The Best Business Process Management Software
As a business, you need processes to flow constantly and efficiently.
You need your employees to know what to do, when, and how to do it, without you needing to step in all the time.
This is where business process management software comes in and makes your life a whole lot easier.
But not all business process management software is alike, so let’s dive into what you really need to be on the lookout for.
Why Do You Need Business Process Management Software?
Before we go any further, let’s remind ourselves why business process management software is necessary.
Your business is made up of a variety of processes. By process, we mean a set of tasks or activities that need to be accomplished to deliver a specific outcome. This can be anything from assembling toys to customer service interactions – businesses are made up of a lot of processes.
Process mapping, as its name suggests, maps out these processes visually to make them easily understandable for yourself and your employees. You express your needs as a business through these processes, and by mapping them you can see what parts are missing. It’s even better if these processes are all expressed with the same notation style to avoid any mistakes.
This is not, inherently, a novel idea.
It comes from the times of Henry Ford, when they would use pen and paper to figure out how their processes worked. Even in the world of today, it is not uncommon to see huge drawing boards, sticky notes, and tons of paper around Business Analysts’ or Business Process Manager’s desks.
But this has several problems.
It is easy to lose track of processes when they are written down like this. Either because the sticky note itself is lost, or because it has been put away in a filing cabinet that is who knows where with a lot of other information. Also, the person doing the note-taking might have a different approach than the person reading it further down the line.
What do we mean by this?
A great example to think about is archaeological digs.
The dig takes place in a set number of years, and x amount of objects are found, removed, given a number, and shipped off to a lab or museum. They should then, theoretically, be processed at the lab or museum by their number, photographed, and then either moved to a museum or storage unit. Many years down the line, a student, or professor, may come in and be doing research on an artefact that was found and want to study it. Theoretically, they would have access to all the associated documentation and images of the object for their study.
This is all in an ideal world, of course.
Often excavator notes get lost or become illegible with the wear of time, or are illegible without appropriate context. Similarly, photographs may get lost, as may the objects themselves, making it harder for anyone to come by later on and study the artefact. Or the documentation may change, making it difficult to truly understand previous digs based on notes or drawn maps, because they no longer mean the same thing.
The same problems exist with business processes being mapped in pen and paper or sticky notes.
To avoid all of this, business process management software exists.
You upload it to a common tool that the pertinent people in your organization have access to. From there, anyone relevant can see it. You are not relying on someone to read writing from years ago or to interpret wording from back then, either.
With UPN (Universal Process Notation), the notation is the same for everyone, so there can be no misunderstandings or confusion about what is meant each step of the way.
Business process management software is the response to the issues created by making maps on paper. It comes from a desire to improve existing systems, and it is needed for any business that is looking to grow, expand or streamline itself in this new era.
Qualities of the Best Business Process Management Software
Clearly, business process management software is a need.
But how do you go about selecting the right one for you?
Well, there are a few qualities to keep in mind when you are shopping for your perfect fit.
Make sure it is cloud-based and collaborative
Make sure the software you are purchasing is cloud-based and can handle the maximum amount of employees that may be using it at the same time. Especially because mapping out processes typically require an ample amount of collaboration from all of your team members.
As a business, you will have multiple people consulting this software continuously throughout the day from different devices and, in the remote world of today, from different locations.
Cloud-based software is also scalable and low-maintenance, and a lot more agile for the purposes of business today.
For instance, our client Lawrence & Wedlock, a leading intelligent automation services provider working across industries, had previously been using multiple tools to collect process information. Using multiple tools made it difficult for them to truly understand what was happening, it slowed down the process, and required different people to use different systems for similar tasks constantly.
Instead, they reached out to Skore, and managed to scale down their discovery process time by an entire week, thanks to our cloud-based solution.
Integration capacity works with your current tech stack
You also want to make sure your business process mapping software can integrate with software you are already using, or that it is scalable to incorporate those features.
Whether that is a CRM or ERP, you want to make sure that whoever is offering the software is aware that you will be using other tools and technologies as well. They all need to be incorporated into the mapping.
A great example of this is our work with A2Z Cloud, wherein the solution is first designed in Skore using our mapping software, then developed and embedded on Zoho, and finally put in use by A2Z. Skore was aware of A2Z’s needs as a client and worked with them to find the best way to include and integrate our software with their business model.
Focus on mapping processes visually in a way that fits your organization
You want to make sure that the mapping software you are looking for corresponds to what fits your organization. A purely top-down, hierarchical approach may not work for everyone, just as a bottom-up approach may not, especially when it comes to visualizing these processes as a map.
So you want to make sure that the software you invest in works for what you want it to do at your organization.
Let’s take a look at an example: Bovis Homes has a long history as a company – longer than Skore definitely.
But they wanted to improve their process and practices even further, to find areas where they could continue to grow and expand.
By implementing Skore, they were able to find a tool that allowed them to bring their processes into the twenty-first century while maintaining some of the management tricks they’ve acquired over their long history. They’ve tried different things and know what works for them, and Skore fit all the requirements they had and were looking for in a business process mapping tool.
Intuitive and easy to use with a single notation style
The process mapping you choose has to be easy to use for everyone that may come across it.
As Stuart Morgan, Design Engineer at Carte Blanche, said:
“Everyone can look at a Skore map and understand it. It’s a very simple system.”
If you have a process mapping tool, but everyone is using it differently, you may as well be building the Tower of Babel.
For business process management software, simplicity, and neutrality are key. Everyone needs to be in agreement on what means what, so that there is no confusion or debate as to what the process should be.
The idea of business process mapping software is that you have it available and easily understandable to then analyse what you can do better – Skore does just that.
Analysis of processes to help you figure out what is working
A core feature of any good business process mapping software is offering space for analysis.
It’s not enough to simply have the process mapped out, you want to understand why it is working or not, and how you can improve on it. And you need it to be quick and understandable in minutes, not days.
Our client Foxability made use of Skore’s mapping process to the utmost when it comes to analysing their client’s processes for the software that would fit their needs best. As an advisor company, they need to know and show their clients where they might need to tweak their process, and Skore allows them to do so very easily.
Security is a main feature of the software
A lot of the information that is added to a business process map is sensitive.
They include how you do things, with attachments with sensitive information about yourself, your product or service, and your employees. You need to be careful and aware of what is being shared and when to whom, and you want to always know.
Business process management software needs to have clear controls and permissions with third-party integrations for clients. Skore has all of this, and more. Our client’s information is kept safe, and even in collaboration with partners such as Marjolo, we know that their client’s information is just as important to keep safeguarded.
Business process management software is a need for any organization looking to do business in the twenty-first century.
You might not know yet what the future holds for you and your business, but getting those processes working as they should and ensuring everyone knows about it is a key component for success.
If you’re interested in getting some help with process mapping for your organization, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll get you started on your mapping journey with a free trial!