Alternatives to Nintex Promapp
Nintex Promapp is a business process mapping software that purportedly helps teams establish visibility, gain control, drive operational efficiencies and identify automation opportunities.
It does this by planning, mapping, and helping companies manage their business processes.
In this blog, we’ll provide you with an overview of the software, as well as alternatives to its use.
Nintex Promapp: An Overview
The first thing to know about Nintex Promapp is that it relies heavily on flowcharts.
They are not fans of Business Process Mapping Notation, and instead prefer to stick to the classics, relying on swim lane diagrams.
They offer a dashboard from which you can navigate processes you are part of or that you have favourited, or you can view processes from a bird’s eye view by selecting all processes on the top menu. From this top menu, processes are divided depending on department, and then subdivided depending on the different types of processes.
At this point, you can view a high-level process diagram demonstrating how different processes in that specific area are connected, and who is responsible for each, as they are already shown in swim lanes. From here, it is possible to go further into detail per process, as well as additional information, such as documents, expected time, and costs. This is also reflected in a tab at the bottom that has the total process time and cost, called Cycle Cost. Having this information is useful when it comes to analysing processes for improvement.
Another addition to this extra information associated with process actions is additional steps. A process action often has a sub-process behind it. Promapp’s displays them in a A-Z list format as additional information, or ‘tasks’. This is because, in the interest of keeping the chart fairly simple, sometimes steps get relegated to extra notes. And there is a limit to how many swim lanes a user may use. In the end, it makes it difficult to truly troubleshoot problems if there are hidden process steps in the notes, and not visible on the map itself.
Promapp users create an overall outline of the process, and then the tool creates the process based on that. This is different from other process mapping software.
All changes to the overall process happen in the editor, which is accessed via a tab on top. Now, while some may consider this useful as you are not dragging in a new shape, the editor is not a visualisation, as it is not the process map itself.
Arguably, this makes mapping and maintenance easier for workers that are not experts in business processes or business analysts.
But it does take away from the overall idea and intention of a process map. If they only have to input certain parts, are these employees truly interacting and understanding the process?
Not to mention, it may cause users to have to go back and forth between the editor and the process map a few times.
In a workshop with stakeholders, who are themselves not experts at process mapping, the last thing you want to do is cause confusion. Going back and forth between the editor and the process map while discussing the process may well result in confusion. And this will then lengthen the time it takes to sign off on any adjustments.
Additionally, due to their reliance on swim lanes, the connection between actions may look confusing.
Because the responsibility is assigned by the lane, sometimes an action will have to connect to a different lane. This is due to the change in responsibility for the action. However, this can make process maps look far more complicated than necessary, and harder to follow.
While it is organized sequentially, having to constantly look to the top of the swim lane to remember who is responsible for it complicates it more than it needs to be. The way in which it is displayed, with an action connecting to one several lanes over, also takes getting used to as it can appear quite jarring and difficult to comprehend at first.
So while there are certain aspects of process mapping Nintex Promapp has right, it is worth it to take a look at alternatives before deciding on using it.
Alternatives to Nintex Promapp
There are a few alternatives to Nintex Promapp for process mapping available that you may wish to consider, though it all depends on what you are after.
Tools such as Asana, Trello, and ClickUp all fulfil similar roles of working as general checklists for organisations. While useful for day-to-day tasks, they do not offer the visualisation process mapping needs. And if you are looking to improve your processes from the ground up or to understand your business better, then you need to have your processes mapped.
For this, you need to look at tools such as Microsoft Visio. Visio is a more general-purpose tool that has often been adapted for process mapping by users with few alternatives. While it is useful, it has its limitations.
The most glaringly obvious of these is that it is not conducive to a good process workshop environment due to the time it takes to place boxes and lines on the page. Typically, analysts and experts that use Visio will first use pen and paper before creating the map on the software.
This of course means that the data is being handled twice and the room for mistakes has doubled, not to mention relying on handwritten notes to fully interpret what was being discussed during the workshop. It is a similar limitation, then, to that of Nintex Promapp.
Other alternatives include Lucidchart, which is online and has a subscription licence model. Their reliance on flowcharts for process mapping, however, brings up all the issues of using flowcharts for this purpose. Chief amongst them the lack of information regarding responsibility and additional facts.
Draw.io and yEd are other alternatives you may wish to consider.
But draw.io will lead you to the same problem as Nintex and Visio when it comes to spending too much time working around the software to build the map.
And yEd focuses more on business architecture style diagrams, which will overcomplicate what you are hoping to achieve.
Given these examples, you may be wondering: why not just stick to pen and paper if everything has a limitation?
And it’s because a better type of process improvement software exists.
At Skore, we’ve created a product that accounts for all the limitations of the previous ones, and that you can utilise during a workshop with stakeholders or clients.
This is because our product does not rely on swim lanes, flowcharts or BPMN. We focused on UPN instead.
As a result, our software is easy to understand for everyone. No need for advanced certifications to utilize or follow along here.
Our process workshops demonstrate how Skore works to make life easier for our customers, not the other way around. By using our software, processes become streamlined and clear. If there are additional steps behind an action, we demonstrate that by having a sub-process that you can access from the action.
It is not a list of steps that is easy to miss, but a drilled-down, detailed view of how that process and its associated parts work. Finding spots for improvement is easier if everything is visible.
But Skore can also show a bigger picture, and cover the main business process from a top-down perspective.
We focus on all actions being shown sequentially in the order they take place. And the responsibility is tied to each action, so there is no need to constantly be checking the top of the map to see who is in charge of what.
Never before has it been easier to map out a process without the need for an expert.
In the 21st century, we rely on technology to help us out. It is not surprising that process mapping software was invented to help anyone run a business.
But when you are selecting the process mapping software that is going to guide your management and improvements, you want to make sure that it works in all the ways that you require it to.
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