery can take advantage of configuration options such as the ability to choose which process activities are applicable for the work type, whether or not a checklist is required for an activity (and what checklist items should be displayed/stored), whether or not a quality control process is required and what percentage of the work should be reviewed, and so on. Like the other document enabled processes described above, this process provides the user all of the document management activities available to the others for any of the documents attached to the process.


IBM Software WebSphere

Case Study

Service request
This process is one of the simpler, human to human, processes implemented by Lincoln Trust Company to handle ad hoc requests from one business unit to another. It is used by all business units in the company, including some support business units like corporate accounting.

Remarkable results: Qualitative and quantified
Lincoln Trust Company has adopted a process technology implementation model which enables them to actively keep in touch with the business; whenever the development team has bandwidth outside of new process implementations; they are constantly enhancing existing functionality from a prioritized backlog which allows for progression without consuming their resources completely.


Implemented a system which no longer requires utilization of shadow (Excel, Access) and home-grown legacy applications to support critical processes Gained significantly better process visibility and governance Attained a stronger collaboration and understanding of majority of business processes having discovered and mapped them in blueprint


Accomplished the expected ROI of 120 percent in year one and overall cost savings of USD2.2 million to date Reduced customer complaints by 90 percent Decreased cycle time—Reduced process times in some areas by up to 75 percent Eliminated lost documents and the liability associated with such a loss Increased overall productively by over 25 percent initially

Why BPM from IBM?
Business Process Management (BPM) software and services from IBM help organizations optimize business performance by discovering, documenting, automating, and continuously improving business processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.


For more information
To learn more about IBM’s version of Lombardi’s Teamworks offering, IBM® WebSphere® Lombardi Edition, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following websites: IBM WebSphere Lombardi Edition:

IBM BPM Blueprint: IBM BPM:

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America December 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, and WebSphere are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at: Lombardi® device, Lombardi Blueprint®, Lombardi Teamworks and Teamworks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lombardi Software, Inc., an IBM Company. Other product, company or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study is an example of how one customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates

Please Recycle



What are the 5 steps of BPM? ›

The BPM lifecycle is considered to have five stages: design, model, execute, monitor, and optimise.

What is BPM with example? ›

BPM is usually defined as a discipline or practice, but it is also an umbrella term to describe tools. Here's a fundamental example: BPM is usually defined as a discipline or practice – similar to DevOps, for example – rather than something you buy or otherwise simply implement and complete.

What are the best questions for business process management? ›

Interview Questions for Process Managers:
  • How do you go about evaluating existing business processes? ...
  • What areas do you focus on when creating process improvement strategies? ...
  • What business process software are you familiar with? ...
  • How do you stay up to date with the latest business process technology and strategies?

Is Six Sigma a BPM tool? ›

BPM is part of the Six Sigma Approach

Six Sigma helps business leaders: Define areas of process improvement. Measure progress and collect data for ongoing adjustments. Analyze data, customer feedback, and stakeholders' input.

What are the 4 stages of the BPM? ›

Business Process Management is a systematic approach to understanding, improving, and managing an organization. It is generally accepted to have four phases: document, assess, improve, and manage.

What is a good BPM? ›

A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. For example, a well-trained athlete might have a normal resting heart rate closer to 40 beats per minute.

What are BPM activities? ›

A business process is a set of activities that help a business reach a specific goal. Using BPM, you can evaluate your existing processes to find ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs and errors, and support digital transformation efforts.

What is BPM tool used for? ›

Business process management software (BPMS) is an enterprise-level software solution to automate repetitive tasks, manage fundamental processing, and handle process logics. BPM systems optimize and accelerate processes, increasing efficiency.

What are examples of processing questions? ›

' Process questions require more thought and analysis and/or a sharing of opinion. Examples include, 'What skills can you bring to this organisation that the other applicants cannot? ' or 'What are the advantages and disadvantages of asking leading questions to children? '

What is a business process questionnaire? ›

Business process analysis (BPA) is a form that allows the stakeholders to deeply analyze a certain process, its deliverables, industry demand and tweak the process to maximize efficiency. This business process analysis questionnaire (bpaq) is carefully designed to serve the purpose.

How do you answer a process improvement question? ›

How to answer the question "Tell me about a time you improved a process?"
  1. Share a story. If possible, choose an example story that relates to an aspect of the new position, as this may add significance to the interview. ...
  2. Describe the benefit. ...
  3. Relate your experience to the interview.

What is BPM certification? ›

A BPM certification is an internationally recognized standard that designates a person as a Business Process Management professional. These professionals can oversee business methods and pinpoint areas where they can make changes.

Why is it called Six Sigma? ›

The etymology is based on the Greek symbol "sigma" or "σ," a statistical term for measuring process deviation from the process mean or target. "Six Sigma" comes from the bell curve used in statistics, where one Sigma symbolizes a single standard deviation from the mean.

Which is the first principle of BPM? ›

The first BPM principle states that “Business processes are organizational assets that are central to creating value for customers”. This principle gives business processes a central role within organizational assets, stating that processes are “central to creating value for customers”.

What is the 5 step business process? ›

These five steps are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Why BPM life cycle is important? ›

The BPM lifecycle

It provides a detailed insight into the process landscape and uncovers optimization potential. Since companies act dynamically and continuously realign their own business processes and goals in order to optimize them, the individual phases of the entire BPM lifecycle run iteratively.

What is an example of a business process? ›

Examples include: product manufacturing, order to cash process, and delivering products to customers.

What are the basic components of business processes? ›

Business process elements
  • "Swimlane" dividers: Group the activities of participants, roles, and systems. ...
  • Flow objects: The main graphical elements that define the behavior of a business process. ...
  • Connectors: Connect flow objects. ...
  • Artifacts: Supportive elements that add information to the diagram.

Is 75 bpm good? ›

Resting heart rate–the number of heart beats per minute when the body is at rest–usually changes with age, with lower rates indicative of better cardiovascular fitness and more efficient heart function. A resting heart rate of 50 to 100 beats per minute (bpm) is considered to lie within the normal range.

What is normal bpm for female? ›

What is the normal heart rate for a woman? The average heart rate for adult women is 78 to 82 beats per minute, though the “normal” range is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. Multiple factors such as hormones, exercise and lifestyle choices can affect your heart rate.

Is 66 bpm normal? ›

The normal heart rate range for adults is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

What are the first three steps in BPM? ›

A) 1. identifying processes for change, 2. analyzing existing processes, 3. designing the new process.

What is BPM workflow? ›

BPM. Workflow refers to the steps within a single activity. BPM, by comparison, sequences steps across many activities within an organization as a means of improving business results and operational agility. Workflow is designed to ensure specific users perform particular tasks.

How many BPM solutions are there? ›

The three types of BPM platforms — basic BPM platforms, business process management suites (BPMSs), and intelligent business process management suites (iBPMSs) — can help solution architects and business outcome owners accelerate application development, transform business processes, and digitalize business processes ...

What are the categories of BPM companies? ›

Answer. Business process management activities can be arbitrarily grouped into categories such as design, modeling, execution, monitoring, and optimization.

What are the 4 types of questions? ›

The 4 Main Types of Questions in English + Examples
  • General or Yes/No Questions.
  • Special or Wh-Questions.
  • Choice Questions.
  • Disjunctive or Tag Questions.
24 Sept 2022

What are the 3 types of probing questions? ›

Different types of probing questions can include: Clarification questions, which help eliminate misunderstandings. Example questions, which ask for a specific example to get a better picture. Evaluation questions, which help when assessment is needed by asking 'how.

How do you ask a process question? ›

Before you begin
  1. When was the last time this process was reviewed? ...
  2. Is this process documented? ...
  3. How many steps does the process have? ...
  4. How much time does each step take? ...
  5. Which are the most problematic steps? ...
  6. Which are the most time-consuming steps? ...
  7. Which business functions or team members are involved?

What is a good answer for areas of improvement? ›

You can provide an answer that's easy to understand by describing particular skills you plan to develop or knowledge you want to gain. For example, rather than saying you want to become a better manager, you could say you want to improve your ability to delegate tasks.

How do you answer the biggest mistake? ›

The best way to answer this question is to talk about a specific example of a time you made a mistake: Briefly explain what the mistake was, but don't dwell on it. Quickly switch over to what you learned or how you improved, after making that mistake.

What is the 5 step business process? ›

These five steps are: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Which of the following is the first step in BPM? ›

The first step of BPM is Analyze—though it's sometimes referred to as the Design step.

What are the categories of BPM? ›

There are three main types of business process management, including:
  • Integration-centric BPM. This type of BPM is used between existing software systems, such as CRM, ERP and HRMS. ...
  • Document-centric BPM. This type of BPM is used when a document, such as a contract, is the basis of the process. ...
  • Human-centric BPM.

Which is the first principle of BPM? ›

The first BPM principle states that “Business processes are organizational assets that are central to creating value for customers”. This principle gives business processes a central role within organizational assets, stating that processes are “central to creating value for customers”.

What is a BPM lifecycle? ›

The BPM lifecycle standardizes the process of implementing and managing business processes inside an organization as a series of cyclical stages. It consists of five phases including design, model, execute, monitor, and optimize.

What is a step in BPM? ›

Business process management (BPM) is an organizational discipline where a company takes a step back and looks at all of these processes in total and individually. It analyzes the current state and identifies areas of improvement to create a more efficient and effective organization.

What is the BPM framework? ›

BPM Framework are solution reference models designed to accelerate requirements discovery and definition, and enable users to build quickly and confidently using Interfacing's knowledge and experience in key process areas.

What are BPM tools used for? ›

BPM tools are used to design a systematic approach to optimize business processes. They are used to model, implement, and automate business workflows with the goal of improving corporate performance by minimizing errors, inefficiencies, and miscommunication.

Why is BPM Important? ›

BPM enables organizations to align business functions with customer needs, and helps executives determine how to deploy, monitor and measure company resources. When properly executed, BPM has the ability to enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and minimize errors and risk – thereby optimizing results.

What is the biggest benefit of using BPM technologies? ›

In the short term, BPM helps organizations decrease costs and increase efficiency. This can mean more revenue and growth for companies, as well as increased speed, organization, and efficiency for government agencies. In the long run, BPM helps create competitive advantage by improving organizational agility.

Is agile a BPM? ›

Agile BPM is a business process methodology that lets your business automate parts of its day-to-day operations while leaving room to tackle tasks or factors that you didn't plan for. Project managers analyze BPM in terms of inputs, processes, and outputs.

What are the six 6 business process management phases? ›

The six phases of business process management, as identified in Villanova's Essentials of BPM course, are Assess, Design, Model, Implement, Monitor and Modify.

Which isn't example of BPM? ›

Activities such as slashing costs, automating functions, or improving workforce productivity aren't necessarily examples of BPM.

What are the critical success factors for BPM? ›

The list below summarizes the top eight critical factors for BPM success.
  • Integration. ...
  • Effective Process Improvement. ...
  • Tools. ...
  • Management. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Advocacy. ...
  • Measurement. ...
  • Architecture.

How BPM improve business strategy? ›

BPM is about improving efficiency and productivity by streamlining employee duties. It automates processes, reduces cycle times and helps mold team members into smarter and more efficient contributors.

What is one of the most important BPM success factors? ›

Critical success factors of BPM adoption. Top management support is often considered the most important as it must initiate and support BPM efforts (Trkman, 2009. (2009).

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