What is common between organisations of all sizes and industries despite their geographies or their success or failure? It’s the fact that they all have processes. These processes must be managed to ensure productivity, efficiency, resource management, transparency and knowledge management.
This is where Business Process Management (BPM) is becoming crucial for organisations. Whether organisations are looking to expand, gain agility or future-proof their processes, BPM is at the centre of achieving these goals. Market reports affirm this trend: the business process management market size was valued at USD 14.46 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.9% from 2023 to 2030.
With BPM emerging as an essential piece in an organisation’s growth and efficiency, adopting BPM software is emerging as a strategic imperative. However, with the number of BPM software available in the market, how do you identify the best BPM software for your business? A good starting point is knowing the essential features, trends, benefits and implementation best practices. This blog serves as a comprehensive guide to help you know everything about BPM software.
What is BPM Software?
Business Process Management (BPM) software is a solution to help organisations optimise and manage their business processes. At its core, BPM software aims to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, improve transparency, increase compliance and ensure that processes align with strategic objectives.
As the business and technology landscape evolves, Business Process Management software is also keeping pace. In line with the requirements of today’s organisations, BPM tools have become more agile, adaptable, and user-friendly, focusing on collaboration and real-time process monitoring.
Some BPM tools have been developed to bring together both business users and process experts to maximise the ROI from business process improvement and management efforts. Advanced tools also help you to get insights on process time, cost, value and efficiency with a click and also include drag-and-drop functionalities and pre-built templates to help you build process maps in hours instead of days.
Types of BPM Software
Business Process Management (BPM) software comes in different deployment options to suit varying organisational needs and preferences. Two primary types of BPM software are on-premise and cloud-based solutions.
On-Premise BPM Software
On-premise BPM software refers to solutions that are installed and hosted on the organisation’s local servers and infrastructure. It requires the organisation’s IT team to manage and maintain the software, including updates, security patches, and hardware requirements. The upside is that on-premise solutions provide a high level of control to organisations over their data and processes. On the flip side, on-premise BPM software typically requires a significant upfront investment to cover licensing fees, hardware, and IT infrastructure. Further, scalability is also a challenge. Scaling on-premise BPM software may involve additional hardware and infrastructure costs.
Cloud-Based BPM Software
Cloud-based BPM software, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) BPM, is hosted on the cloud and accessed over the internet. Organisations subscribe to the service and use the software through a web browser, offering users the flexibility to access the solution any-time, anywhere.
Cloud-based BPM software typically follows a subscription-based model, eliminating the need for significant upfront investments. Hence, it is a cost-effective option. Also, cloud-based BPM solutions can easily scale up or down based on the organisation’s changing needs, with the provider handling the necessary infrastructure requirements. Updates, maintenance, and security patches are taken care of by the provider, reducing the burden on the organisation’s IT team.
Given their flexibility, cost-effectiveness and scalability, cloud-based BPM solutions are emerging as the preferred choice for modern organisations.
Benefits of BPM Software
BPM software brings several qualitative and quantitative benefits to the organisation. Here are the benefits of BPM software:
Increased Efficiency: BPM software helps organisations identify and eliminate inefficiencies in their processes, leading to increased efficiency and improved outcomes. By streamlining workflows and removing non-value-adding activities, BPM ensures that processes are optimised for maximum productivity.
Improved Knowledge Management: With BPM, organisations can document their processes, facilitating process standardisation and empowering employees to carry out their tasks effectively. Centralising processes in a repository promotes collaboration across departments and aligns employee efforts with corporate goals, leading to better knowledge management and streamlined operations.
Resource Management: By providing visibility into processes and eliminating duplicate tasks, BPM ensures proper resource utilisation. Organisations gain the insights to optimise resource management and ensure appropriate resources are allocated for a required task.
Data-Driven Decision Making: BPM software generates valuable data that organisations can use to make informed decisions about process optimisation. This data-driven approach allows organisations to identify improvement areas, track progress, and continuously enhance their processes over time.
Improved Customer Service: BPM techniques help reduce cycle times in customer-facing processes, such as order processing and complaint resolution, leading to faster and more efficient service delivery. This can significantly enhance customer satisfaction by reducing wait times and improving overall responsiveness.
Conquering Compliance: BPM software drive process standardisation and helps understand gaps in their compliance posture with end-to-end process maps. Look for BPM software that also pushes automated notifications of upcoming compliance to ensure it is actioned by the due date. Process adherence feature is also a key element as it ensures what is mapped is also being followed, ensuring no deviation in the process.
Agility and Adaptability: In rapidly evolving markets, organisations must be agile to adapt to changes quickly. BPM software offers the flexibility to modify processes, incorporate new regulations, and respond to market demands, ensuring the organisation’s resilience.
Essential Components of BPM Software
Choosing the best BPM software for your business is a business-critical decision and needs to be taken by considering the software features and your organisation’s individual business needs. However, below key features are a must-have in any BPM software:
BPM software with an inbuilt methodology guides users throughout the process improvement journey, from process design and analysis to improvement and collaboration. An integrated methodology streamlines the flow from one stage to another, ensuring a systematic approach to process optimisation. It is advantageous to select a BPM tool that incorporates best practice disciplines like Six Sigma, Lean, and Value Stream Mapping to drive effective process improvements.
In-Built Analytics Engine
An essential aspect of driving improvement initiatives is Business Process Analysis. BPM software with an in-built analytics engine provides actionable insights into potential improvement opportunities. It empowers teams to focus their efforts in the right direction, avoiding wasted time addressing irrelevant issues. A BPM tool that offers insights into process time, value, cost, efficiency, and performance with just a click enables informed decision-making.
Low-Code, No-Code Environment
A user-friendly BPM suite with a low-code, no-code environment simplifies process management tasks, allowing individuals associated with a process to execute tasks without requiring specialised expertise. This approach fosters collaboration between business users and process experts, aligning business improvement initiatives with corporate goals. Look for a BPM tool that offers an intuitive interface with drag-and-drop functionalities and built-in templates for easy process mapping and improvement projects.
Feature-Rich and User-Friendly
A powerful BPM software strikes a balance between user-friendliness and rich features. Consider features like:
- Process Prioritisation: Identifying priority processes with the highest potential for ROI upon improvement.
- Simulation: The ability to run what-if scenarios for ‘to-be’ processes, helping to select the best process iteration.
- Process Performance Monitoring: Real-time tracking of processes with pre-set KPIs, integration of KPIs with actual data, and notifications for deviations.
- Impact Analysis: Understanding the potential impacts of process changes on people, activities, or business documents.
Select a BPM software that can scale with your organisation’s growth. It should be able to accommodate new users, workflows, and processes as your organisation expands. Cloud-based BPM platforms offer flexibility and scalability, making them a viable choice. Additionally, ensure the software provides robust security and access control features to safeguard sensitive data.
Prompt and reliable customer support is vital for a successful BPM software implementation. A strong support team with BPM experts who understand the methodology and techniques can provide invaluable assistance during your improvement journey. Look for a software provider with experience in diverse BPM implementations across industries.
Even the most user-friendly BPM software requires training to ensure the entire team can effectively utilise its capabilities. Opt for a software provider that prioritises training for sustainable process improvement. On-demand training sessions with any-time, anywhere access offer convenience and help gain a holistic view of the software.
Real-World Benefits of BPM Software
Insular Life, the first and largest Filipino life insurance company and the only mutual company in the Philippines, was faced with the challenge of manual, inefficient and undocumented processes, lack of visibility and ownership and siloed efforts in achieving efficiency across business units. Insular Life adopted a cloud-based, end-to-end BPM software to address these challenges. By embarking on the BPM journey, Insular Life has seen measurable results, including:
- Estimated USD 7.5 million in savings annually for the ongoing projects.
- Reduction in the number of tools and licenses due to consolidation on the PRIME platform, ensuring a single source of truth. This not only reduced costs but also freed up manpower involved in the maintenance of tools.
- Identified several overlapping functions during the reorganisation exercise. The team estimates around a 30% reduction in terms of manpower, which can be skilled and transferred to other business units requiring additional manpower.
- Gained strategic insights, such as duplicate efforts with other units, which processes can be merged or eliminated, assess FTE requirements and identify the risk and exposures of particular functions.
Located in Canada, Peterborough County is an upper-tier municipality representing eight local municipalities and serving a population of approximately 64,000 residents. Peterborough County faced multi-fold challenges as most of its processes were paper-based and labour-intensive with multiple touch points. Manual processes resulted in delays in citizen services.
Keeping citizen services at the centre, Peterborough County adopted an advanced BPM software with an in-built methodology and analytics engine. With the deployment, the county has ensured a centralised repository of processes, work practices and procedures, streamlining knowledge management. Key results include:
- Estimated saving of 280 hours of staff time, which equates to approximately $21,800 annually, by automating a highly manual process of creating journal vouchers.
- The County’s 2023 budget is reaping the rewards from this journey supported through service delivery reviews, resulting in a reallocation of $850k in operational savings.
Choosing the Best BPM Software for Your Organisation
Selecting the best-fit BPM software is essential for organisations to maximise the output from their BPM Projects. To make an informed decision, consider the following essential steps in selecting the most suitable BPM software:
Identifying Organisational Needs and Goals
Begin by understanding your organisation’s specific needs and objectives for BPM. Conduct a thorough assessment of existing processes, pain points, and areas for improvement. Clearly define the goals you want to achieve with BPM software, such as increased efficiency, reduced costs, or better customer service. Aligning BPM initiatives with organisational objectives ensures a strategic approach to process optimisation.
Involving Stakeholders in the Selection Process
Engage key stakeholders throughout the BPM software selection process. Involve process owners, IT teams, business analysts, and end-users to gather diverse perspectives on requirements and functionalities. Stakeholder input is crucial in understanding unique process challenges and user preferences. Involving stakeholders from the beginning fosters a sense of ownership and commitment to the selected BPM solution.
Evaluating Vendors and Their Offerings
Thoroughly assess BPM software vendors and their offerings to find the best fit for your organisation. Create a list of criteria based on your identified needs and priorities. Consider factors such as ease of use, scalability, integration capabilities, analytics features, and vendor reputation. Request product demonstrations, ask for references from existing customers, and review case studies to gauge the software’s effectiveness in real-world scenarios.
Ensuring Scalability and Future-Proofing
Select a BPM software that can adapt and grow with your organisation. Scalability is essential to accommodate increasing process complexity and the organisation’s expansion. Consider future business needs and technological advancements to ensure that the chosen BPM solution remains relevant in the long term. Opt for cloud-based BPM platforms that offer flexibility and scalability, allowing seamless updates and enhancements as requirements evolve.
Implementing BPM Software
BPM software is a massive undertaking as it impacts the organisation at the process level. A failed BPM project results in a substantial loss of time, money and resources but also leads to a lost opportunity to gain a competitive advantage. Consider the below points to ensure a seamless implementation:
Before introducing BPM software to the organisation, thorough preparation and planning are essential. Engage key stakeholders, including department heads, process owners, and end-users, to understand their pain points, expectations, and requirements. Clearly communicate the goals and benefits of BPM software, highlighting how it aligns with the organisation’s overall strategy.
Leadership Support and Communication
Obtaining support from top leadership is crucial for driving successful BPM software adoption. Leaders should champion the initiative, emphasising its importance and the positive impact it will have on the organisation. Regularly communicate the progress of the implementation, address concerns, and take feedback to foster transparency and inclusiveness.
Tailored Training and Education
Comprehensive training and education programs are vital to help employees understand the capabilities of the BPM software and how it will enhance their daily workflows. Tailor training sessions to different user groups, offering hands-on workshops and interactive learning experiences. Provide ongoing support and resources to reinforce learning and build confidence.
Pilot Projects and Testing
Consider starting with pilot projects to test the BPM software in a controlled environment before a full-scale implementation. This approach allows for feedback and adjustments, minimising disruptions and enhancing user confidence. Analyse the results of pilot projects to refine the implementation approach and address any challenges proactively.
Manage Change and Ensure User Involvement
Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives often involve significant organisational changes, from process redesign to the adoption of new technology. Effective change management ensures that employees understand the purpose of BPM, embrace the changes, and actively participate in the improvement journey. Take feedback from end-users during the implementation phase to make necessary improvements that align with their needs.
Celebrate Success and Recognise Achievements
Recognise and celebrate early successes and achievements resulting from the implementation of BPM software. Acknowledge individuals or teams that have embraced the software and achieved notable improvements in their processes. Positive reinforcement fosters enthusiasm and encourages others to follow suit.
Continuously Monitor and Measure Progress
Regularly monitor and measure the progress of BPM software adoption and its impact on process efficiency and outcomes. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track improvements and identify areas for further enhancement. Share the results with employees, showcasing the positive changes brought about by the BPM implementation.
Where to Get the Best BPM Software?
If you are looking for a tool to accelerate your Business Process Management journey, then PRIME BPM is definitely worth considering. PRIME BPM helps you map, analyse, improve and automate your business processes from a single integrated platform.
The intuitive and easy-to-use software serves the needs of both the user segments process experts and business users,
With its powerful features, including in-built methodology and BPMN 2.0 for standardised process documentation; one-click analysis on process efficiency, value time and cost; process approval, etc., you can drive end-to-end improvement.
PRIME BPM has helped many leading organisations maximise the output from their business process management journey.
Check out some success stories.
You can also get a Live Product Demo.