How to choose the best BPM tool?
The operation of every company is based on processes. Their level of standardization and repeatability determines the success or failure of undertaken projects. Processes are often burdened with inefficiency. Modern business process management (BPM) platforms provide an organized approach to process management. This allows companies to solve strategic business problems, reduce the number of errors, increase control over task execution and quality, and reduce employee involvement in repetitive activities. However, choosing and implementing the right solution requires a lot of consideration.
Are we ready to implement a BPM solution?
Before we start choosing a specific platform and start cutting coupons from our decisions, there are a few things to consider. Please note that the IT tool will not solve the problems with current processes for us. You have to be ready to review them and make the necessary changes. The supplier can help in this, suggest practical solutions, but it is the company that must decide to consciously manage the processes. At the beginning of this road, process maps should appear (often for the first time in the organization), which will visually present how the processes run. Later, it may turn out that the way of working has changed, thanks to rethinking the current approach and taking advantage of the new possibilities provided by a tool such as BPM.
Considering the high volatility of the economic environment, considerable flexibility must be maintained. Therefore, it is worth considering the company’s needs in the medium and long term. When anticipating major changes, you need to provide yourself with tools that will grow with your organization. This is an introduction to rethinking a wider range of requirements to be met by the new software, from the functional side (performance, interface transparency, the ability to make changes efficiently, etc.) and non-functional side (security, data confidentiality, cooperation with other systems, etc.). This, in turn, will largely depend on what goals we want to achieve.
The key to the success of the entire project may be the selection of processes that will be implemented on BPM in the first place. It should be remembered that introducing changes in the way processes are carried out in an organization is a big challenge mainly from the human point of view. As a rule, we do not like change. The vast majority of people affected by the change will simply oppose it. Therefore, automated processes should in the first place:
• provide visible positive results
• have a simple flow and few exceptions (this will speed up the implementation and understanding of the benefits)
• clearly indicate the level of implementation of the goals set for the digitization and process automation project
How to choose the right BPM solution?
There are plenty of BPM solutions on the market. Some allow you to quickly launch standard applications to which you have to adapt a bit. Others may meet business requirements exactly. Probably the latter will be more expensive and will require more time to run. Typically, the faster the implementation, the sooner you will see a return on investment. Here, however, the specificity of your organization should be taken into account. Sometimes the uniqueness of the processes makes the company profitable and you cannot decide on compromises in the form of adapting ready-made solutions.
As mentioned earlier, managing change from the perspective of employees’ attitudes is crucial. That is why it is worth investing in a BPM system that is convenient for both end users and system administrators. It is worth checking the scope of training offered with the platform, testing several applications or at least contacting companies already using a given solution. This will verify how user-friendly it is.
Keep in mind that new tools will not typically work in isolation from other systems in your organization. It is necessary to check the possibility of integration with systems such as ERP, CRM, financial and accounting applications. It may also be important whether new applications will work properly on mobile devices. Sometimes it is one of the basic expectations of the organization.
It will also be important to what extent it will be possible to rebuild and adapt processes operating on the BPM platform or create completely new applications independently, within the organization. Low-code or no-code solutions can save a lot of time and money in the future, making the company largely independent of the supplier.
The decision to digitize and automate processes can determine whether a company will gain an advantage over competitors or at least keep up with them. However, the effectiveness of digital transformation largely depends on the plan created and the factors of choosing a solution taken into account. A strong commitment is necessary not only in the selection of tools, but also in assessing the company’s strengths and weaknesses and defining a strategy for further action. An experienced partner can also come in handy. It will support the organization at every stage of making such a key decision, from process recognition to post-implementation support. It is also worth assuming that the implementation of the BPM platform is not the end of the road, but only the beginning of process optimization.