When a bigger hammer isn’t better – What BPM tool do you use?

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Back in the ‘90s, I was involved in a large transformation program. It was back then I started in my process improvement journey.


I was working at a large Insurer and working with business people in their area of expertise. The SMEs (that was the first time I’d heard that term), my colleague and I, captured their processes…from memory I think it was processing a motor vehicle claim.


Anyway, we interviewed lots of people, made notes and ran away to model their process – we were using ABC Flow charter  and produced a pretty messy looking process flow on this massive piece of paper. Surprisingly, it was really helpful and while modelling it seemed tedious – some of the SMEs got aggravated when we went over & over things – at the end we all had a really clear picture of what the process was like & how complicated it had become over the years.


I remember at a presentation of the captured flow, some of the team sitting back looking at it and they started nudging each other, saying “see…I really am busy when you keep hassling me for stuff”. That moment was gold! I never truly understood until that point WHY it was a good idea to model how things really got done. And today the same whys & how-to’s exist.


There’s is a lot of BPM software around – things have come a long way from the humble beginnings of buying ABC Flow charter on a floppy disc (yes I’m THAT old!). It’s a really confusing market out there & some of the claims made by vendors are really amazing. So which tool do you choose? Don’t always assume that the bigger (most expensive) hammer is the best choice – pick the right tool for your situation.


Do your homework – the trick is to know what you want a business process modeling tool for and how you will use it, before you go anywhere near purchasing. If I could advise anything, it would be that.


Nowadays there are also quick & savvy ways to lower your cost outlay, but still get really great software at a fraction of the price – while Software as a Service (SaaS) may have once seemed risky, today it’s a great way to start, with tools available at a fraction of the cost of some of the big guns.


Take a look at them – they might just be what you’re looking for.

BPM – where do you start

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When you are charged with making a difference, where do you really start? Can you really get something in, started & embedded in your organisation at a relatively low cost?


I think back to organisations I’ve worked with, and realised that’s exactly what I’d been brought in to do. And I knew what I needed to do & just started… I’m a bit stubborn that way, but it took time – time for the organisation to adapt to changed ways & time for real benefits to be realised.


If I’d not gone through the pain of doing things the hard way, I wouldn’t be where I am now, but I digress…if I could’ve found a roadmap, some kind of step by step approach that I could follow to get “done” faster – boy that would have been manna from heaven.


But if you don’t have the time, what do you do? Where can you get help?


Well, lets face it, money doesn’t grow on trees, and the boss will want to see something tangible that will really deliver what we like to call bankable benefits.  Impressing Finance with fast & lower cost ideas is the golden key!


These days, with the advent of the Cloud & Software as a Service (SaaS), our BPM jobs are made so much easier, so you can impress those who hold the purse strings. There are good people around who can give you that roadmap and have the skills to help lighten the load…you just have to find them, right?