The Secret Sauce For Getting 20x Productivity From Your BPM Software

Seyed Kabeer

October 30th, 2017 BPM  

“Sure, we can get it done in 6 months!”

This is the most common answer from the IT department when you need something done. It could range from from building a simple Travel Approval form to helping you tweak complicated codes in an application platform. But you can’t really blame IT for giving a stretched out deadline; they already have a ton of things on their priority list.

Many department heads buy applications for their teams hoping it is the magic bullet to automate a certain part of the process where there is a dependency on IT. But the irony is that teams can’t use the application until they get IT support to help them set up the software!

This is a usual trap organizations fall for when they adopt a software without thoroughly understanding the job in hand their teams have. The process owners might not be the most tech-savvy users, but they know how their process should work the best. The IT team might adopt an application that has all the great features, but automation will fail if the process owners don’t get what they want.

Can you take the middle-man out? What if there was a business management process (BPM) software that doesn’t require business users to know any coding? That could help them automate an entire process and not just “that” portion? What if a team didn’t have to depend on IT to build their own processes from scratch?

The answer to all the above questions is a secret sauce that can, in fact, enable your business users to take control of their entire processes. The secret ingredient goes by the name of no code BPM software.

There are 4 aspects in setting up any process:

  • Information captured in the process
  • Rule-based engine for task assignment and ownership
  • Visibility permissions
  • Ease of publishing changes

1. Capturing Data

Say one of your teams has to automate their purchase request process. The best way to gather data is to create a web form. Most traditional BPM products fail right at this threshold; they don’t have an aesthetically-pleasing form interface. But the solution is surprisingly not that difficult: offering a simple drag-and-drop form designer.

Ideally, it takes only a few minutes for users to complete the form. It will cut their time and ensure greater data sanity if you can have a BPM tool that allows you to make your form fields pre-populated.

Drag And DropAn example of drag-and-drop form interface.

2. Assigning Tasks

The usual next step in any process is defining who should get a task and who owns what step of the process. The rules of assigning each task might differ from one user to another, but not all BPM solution offer the flexibility of assigning tasks based on rules.

Consider this scenario: a purchase request for a value less than $500 generally needs just a manager’s approval. But anything between $500-$1000 would need a two-tier approval, and anything greater than $1000 would need a three-tier approval from the higher-ups. This is a common phenomenon across all workflows since any business process essentially is a combination of an approval action or a submission action. Therefore, keeping it simple for the user is very crucial.

Assigning TasksFrom left to right: Examples of manager approval, two-tier approval, and three-tier approval conditions.

3. Setting Up Data Visibility

Setting up customized user permissions on data visibility is an equally important aspect of creating an automated workflow. It’s great for a process owner to have the manager select the required vendor rather than other users in the process meddling with this information. You would think that setting up this kind of tailored user permissions and data visibility is tedious and complicated.

A no code, self-service BPM solution will help you configure such an arrangement in a click or two.

Setting Up Data VisibilityIt is an advantage to have a BPM software that allows admins to make form data hidden, view-only, or editable.

4. Applying Changes

Workflow rules and routes are not set in stone; organizations are bound to make changes to their business processes along with the changes in their market environment. This means that it’s visionary for a business to pick a BPM solution that is not rigid in its architecture. It should rather be a solution that allows process admins to apply these changes in a click of a button without harming the process dependencies or the desired outcome.

Applying Changes

Automation is key for any business, but finding the right tool which enables your business users to build their own processes is the secret sauce for getting 20 times productivity from your BPM software.