9 BPM Software Features to gain a competitive advantage in the post-Covid world

October 19, 2021

Over the years, Covid-19 will not only be seen as the greatest crisis, but also as the greatest driver for innovation. In the business landscape, the crisis challenged the ‘usuals.’ Organisations had to relook at their processes and reimagine their business to keep afloat and stay relevant in these uncertain times.

It took the pandemic for the companies to break down the traditional barriers and actively adopt automation and necessary tools to support work-from-home mandates and address supply chain vulnerabilities. Operational excellence, cost reduction and customer experience emerged as a prime focus to gain a strategic advantage over the competition.

Clearly, BPM is no longer an option but a must-have for organisations to survive in the post-Covid world. To stay ahead of the pack and bounce back successfully in the post-corona marketplace, the organisations need to act fast.

That said, there is no room for error. When BPM projects fail, there are always huge costs and efforts involved, which spells disaster for organisations in the current conditions. So, how can organisations ensure BPM success? This is where a BPM tool can really make a difference. The key is to choose the tool that is the right fit for your business.

We are listing here 9 must-have features to look out for in a BPM tool to ensure effective business improvement and thrive in the post-pandemic world:

1. Best Practice Process Library:

Creating an accurate process map is the first and most critical step of your BPM journey. The process library is the foundation of your Business Process Management initiative—setting the direction for the next steps. However, organisations often struggle to complete the process timely and accurately. BPM software with in-built best practice process libraries as a blueprint can help you fast-track your initiative. The software should essentially empower business users to drive continuous improvement on their own by giving them the ability to build process maps and procedures with business rules applicable to their company.

Process Prioritisation:

Many organisations struggle with where to focus and oftentimes choose wrong processes to start their improvement initiative. Here, prioritisation functionality comes in extremely handy as it points to the processes that require urgent attention. A BPM tool that calculates which processes present the biggest opportunity as per your business objective (increasing productivity, cost efficiency or improving customer service) helps you in establishing the starting point for your improvement efforts.

Globally recognised Notation standards:

Since process maps are a communication tool, they need to be built following a standard approach. These models need to be consistent and easy for everyone to read across the organisation. So, choose BPM software that follows worldwide accepted process mapping notation to ensure structured process mapping and avoid any discrepancy in reading and understanding the symbols. Choosing a tool with in-built process modelling standards provides you greater transparency in your work practices. With a detailed and consistent way of mapping processes, ensure that maps can be understood by everyone across the organisation. This makes it easy for anyone to easily identify business process bottlenecks, errors, duplication of work, etc.

Wide Array of Process Attributes

A process can have many attributes, that is, additional information about the process. Capturing these attributes accurately, significantly improves the analysis results, which eventually leads to richer insights to help through the organisational change journey. Make sure your BPM tool has the functionality to record process attributes, such as business rules, Key Performance Indicators, cost, frequency, volume, Compliance details, RACI matrix, delay and execution time against the process, etc. The more you record, the better your analysis results will be. In addition, the software should give you the option to add more attributes via user-defined attribute functionality.

In-Built Analytical Engine:

A must-have feature of BPM software is a powerful in-built analytical engine. With just a click of a button, you should be able to get insights, such as annual time taken and annual costs incurred for each and every process and how your process efficiency measures and compares with the industry threshold. To improve and manage your processes effectively, you need to have clarity on value, time and cost analysis. BPM software that can help you understand in percentage terms how much time and cost is spent on non-value-adding activities comes in extremely handy and helps you target your improvement efforts. Using the information, you can easily identify and eliminate non-value-adding activities, such as rework, unnecessary approvals and double entries, from your processes.

Process Simulations:

In-built simulation engine is another key functionality to look for in BPM software. This gives you a clear picture of ‘as-is vs to-be,’ before committing to the change. Look for software that lets you create multiple scenarios and also provides an analytical comparison with your current processes on the fly. Upon Analysing the test scenarios, you can pick the appropriate changes to implement that will deliver the most value for the business.

Impact Analysis:

Prior knowledge of who or what will be impacted by the process change, right from people, activities or business documents will empower you to manage all the changes effectively. Make sure that the BPM software clearly displays the interconnections of organization units, roles, documents, systems, etc. This will help you analyse the impact of change at the organisation-wide level. This approach also reduces the risks associated with implementing the change as the impact is easily visualized before the actual implementation. For instance, while going through a change piece or implementation of new software, you can assess the organisation-wide impact and prevent any interruption and compliance and regulatory issues.

Improvement Tracking Dashboard:

To ensure an end-to-end business process improvement, it is important to track all improvement activities through the idea, approval to completion stage. Your BPM tool should be able to provide a dashboard of all improvement projects to clearly highlight their status—approval, in-progress or completed. This helps you make sure all the improvement activities follow through a defined approval cycle, increasing stakeholder engagement and as a result successful change management. Once a process has been improved, the tool should highlight the recorded changes and the new process should be published for the staff to see and follow.

Easy-to-Use User Interface:

Last, but not least, the tool should be intuitive and have a user-friendly interface. If the tool is difficult to use or understand, then it will directly hamper the project’s progress. User-friendly BPM software will make sure that even business users without specialised business improvement skills can work with it. It should also include collaborative features, allowing business processes and procedures to be published for the staff to see and follow. Easy collaboration drives the organisation to higher levels of agility and productivity.

PRIME BPM, a cloud-based end-to-end Business Process Management tool, includes all these powerful functionalities and more. Contact Us, to know more about how PRIME BPM can help you accelerate your business improvement journey to gain a competitive advantage.

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