Any organization — be it a business, non-profit, government, or something else — is nothing more than the people within it. That, and the processes they follow to deliver whatever product or service they create.
Clear, efficient business processes are critical to growing an organization and accomplishing more with the people and resources at hand.
That’s where business process management software comes in.
Below, you’ll learn more about BPM software and some reasons to consider investing in it. Then we’ll show you some key features to look for when you’re out shopping for your BPM application.
What is BPM software?
Business process management (BPM) involves stepping back and evaluating company processes for improvements. The more efficient and effective your processes, the better your employees can work, and the better your product or service will be.BPM software is a form of business management software that helps business users — through business process modeling — chart business processes, so they can spot areas ripe for improvement.
This type of business application also provides a single source of truth about how your business functions for all employees to look at, aiding in process execution.
It’s also worth noting that a large and growing number of companies are now piloting automation for at least one process to save time and expense. To keep up, you can use your BPM software to identify automatable processes as well.
What’s the difference between BPM software and workflow software?
BPM and workflow applications sound pretty similar, but workflows are just one small part of BPM.
For example, let’s take the example of paying an invoice.
The workflow encompasses the flow of work from person to person that is involved. It’s about movement.
The process covers not only the steps in the chain, but also everything else involved. For instance, reviewing the invoice for accuracy is part of the process, but not part of the workflow.
Therefore, workflow software is narrow. It helps with workflow management tasks like organizing and streamlining individual workflows.
For instance, it might automate processes in accounts payable by letting you route invoices to approvers after payment requests.
On the other hand, BPM involves managing all of your processes.
It’s broader, giving you a comprehensive image of your business’s workflows.
5 ways a good BPM software solution can enhance your business
Keeping a handle on your processes goes a long way in staying competitive and growing your business.
Here are some ways a good BPM tool can enhance your organization to accomplish these.
1. Saves time and money
Process improvement is a continual event for most companies.
BPM software’s most obvious benefit is that you can monitor all of your processes from a bird’s eye perspective for continuous improvement opportunities among each existing process.
You can then identify processes that could use some trimming down or other process design improvements.
For example, you can look for redundancies or extra steps. Cut these out or automate them with robotic process automation and you can create better products and provide better services faster and for less money.
Plus, you can cut training costs, as new employees have a place to see your processes. With clear processes you cut down on costly errors that take time to rectify, too.
2. Enhances productivity
As we touched on earlier, BPM software gives employees visibility into the entire organization’s processes.
If they have questions about how complex processes work or what to do next, they can simply refer to the charts in the BPM application — making them great tools alongside project management software.
Most BPM solutions offer automations, too. Business process automation enhances productivity by offloading manual tasks to the computer, providing employees more time to handle tasks that add value.
Once again, this also cuts down on errors, bolstering productivity further and saving more time.
3. Expands collaboration opportunities
Collaboration capabilities are becoming more crucial in an ever more remote work environment.
Being a central area for business processes to exist, BPM software ensures everyone’s on the same page about who does what and when. This can come in handy when someone’s overwhelmed because it allows people to step in and help others if needed.
Like other business productivity tools, BPM software comes with tools like file sharing, messaging, and notifications to improve collaboration and keep team members in the loop.
4. Increases adaptability
Your organization’s goals and needs shift a significant amount alongside changes in market trends and customer desires. Such changes may require some adjustments to your processes — and BPM offers a perfect solution for this.
At any time, you can take a look at your business processes and see if things are still working as they should.
If not, you can make changes within your BPM solution, and everyone in your company can see them. You can scale your processes more quickly as you grow, too.
5. Assists with compliance
Compliance requirements are another ever-shifting part of your business environment. Failing to meet compliance rules while staying on top of new ones will result in costly fines and other headaches.
BPM software provides a place for you to list your processes and detailed documentation for each one to ensure compliance.
Of course, this also makes it easy to check your processes and adjust as needed should new compliance issues arise.
5 elements you need in your BPM software
BPM software offers plenty of benefits, but only if you get a product with the right features for your organization’s needs.
Here are some core elements to look for when shopping for a BPM application.
1. An easy way to visualize and edit your workflows
First and most obvious, your BPM platform must offer a straightforward way to visualize and edit your workflows and processes.
Most BPM software solutions come with workflow charting and process mapping capabilities — but standalone workflow charts aren’t always the best solution.
They’re complex to look at, and team members must constantly flip back to the chart when they need to refresh themselves on processes. Not to mention making edits can be unwieldy at times, too.
Instead, with monday.com, you can build custom boards from the ground up containing all your processes. Here’s an example of our colorful, intuitive boards:
And, because we all like to work differently, monday.com also offers multiple board views, such as Gantt charts and timelines for easier visualization that suits everyone.
2. Collaboration features
BPM software should come with plenty of collaboration capabilities so that all stakeholders in an organization can help map current processes and make suggestions for ways to improve things.
For example, monday.com allows for communication directly on board items, making it easy to collaborate on anything within the platform, including process improvement.
Another way monday.com enhances collaboration is by offering easy custom form creation.
With forms, you can gather feedback on processes from stakeholders across your organization, then look for patterns in their answers that indicate where you could make processes work better.
Check out this simple form made in monday.com:
Processes often include several repetitive manual tasks that a computer could handle.
For example, assigning a new lead to a sales rep upon the lead submitting a form is a simple manual task that happens regularly, depending on how many leads you’re bringing in.
Automating processes like these saves time and reduces errors. Therefore, your BPM system should let you build automations.
Luckily, monday.com comes preloaded with 100s of workflow automation recipes.
You just fill in the gaps and send the automation off to do its job.
4. Reporting and Analytics
A big reason for getting BPM software is process improvement. However, you can’t maximize that without a way to generate reports and examine analytics.
For example, you may need to see how long specific processes take. From there, you could allocate more resources to longer processes or find ways to trim them down.
Inside the monday.com platform, you can create a host of graphs, charts, and reports across various metrics. Here’s just one example:
5. Administrative features
No software is perfect yet. Sometimes, a human needs to step in when automations don’t work — usually due to an uncommon action or business activity you didn’t initially account for.
Being highly customizable, monday.com offers a large suite of administrative features in the Admin section.
Here, you can do all sorts of manual activities just in case.
Make your processes visible
BPM software offers you a way to keep everyone in the organization in the know about your processes. In doing so, you’ll increase collaboration, enhance employee productivity, and facilitate scaling while cutting costs and saving time.
There are several key features to look for, and finding the right BPM software can feel overwhelming. That’s why we recommend monday.com.
As a Work OS, you can build, modify, and review your business processes from scratch and store them alongside the rest of your workflows for easy reference across your organization.
Try monday.com free for 14 days today, and grab our process management template to get a head start on building out your processes.