Business Process Management or BPM tools have always been an integral part of business management and optimization. And with the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down all work gatherings and in-person transactions, organizations have had to move to a digital solution for all their requirements.
This has resulted in more and more companies opting for software that can help automate and manage their business operations and workflows. However, there are tons of such BPM tools in the market. It may seem tough to figure out which one has the right solution for you.
To find the perfect fit, you need to be acquainted with the features of BPM tools and how they can help your daily operations. Should you purchase a cloud-based or on-premise system? Should you focus on documentation or analysis? Knowing the features would help you answer these questions.
What is BPM, and How Does It Help Your Business?
A business process management system is a tool or platform that helps you to model, design, deploy, and maintain various business activities. You can ensure effective collaboration and higher efficiency with this tool.
These software solutions are created to solve the daily problems of an organization, automate tedious tasks, and boost productivity. With suitable BPM software in place, you can:
- Create and manage complex workflows
- Ensure collaboration with different departments and locations
- Monitor and analyze events and processes
- Optimize existing operations for a growing business
Although BPM works similarly at its core, its unique features can cater to specific requirements of your company. Here are the top 11 BPM features that tools must possess in 2021.
The visualization of your workflow is an important feature of BPM tools as it helps people who less or no coding knowledge to understand and follow the business process. The process flow diagram in any BPM system implements the workflow through coding, documentation, or visuals.
If you have a visual workflow, the entire process can be mapped out for better understanding. Every step can be tracked, analyzed, and improved in such a scenario. Visual workflows based on activity and business steps work towards making the user focus on the process without having to worry about exceptions, corner case representations, and the like. For non-programmers, this feature is a necessity.
In this day and age of virtual workspaces, gathering information has become a challenge for many organizations. Hence, a robust form builder becomes a necessary feature in BPM. Using this, you can capture, edit, and store structural data.
Every business process requires the creation of forms for a variety of purposes. It is your call whether this process should be tailored for a novice or a power user. Most BPM tools offer simple and customizable form options that can be created and modified based on the organization’s needs.
Role-Based Access Control
In any digital system, security becomes a major concern, especially if sensitive data is involved. Your BPM system must have the ability to protect and secure your data. This ranges from granting edit access or restricting viewing of certain information.
Latest advancements in BPM has led to role-based access control, which means users are granted access to sensitive information based on their job roles or approvals by higher authorities.
This way, you can control activity in certain fields, enable conditional access to sensitive data, and provide individual or group permissions to employees.
Mobile support is crucial in 2021. If your BPM does not support applications on a mobile device, it is likely to prove useless for many of your users. People nowadays like to work on-the-go wherever possible. Hence, you need to ensure your tools are accessible to them without being tied down to a computer.
The ideal solution here is to choose a cloud BPM tool that offers full access and functionality for mobile users, along with having high adaptability for multiple platforms, be it iOS, Mac, Windows, or Android.
With increased dependency on digital mediums, you have to be prepared for crashes, errors, or malfunctions. Hence, strong admin features are essential for your BOM software. Sometimes, workflow gets halted due to unusual user actions, which can be solved through powerful administration features.
New BPM tools have the backdoor to fix these kinds of problems without having to consult an expert. Any admin employee from your company will have the ability to access the tool, fix glitches, reassign tasks, delete or move items, and edit forms as required.
Integration with Third-Party Systems
The biggest concern while choosing a BPM tool is whether it will be compatible with the organization’s existing software and applications. If a BPM system does not support integration, chances are it will find very few takers.
Integration with third-party apps is a valuable quality in your BPM system. Without it, you will end up spending a considerable amount of time transferring data and switching platforms. Required integration may include webhooks, REST APIs, API support, network access, etc.
If a person uses too many applications, it becomes tough to keep track of updates. Thus, automating communication channels is very helpful for organizations, irrespective of the size of their workforce.
Automation in this avenue includes emails, SMS, notifications, and more. For example, your tool should be able to notify employees of an upcoming meeting or event sometime before it starts, so people don’t end up missing important tasks. Email notifications also help in ensuring timely task delivery and ensuring prompt broadcasts of relevant information.
Reports and Analytics
The goal of your BPM system should be to not only optimize your workflow but also to provide detailed reports on processes and metrics. Without insights and reports, it is impossible to track the progress of an organization in terms of productivity and revenue.
Features related to reports and analytics include prebuilt process stats, reporting of form data, customizable dashboards, the ability to export relevant reports, and an insight into each strategy’s market performance.
In a competent app, reports should be able to display the time taken to complete each workflow step, open requests or tasks, the ratio of product or service rejections, and much more.
Performance and Scalability
The performance of a BPM system depends on the number of users, types of integrated apps, and strong backend support. Any proficient tool should have process performance metrics that help enterprises recognize problem areas and make effective decisions.
Another aspect to consider is scalability. It is known that the performance of any software is affected by the number of users and the extent of usage. Make sure you choose a software that has the bandwidth to scale your growing business and adapt accordingly.
Effective collaboration is one of the topmost priorities of businesses seeking BPM. Your tools should have features pertaining to collaborative ventures, like meetings, sharing notes and documents, relevant notifications, etc.
Automated collaboration leads to reduced timeframes and expenses, workflow improvements, as well as focused efforts.
Your BPM tool needs to have the ability to manage a massive load of documentation. Every company has vast data to store, manage, and analyze. Hence, their management software should be adept at doing that.
The best solution is to create a system-wide repository of documents that can be accessed and managed by stakeholders whenever necessary. The data should be secure but at your fingertips for a quick and successful business operation.
Although the above features are a must-have for any BPM software, there can be additional requirements specific to an organization. The best practice is to analyze your needs, research on the tools available, and finalize the one that suits your company best.
About Us : Breakout is a business process management platform, we help businesses improve their productivity with easy to use automation tool.