Unsure how Skore compares to other software tools and platforms on the market? Or confused as to where Skore fits in? Read on to learn more with our review of the different types of products available and how they are used in the field.
The Digital Transformation industry has a wealth of tools and platforms available to help organisations improve, streamline, manage and automate business processes. It can be pretty daunting to know which one to choose. Of course, choosing the right software depends on your objectives and it may be that you need more than one tool to do the job right. In this article we’d like to take a look at some of the different types of process software and compare Skore to these. We’re often asked where Skore fits in and this should help answer some of those questions. We’ll take a look at a general description of each category, give some examples of different tools and how Skore compares to them.
Many products may actually fit in multiple categories, as Skore does, but for the purposes of this article we have placed them in the category they will be most recognised in.
General Purpose Diagramming Tools
The undisputed leader in this category is Microsoft’s Visio and it’s probably the most recognisable name on this page. General Purpose tools mean they can be used for a huge variety of different diagramming tasks from business process mapping to designing room layouts.
Making the creation of general, business related, drawings easy, typically they have a large library of shapes that can be dragged and dropped onto the canvas. They create good 2 dimensional drawings and some tools have a rudimentary ability to link different shapes together or add extra data.
The broad nature of their application is also the main drawback. For example, as soon as you need to make more than a handful of building layouts then a more specific CAD tool is required. The same can be said for business processes used in this format.
Popular tools in this category: MS Visio, Lucidchart, Gliffy, Smart Draw, draw.io, yEd
How Skore compares
Skore has been specifically designed to capture business processes. You cannot design the layout of your office, or create a database relational diagram but you can map processes faster and in a more analytical way.
The flexible nature of a diagramming tool means it is too cumbersome to be used to capture processes live. Therefore the normal procedure is to capture the process on a whiteboard, or paper, and then write it up later. With Skore the big difference is it can be captured directly into the software.
The Skore platform also has the ability to capture a variety of different types of data against the processes so that they can be instantly analysed. As soon as the data has been documented, the analytics dashboard in the software provides instant insights to the user..
These tools are very similar to the general purpose diagramming tools but with a focus of trying to replicate the freeform nature of a whiteboard. They tend to be very flexible and allow a variety of diagrams to be drawn with an aim to inspire and collaborate. The downside is that they lack some of the structure afforded in the diagramming tools above.
Popular tools: Miro, Mural, v-Wall
How Skore Compares
While also being designed to map in a live workshop environment, again Skore is specifically designed for capturing business processes. Used either face to face or online, it provides a highly structured approach that makes facilitation easy. Skore also embeds process analysis tools that provide instant insights into the process.
Skore’s easy to use interface means that teams engage rapidly with the process. It also shares process documentation with teams to use for training and onboarding as well as requirements gathering, risk analysis, quality management and many more uses.
While Skore is not an automation platform it is often used alongside all different types of automation systems from traditional Business Process Management Systems, Low-code / No-code and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Many of these platforms come with business process modelling tools that are for designing the automation flow. These tools will often support standards such as Business Process Modelling and Notation but tend to be integrated with the development environment.
Popular tools: Bizagi, Kofax, K2, Codeless Platforms, Netcall, UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere.
How Skore compares
Here we are specifically looking at how the modelling part of the automation platform compares. Skore is focused on describing business processes from a human point of view. The aim is to create a process model that is easy to share and understand across a diverse audience. This is very different to the highly technical diagrams required to describe the automation.
In this respect Skore works as the business description of the automation and is used by the business to understand what is being automated. The same Skore model is then used by the technical team to work out how it is going to be automated. These are very different audiences with different needs and hence a different approach to describing business processes.
Following the initial discovery and requirements gathering the Skore platform is commonly used for change management throughout the project. The business friendly processes are used for User Testing as well as training and ongoing improvement of the new automation.
Checklist software is a simpler version of automation. They present key steps in a process as simple checklists allowing businesses to record progress through a process as the user checks off each step.
The checklists often include instructional material making it easier for the end user to execute the process. These are great for simpler processes that need to be tracked or to remind people how to complete tasks they don’t do very often.
Popular tools: TeamworkIQ, process.st, Tallyfy
How Skore compares
The difference between Skore and these checklist tools is relatively self evident. Skore is used to create a visual representation of a process rather than a checklist and Skore does not track the progress of a process. In practice it is sometimes a little more subtle.
Both checklist tools and Skore are used as documentation and training material for processes. Both provide collaboration tools and the ability to attach additional training material such as videos, documents, images etc.
The main benefit of Skore is how it represents more complicated relationships and processes. By being very visual, Skore makes it much easier for teams to identify issues in a process and design new solutions. When used as training material and documentation Skore provides a lot more context which is especially useful to new starters. Just as with Automation it’s common to find Skore used alongside a checklist tool. Skore provides the conceptual framework for processes,and documentation while the checklist tool provides the tracking and progress through the actual processes.
Process Analysis and Business Architecture Tools
Although process analysis and architecture can be considered as separate categories we combined them here. This is because they are generally highly specialised and intended for a highly technical audience. These products are used to understand how different systems integrate into the organisation at a strategic level. They are used by IT to ensure that the technology used in the business supports processes as effectively and efficiently as possible.
The audience for content created in these tools is rarely shared outside of the team where it is used and is difficult for non-practitioners to understand.
Popular tools: Aris, bizzdesign, ProVision
How Skore compares
In a similar way to how Skore relates to process modelling in automation, it is used to provide a business friendly view of processes. Skore is not the main tool of the business architect but it does provide a powerful platform for the architect to communicate with the rest of the business.
A process produced in Skore can be considered in the same way that an architect may produce a floor plan for a new building. The floorplan allows everyone to see how the building is laid out and where the rooms are without the technical information relating to materials, electricity or water. An Engineer would need to understand the materials to be used, the loads, the type of ground to be constructed on etc. This information is found on a different version of this diagram that isn’t shared with the electrical or plumbing teams.
Process mining tools, also sometimes called automated process discovery, use data that already exists in computer systems to understand a business process. They take various data inputs and analyse this to see how data is flowing through different systems. It then constructs a view showing how the process can be interpreted from how the data flows.
Process mining is especially useful for identifying bottlenecks in existing systems. This highlights opportunities for further automation or configuration changes. These are again highly technical tools typically used by the IT department.
Popular tools: Minit, Celonis, TimelinePI
How Skore compares
We often describe Process mapping as what people think the process is, whereas process mining tells us what the process actually is. This is a generalisation but it’s valuable to understand both of these viewpoints. Engaging with people is essential to any successful change, therefore having them describe their processes, regardless of how removed they are from reality, is important.
Process mining provides useful insights into what’s happening. It cannot provide easy to use documentation that teams can use to understand and improve the business. Skore can be used with process mining to understand the difference between perception and reality and decide how that impacts the business. Once the improvement opportunities have been identified, Skore can then be used to design the future of the business through collaborative and user friendly workshops.