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.

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