The Ultimate BPM Implementation Guide

The ULTIMATE BPM Implementation Guide

Discover Best Practices from the Early Days of Exploration, Through to Implementation

Most organizations look at their IT stack and think in terms of departmental solutions - a CRM solution for sales, marketing automation for lead-gen, a handful of different applications for hiring, onboarding, benefits, and the wide array of other functions that companies must manage. But as the number and complexity of solutions grow, their usage can become siloed, and users who should be able to benefit from things like cross-departmental applications often get increasingly further away from the data and processes they need. This not only creates a poor return on technology investment, it also kills efficiency efforts and prevents businesses from moving rapidly to deliver solutions.

Some companies, however, are capitalizing on their IT investments and bridging the gap between technology and business through the effective use of low-code BPM. These organizations recognize that having robust, agile process automation gives them a standard for cross-company, and inter-stakeholder, communication and collaboration. By ingesting and delivering data through smart forms and other data sources, they’re able to apply automation to ensure effective delivery of processes from inception to continuous delivery.

BPM has become a de facto standard for building and managing processes, and modern, innovative BPM solutions like Process Director must constantly raise these standards to meet with the shifting needs of digitally transforming organizations. By reducing their reliance on the IT department while enabling them to design agile, flexible, and adaptable process applications, BPM empowers organizations to continually grow and change to meet new business demands.

Recognizing the need for a solution is the first step in providing a foundation for transformation, but identifying the requirements, and then creating a subsequent plan, can get complicated. This guide will offer a roadmap for BPM users who are embarking on a journey of building requirements, gathering support, and then implementing BPM within their companies. By looking at the various steps these stakeholders must take, it will help you avoid confusion and miscommunication, and instead, create a meaningful structure for a process-driven organization.

Transformative, Solid and Consistent

Advocates for continuous innovation recognize that all that activity requires a stable foundation. And while change and transformation is exciting and can lead to new and better ways of operating, at the end of the day, smart companies frame their technology and business goals around not just immediate, but also long-term value.

If a BPM implementation cannot provide demonstrable benefits to the bottom line, it has no place within a forward-looking enterprise. But every team, every group, and every individual contributor wishes for a better way to contribute to the company’s success. IT, for example, may just want to get things done faster or with fewer obstacles. Purchasing might want to ensure faster sign-offs and approvals on requisitions. And HR certainly wants the employee onboarding process to work as smoothly as possible.

With Process Director, BPM becomes the engine which democratizes technology and empowers workers in all roles to contribute to the success of their company. Their efforts, aided by Process Director’s agile application development capabilities and ability to be deployed in on-premises or cloud environments, save money and foster a more productive working situation. Once established, the expectation is that repeatable processes open the door for continuous improvement —and a new mindset begins to take over throughout the company.

BPM Implementation with Process Director

The point at which the implementation of Process Director makes a demonstrable impact happens very quickly— and is sometimes almost immediate. With many customers, implementing Process Director means using workflow and business process management software for the first time. For many it’s the first opportunity to enable non-technical employees to close the gap between the applications they would like, and the applications they can actually create.

Beyond the initial learning curve, customers typically find that there is huge value to be derived from changing even the simplest task. When data entry is an automated (rather than manual) function, we have seen as much as a 75% reduction in the duplication of data. When routing is automated, we have seen a 60% (or faster) turn-around in responses.  With the proper BPM implementation, changes like that translate into significant changes to the bottom line. This is the kind of thing that serves almost all stakeholders: lines of business managers see more productivity, IT sees less manual work, and the entire company experiences uniform dissemination of information and collaboration, and better ROI on technology investments.

By employing Process Director, actions can be automated and the status of projects, deliverables, and all other types of organizational activities become highly visible. That visibility means that goals and deadlines can be applied and met with a high degree of certainty. That, in turn, leads to smarter planning that maps to whatever schedules (quarterly, yearly, by-project, by team) the company wants to use.

With the added level of visibility comes the ability to review and analyze outcomes. Knowing where things tend to stall, and where there is room for process improvement enables businesses to continuously improve and optimize its actions. This allows a team to identify areas that can benefit from being modified or changed — and can bring together the players that will help them achieve their goals. This can be done concurrently with an eye towards efficiency and profitability, knowing that “profit” comes in many forms.

BPM implementation does not deliver results as independent “things.” With a defined strategy for implementation, an understanding on KPIs, and recognition of how to use resources effectively, an effective Process Director implementation can deliver significant value — value that will profoundly impact an organization’s bottom line.

Getting Buy-in, and Getting Started

Most BP Logix customers engage because they want to automate processes, make better use of data, and develop a more productive way of working for employees and third-party stakeholders. In essence, they want to improve how things are currently done, and they understand the need to implement a foundational solution that can enable this move. The resulting project will require an investment of time and resources, and project champions are usually quite adept at illustrating a vision that helps decision-makers to agree to the project in the first place. This is the starting point, and it’s critical to develop multiple internal champions to support it.

After you’ve defined your plan, identify one or two executive-level decision-makers who will champion your cause and be equipped to intervene when needed. These are people who understand the merit in BPM and are willing to knock down doors to show their support and give their weight to the plan. These people don’t need to be experts in change management or business processes, but they must be invested in the company’s success and have confidence in you, your team, and your plan.

To achieve buy-in and develop your champions, you have to operate as a salesperson and evangelist. It behooves you to organize your plan into the requisite sales tools: a PowerPoint that tells your story and vision, a spreadsheet that demonstrates anticipated cost savings and efficiencies, and flowcharts that illustrate the “before” and “after” of a BPM implementation. The BP Logix team has a great body of evidence around the efficacy of BPM, all of which is going to be incredibly helpful to you, but make sure you wrap your narrative around these three main elements:

  1. Value: Implementing BPM will result in an improved and more efficient way of handling your business processes, but it will also provide an overall framework for all business decision-making, managing assets and intellectual property, and providing the collaboration needed to achieve growth and efficiency goals. BPM delivers insights and automates decision-making so business managers can dedicate time to their highest value-added activities.
  2. Savings: With greater efficiency comes a reduction in resources you have to apply. BPM will enable an organization to include documents needed for validation and/or approval which means less time spent retrieving assets (later) to make decisions.
  3. Growth: Ultimately, all companies want their solutions to be sustainable and carry them through the future; it must be adaptable and agile. BPM will be among the most critical elements for sustainable growth. It will create a solid foundation on which to build for that growth, irrespective of the changes that have to be made to get there.

Addressing Security Concerns within BPM Implementation

Identifying the right type of security for your organization presents challenges that require both technology and business thinking. Because a BPM solution like Process Director is optimized for integrations and collaboration among internal and external parties, many will have security concerns. This is totally legitimate, and you need to be prepared to address these concerns with a valid approach for how security will be applied.

Communicate that one of the key reasons for adopting BPM is to take advantage of your data and maximize your existing technology investments. BPM gives your organization the flexibility required to support your business goals. Therefore, you can't hermetically seal off your data and functionality to prevent access. The nature BPM is that it’s an effective enabler of data transactions and communication, both into and out of your enterprise environment. Your business depends upon integration with both internal and third-party applications and the ability to share unique (and usually very sensitive) data with different types of stakeholders. This requires that activity enabled with your BPM solution be controlled effectively, but also not totally locked down.

Process Director allows you to apply internal policies, requirements, security training, automation, remediation, compliance, and other critical elements that are necessary to having a comprehensive security posture for your environment. You should collaborate with your IT team to understand their security requirements and build those into your Process Director configurations and settings. Explain to concerned parties that because BPM will be broadly used to build applications and transact with data, security can be built in to those applications and integrations with other data sources. It helps provide a layer across all the activities that are touched during process development and management.

Start with Training, and Make it Part of the Culture

To get your team ready to leverage your investment in BPM requires that they understand what their expectations are, but also what they will be capable of doing once they have access to Process Director. It’s important that you create an enthusiastic approach to training and embed into people the idea that this isn’t just a have-to, but it’s an important way for them to participate more closely in business success and decision-making. Once trained, and with ongoing education, those involved with Process Director will have a far better ability to control how they get their work done and approach the tasks for which they are responsible.

The curriculum shouldn’t be pedantic, and this doesn’t require days away from people’s jobs in order to bring them up to speed. Rather, define what you want users to know, and then figure out the best way to communicate it. Training can be done in team-sized groups, in recorded sessions, through written instructions, or through some hybrid version of these. While the “curriculum” of what you want to communicate will be unique to your organizational needs, you may want to frame your training around these themes and how to apply them in Process Director:

  • How to identify and analyze business and functional requirements
  • Creating and managing a plan for analysis, development, and application of requirements
  • Testing - how and when to do it, and what outcomes should look like
  • The basics of process management
  • How to use forms
  • Understanding and using predictive analytics to make better decisions

Remember, also, that training never stops. While you don’t need to run formal training sessions, you should ensure that those who are using Process Director are aware of new features and are encouraged to try new things to continue the optimization they are trying to achieve. BP Logix works closely with customers to maintain continuous communication about Process Director updates, usability, and overall best practices.

Getting Started with the First BPM Application

You’ve done your preparatory work and now you’re ready to go; you and your team can move forward by developing your plan for your first application. Because Process Director is a rapid application development software solution, it is responsive to the agile nature of fast-moving environments, and applications can be created with a low-code or no-code approach and without the need for programmers. This means that those closest to business issues are able to create solutions, adapt them, and change whatever is needed to create optimal processes.

After the right employees have access and a bit of foundational training, you and your team can initiate your first application. The best approach will follow these steps:

  1. Pick a project: Choose the project you want to tackle, identify outcomes, and create requirements for how the application will address these.
  2. Identify an owner: While Process Director democratizes the application development process, there is still a need for an overall owner who can drive the project through its various milestones and ensure there is no scope-creep or other distractions.
  3. Diagram the process: Get all necessary parties involved in whiteboarding sessions so you can get the right input, test different scenarios, and provide an interactive format for talking through your options. From these sessions you should be able to narrow down what you ultimately need to build.
  4. Write requirements: This job will probably fall to the project owner, but should be widely distributed and understood across the team.
  5. Identify what will be measured: You and your team need to know what success looks like, and how to focus the project on achieving it, but also what constitute distractions and wasted activity.
  6. Divide jobs: Figure out responsibilities and give team members the green light when the project is ready to get started.
  7. Institute standup meetings: OK, these don’t necessarily need to be standups, but you should have regular meetings to determine progress against goals.

Document, Document, Document

Once you initiate the use of processes, it’s only through continuous improvement that you can make better use of your investment in Process Director. And the best way to learn and improve is by documenting the work you’ve done so you can analyze it and learn how to get better. In addition to improving processes, documenting your activities helps your organization develop a continuous record of how you’ve improved, and where you need to continue to improve.

Process Director enables process modeling and orchestration through Process Timeline, a BPM notation and modeling tool that combines an intuitive user interface, enterprise-level scalability and AI-powered, time-aware analysis of processes. All the data derived from this modeling is documented, and gives process builders insight and perspective into what they’ve done and how they can improve it.

Documentation reduces operational ambiguity about roles, milestones, and the decision-making process. Process Director enables the collection, processing, and storage of documents so they can become a source of collective organizational thinking and wisdom regarding the processes being used, and the improvements in processes that should have been implemented in the first place. This provides the team with the ability to analyze decisions and reverse-engineer outcomes to determine what could have been done better and how participants could have engaged with better efficiency. With detailed documentation, process improvements can be tracked from one version to another, so performance can be optimized to meet changing business needs.

Leverage Your BP Logix Resources

To get the most out of BP Logix, it’s important for you to make use of our resources, which include:

  • Learning Library: this is our collection of whitepapers and ebooks that detail how to implement, manage, and optimize your processes and workflows, and how Process Director can be a foundation for overall business improvement.
  • BPM Videos: Visit our BPM video library to learn more about the business process management software capabilities and solutions of Process Director BPM platform