This article explains the Business Motivation Model (BMM) in a practical way. After reading it, you understand the core of this strategy theory.
What are the Business Motivation Model (BMM)?
In 2000, the American Business Rules Group (BRG) published ‘Organizing Business Plans’. It discusses and explains the Business Motivation Model (BMM).
The Business Motivation Model (BMM) gives an organisation the possibility to develop an organised business plan that takes into account all facets of business strategy. This incorporates company vision, objectives, mission, strategies, tactics, and internal and external influences to subsequently determine the potential impact of the organisation.
For each organisation, it’s wise to be able to indicate, before the strategic plan, what the result will be. This is highly important information to all stakeholders. By means of Business Motivation Model (BMM), strategic decisions can be substantiated.
The Business Motivation Model (BMM) zooms in on the scope of the strategic decisions, the so-called ends (results) an organisation strives for, the means necessary for this purpose and what might influence the strategy. The BMM demonstrates the mutual relationship between these factors, where the next two fundamental questions are posed and must be answered:
- What is required to achieve the end goal? This question focuses on the means the organisation will utilise.
- Which elements are included in the business plan and why? By identifying the specific ends to the means, this question can be answered.
In some cases, changes must be made. By taking this decision, the end result will change. The results of such a decision refer to the effect on the operational activities. A company Business Motivation Model (BMM) is separate, but is always connected to the operational activities, such as executive tasks and work regulations.
Four Elements Business Strategy
BMM offers support in recording the four elements of the business strategy. Below you can find all four with a further clarification:
1. Means / Scope
A company Business Motivation Model (BMM) has a large scope; it may concern the entire organisation or merely part of the organisation or division. In such a division structure, the higher-level divisions might start to view their ‘fellow’ divisions as separate organisations, with their own guidelines, procedures and regulations. This creates distance between the divisions.
A Business Motivation Model (BMM) organisation might also represent part of the company because this is where most relevance can be found for the stakeholder, or because this is the seat of the most responsibility and authority.
The ends focus on the future results a company wishes to achieve and in doing so, determine what an organisation wants. The ends can be divided into the following three levels:
The vision indicates an organisation’s course and therefore offers a nice summary of what an organisation aims to achieve. A vision also states what the organisation’s core business is and how the identity is expressed. It’s important that the (strategic) objectives always support the vision.
The desired results indicated what an organisation aims to achieve in the medium to long term. In doing so, these describe the goal, preferably according to the SMART Goals method; specifically mentioned the result, measurable in quantity (e.g. percentage), acceptable and realistic for the entire organisations, employees and suppliers, and time-related. This last term refers to the period that must be stated in months and/ or years, so everyone in the organisation knows what they must work on the coming period. The required or expected values of essential performance indicators can also be registered as objectives and desired results can be supported by progress management systems.
Decisions are represented in the ends that define what the business has decided, and what it wants to be. However, this requires resources that need to be defined. What will the company use to achieve the end goal? First, primary activities can be considered. These can be recorded in actions. By following and monitoring the course of the actions, the organisation knows exactly what has been used to achieve the intended goal. It’s beneficial to consider all these processes on a strategic, tactical as well as on an operational level. On the strategic level, the focus will mainly lie on completing the mission in the long term. On the tactical level, the focus lies on the department policy and on the operational level, focus lies on the execution of all work processes. In order to guide the process in the desired direction, guidelines are required; established methods to arrive at a good result.
This concerns everything that could influence an organisation. A distinction must be made between internal and external influencers. The internal influencer has an impact from within the organisation itself. This could refer to the employees, who are stuck in their habits, the quality of the raw materials being used, the way machines and tools are used, the layout and routing on the work and production floor that hinder fast and efficient working, etc.
The external influencer comes from outside and puts pressure on the organisation. This could include political factors, that impose certain sanctions on the organisation with regulations. This could also be customers, competitors and suppliers. Customers largely determine the sales market. If they don’t like a product, they won’t buy it. Competitors put pressure on an organisation, because chances are they will attract the customers of another company. Suppliers can also influence the organisation, for instance through pricing and/or the quality of the delivered goods.
All these factors combined can be the cause of changes within the organisation.
4. Assessment / Assessors
Both internal and external influencers can cause significant changes within organisations. Such changes will impact the organisations and must therefore be followed, analysed and assessed closely. That’s where the assessors come in. These aren’t necessarily parties from within the organisation. After all, changes affect various stakeholders. This means that assessors can come from various places. Think of a project group that is formed from the employees to look at the changing work processes. This could also be a customer panel, looking at and testing a renewed product. A group of shareholders might also take a close look at the changing strategic course of an organisation.
It’s a good idea, though, for assessors to include previous assessments and decisions that were recorded in the BMM in their assessment. Based on previously obtained information, this allows them to generate the most objective assessment. The assessment as this is recorded in the BMM might take the form of a report, a study/investigation, the results of a questionnaire or a final report. The results of an assessment must be taken seriously by the organisation’s board.
It’s good to realise that all BMM elements as described above must be seen from the business perspective. It’s about laying a basis for the development of a sound and clear business plan. Only then can other steps be taken and is it possible to come to technical development or system design. BMM is about the right course of the business strategy and the possible activities that could contribute to this.
Now it’s your turn
Could you use this theory to benefit your business? Do you recognize the practical explanation or do your have any additions? Do you have any tips or tricks that you want to share about using the Business Motivation Model (BMM)?
Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.
- Berkem, B. (2008). From the business motivation model (BMM) to service oriented architecture (SOA). Journal of Object Technology, 7(8), 57-70.
- Kolber, A. B., Estep, C., Hay, D., Struck, D., Lam, G., Healy, J., … & Fishman, N. (2000). Organizing business plans: the standard model for business rule motivation. The Business Rule Group November, 15.
- Salgado, C. E., Machado, R. J., & Maciel, R. S. (2014). Using process-level use case diagrams to infer the business motivation model with a RUP-based approach. In Information System Development (pp. 123-134). Springer, Cham.
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