In this guide, we’ll cover the key benefits, features, and drawbacks of BPMS – plus, we’ll look at the main points to consider when evaluating these applications.
A BPMS – short for Business Process Management Software or Business Process Management System – can be used for business process improvement, business performance improvement, boosting employee productivity, and more.
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Yet not all BPMS options include the same capabilities, and some are more expensive than others.
To help you better understand what these systems can and can’t do, let’s start by looking at their core features.
Business Process Management Software (BPMS): Benefits and Features
A BPMS is an enterprise-grade software solution aimed at:
- Modeling and designing business processes
- Refining, optimizing, and improving business processes
- Standardizing business processes
- Tracking business process performance
- Changing business processes to meet the changing needs of the business
In short, a BPMS is a business optimization tool. Yet these tools often extend their scope of services far beyond business process optimization (BPO) and include an array of features that touch upon enterprise architecture, project management, and more.
Common features of a BPMS includes:
- Visual modeling of business processes through business process modeling methods, such as BPMN
- Models that encompass other value streams, such as enterprise architecture and governance
- Real-time tracking of business processes and workflows
- Document and form management features
- Business process data and analytics tools
- Self-service portals for employees
- Task and workflow automation features
A BPMS can be an excellent addition to any organization’s digital ecosystem, particularly for larger organizations – after all, the larger an organization grows, the more complex its systems become. And as those systems grow in complexity, the risks of inefficiencies and errors rises.
Who Uses a BPMS?
Certain business disciplines make heavy use of a BPMS.
An enterprise architect, for instance, business process management (BPM), or IT architecture, for example, can use a BPMS to improve process efficiency, effectiveness, and performance.
Yet certain BPMS solutions have intuitive features that can be used by anyone, even those that aren’t BPM specialists.
Some BPMS platforms, for example, include flowcharts and diagrams that can be learned quickly, making them usable by virtually anyone.
Managers who want to make improvements in their own department, for instance, can easily begin designing workflows and processes.
That being said, every organization should have its own policies and regulations regarding the implementation and systematization of business processes – in other words, though anyone can use a BPMS, it is important to have rules and procedures regarding who should use one.
Should You Invest in a BPMS?
There are many advantages to investing in a BPMS solution, including:
- Increased process efficiency
- Improved business process performance
- Better organizational performance
- Deeper insights into existing business processes
Yet not all BPMS solutions are created equal and not all have the same target audience or feature set.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when evaluating potential candidates:
- How many features does the app offer? The application’s core features should be the top considerations. An app that doesn’t meet your needs should naturally be crossed off the list immediately. To answer this question more easily, begin by outlining your requirements: what BPM functions you need, which features are critical, which would be nice to have, and which are unnecessary. After that, you can look at other questions, such as pricing and vendor reputations.
- How easy is the app to use? Usability is an important point to consider. The easier a BPMS is to use, after all, the easier it will be for employees at every level to implement. This is important, since many employees may only use the app infrequently in order to add notes, make requests, or create automations. Ease of use, in short, can impact how fully the system is adopted and used, which can, in turn, affect its bottom-line ROI.
- What is the track record of the company providing the software? A provider’s reputation naturally matters. On the one hand, any company developing a system by definition has a certain level of competence. Yet that doesn’t by default mean that they’ll create a stellar product – or that they’ll be around in five years’ time. The marketplace is competitive, so it is important to choose a trusted vendor with excellent marketplace prospects.
- Where will our organization be in five years? A hyper-growth company will have different needs in five years than it does today. A local business, on the other hand, may not need a solution that can scale. In either case, however, it is a good idea to address and answer this question right off the bat – otherwise, you may need to reinvest in a different solution down the road.
Asking these types of questions can help you create a shortlist of products that meets your company’s needs and budget.