Every organization, be it a business, governmental body, or non-profit organization, always has to manage at least one business process.
For example, in a relatively “simple” hair salon business, cutting a client’s hair per their request is a process.
Most organizations, however, deal with multiple processes linked to each other, and how efficiently these processes are executed will affect the organization’s overall productivity.
To manage these complex interactions of processes, Business Process Management (BPM) is now a necessity. BPM oversees and manages how processes get executed to ensure consistent results and ensure they are as optimal and efficient as possible.
This post will discuss the essential concepts behind Business Process Management and how to use advanced Business Process Management software to implement BPM in your organization.
Business Process VS Workflow: Are They The Same?
The terms “business process” or just “process” and “workflow” are often used interchangeably with each other when discussing organizational efficiency.
However, while they are deeply connected, they aren’t the same.
Instead, a “business process” is one type of three different types of workflows available, so to understand these two terms and their differences, we have first to discuss what a workflow is?
We can define a workflow as a set of actions (or tasks), typically sequential in nature, that will achieve a specific business objective when accomplished.
We have mentioned that there are three different types of workflows. One of them is the business process, or more accurately, the process workflow. Here are the three of them and their differences:
- Process: a workflow that is repeatable with predictable steps. In a restaurant business, the restaurant cooking its signature dish is a process. When given the same input, the process will produce similar results with minimal variations.
- Project: a workflow with predictable steps but is non-repeatable. A restaurant inventing a new dish is a project. The steps are predictable, but the results may not be the same even when given the same input.
- Case: a non-repeatable workflow with non-predictable steps. The steps are not known at first, and only after more information has been gathered, the steps will reveal themselves. A restaurant handling a customer complaint is an example of a case.
When discussing “workflow management,” we typically manage and optimize process workflows, which is why it’s also called Business Process Management, or BPM. However, the principles of BPM can still be applied to optimizing a project or a case.
What Is Advanced Business Process Management Software
As the name suggests, Business Process Management software is a software solution that facilitates the implementation of BPM. An advanced Business Process Management solution like Aproove offers an all-in-one solution where you can perform Business Process Management from start to finish without switching to another app or solution.
To understand the value of advanced BPM software, we must first understand how the BPM process works.
The goal of a BPM process is to optimize a business process to make sure it’s executed as efficiently as possible, which is achieved in three main stages:
- Business process mapping: visualizing and documenting the business process into a workflow diagram. The workflow diagram should be an accurate representation of how the process is currently executed (as-is process diagram)
- Business process analysis: analyzing the business process diagram to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies so you can identify ways to improve and optimize the business process
- Business process optimization: implementing the changes planned as a result of the analysis process, and monitoring whether the optimized business process is indeed improved.
Different solutions may offer unique features and functions. Still, most of them will provide a centralized hub where enterprises can create a workflow diagram, perform analysis (with analytics and reporting tools), and optimize or even automate the workflow diagram as needed.
Features To Look For in an Advanced BPM Solution
Choosing between different Business Process Management solutions can be pretty daunting if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Here are some key features you should look for when comparing between different solutions:
1. Intuitive business process builder
Since visualizing a workflow diagram is crucial for any BPM process, it’s critical for the advanced BPM solution to offer an intuitive, preferably code-free workflow builder. Solutions like Aproove offer a visual workflow builder where you can easily build a workflow diagram with a drag-and-drop approach and do all the technical stuff in the background. So, even your non-programmer staff can quickly create and modify the business process diagram when needed.
2. Cloud-based operation
There has been an ongoing debate whether a BPM should be cloud-based or managed on-premise.
However, nowadays, the benefits of cloud-based solutions far outweigh their on-premise counterparts. Not only with a cloud-based BPM solution can we access the platform and read/modify data from anywhere and anytime (and from any device). A cloud-based BPM vendor will also take care of updates and daily maintenance, so your business can focus on growing your organization rather than things like data security and compliance.
3. Support to parallel executions
While most business processes are sequential, some processes may require steps to get executed simultaneously in parallel. An advanced BPM solution should allow you to easily add parallel branches to your business process (ideally without needing any programming knowledge at all). You should easily add a parallel branch and create conditional tasks right from the form creation.
4. Analytics and reporting
Advanced analytics features are the ones distinguishing a standard BPM solution from advanced ones. Check whether the solution offers robust analytics features and a KPI-based reporting function that will help you identify bottlenecks in the business process analysis process and figure out how to optimize the process.
5. Smart notifications
Essential in workflow automation is an effective advanced BPM software solution that should send notifications via email, SMS, or push notifications on your mobile devices when needed (i.e., when decisions need to be made, or approvals should be taken. Both users and administrators should also customize the kind of notifications they can send and receive.
6. Transparent pricing
No matter how good a BPM solution is, it won’t provide enough value for your business if it’s too expensive. Ideally, you should choose a vendor that offers a transparent and all-inclusive pricing scheme.
An advanced Business Process Management software solution will help you accurately map, analyze, optimize, and even automate your business processes. This solution will help you ensure all your business workflows are as efficient as possible, which in turn, can maximize your business’s productivity and efficiency.