11 Must-have Features to Look for in a Business Process Management System

Last Updated: August 29, 2021

A business process management system is a tool that enables process mapping through identification, modeling, monitoring, and optimization of processes. An effective BPMS helps you successfully optimize your processes for maximum efficiency, whereas a suboptimal system becomes an ordeal to use and fails to deliver the benefits of business process management.

Choosing the right BPM system or software can be daunting in a cluttered market. Start with understanding the crucial features that should be present in the software.

1. Visual workflow modeling

Intuitive visual representation of the process flow is one of the most important features a BPM system should have. Business users need to capture and design the flow of a process in a workflow engine. There are some tools where coding is required to implement the process. A coding model sounds like it could give you complete control over your process flow, but it’s unnecessary. A visual or graphical workflow feature enables you to design the processes and set them in motion quickly. Your users need not be extremely savvy to use the tool, as it becomes an additional burden if they have to.

2. Controlled user access

Controlled access to sensitive information is paramount in a multi-user environment. The documents, data, and forms you use are confidential, and your BPM software should have a feature that ensures that the access is restricted and controlled. It is similar to the edit, read-only, or hidden options in a Google document but much more advanced. There are several use cases in providing access to a group of users or teams. You may want to limit certain fields in a form to certain users or even certain occasions. A business process management software lets you handle all combinations of access and gives you complete control over who accesses sensitive information.

3. Easy change management

Sometimes mistakes happen even with the best business process management system. You must have the feature to quickly react to the situation and correct the course of the process. Or sometimes, you might simply need to administer a change in the process. You can’t rely on a technical expert every time that happens. Your administrators or high-level users should be able to manage these situations themselves with minimal effort.

4. Software integration capability

A business process management solution that cannot integrate with your core software or important external software is useless. Without integration features like CRM, API, webhooks, and RPA, your BPM system won’t be able to sequence the set of activities together that make a process. Moreover, if you take it upon yourself to supply the data manually, you essentially have nothing to gain from the process automation you implemented. BPMS should allow essential software integration methodologies to maintain the interconnectedness of your process framework.

5. Enterprise framework modeling

The ability to accommodate a large user base is a must-have BPMS feature. Enterprise framework modeling lets you maintain efficiency in process management irrespective of whether you manage ten or a thousand users. A BPM tool that performs differently when presented with a large user base will get stuck at some point, probably when you grow. Ensure your business process management tool is invulnerable to change in your organizational size and is able to streamline and automate the new processes seamlessly.

6. Data integration, capture, and utilization

A process without data is just a bunch of guidelines. Your workflow management needs a constant supply of digitized data flowing through each stage in order to produce the required outcome. You need easy-to-use, customized, visual forms to acquire or depict data that will flesh out the framework when a particular business rule is triggered. Every single process is a part of the whole BPM life cycle and hence are interrelated. The BPMS should connect the data flow seamlessly across the entire process, teams, tools, and departments. Data utilization here refers to the processing of the end result data to derive vital business insights. The insights will help you seamlessly measure existing process performance versus ideal business objectives. 

7. Simplified and intuitive user experience

Getting a powerful BPM software will help your teams achieve optimal process efficiency but it should also be user-friendly for them to not exhaust themselves while doing so. Even the strongest technology is built to make the user’s work easier. You should look for a BPM suite that empowers end-user experience with a low code model and visual workflow engines. Teams should be able to build and run their own processes with little help from service desk agents.

8. Interdepartmental collaboration

Business activities cannot operate in silos, as they require contextual collaboration and data sharing from time to time. The best thing you can do to connect the ends of every process and offer complete transparency is by enabling collaboration where the work happens. From document sharing to approval management to issue management, collaboration should be facilitated both between stakeholders and end business processes. Your teams will automatically get notified when their input is called for and collaborate promptly.

9. Mobile responsiveness

Flexibility in process management means your processing tool is not restricted to a single user interface. Your teams would expect the BPM solution to be able to support them on the go. Solutions that tie them to their laptops or computers will not be well-received in a particularly tech-savvy user environment. You should look for a mobile compatibility feature for your teams to promote increased accessibility and process improvement. The modern suite of BPM solutions is replete with high-end digital transformation, robotic process automation, and integration capabilities. Leverage these technologies to complement your BPM system.

10. Unique case management

A way to include project management or ad hoc/non-recurring case management is indisputably the best feature that could enhance your BPMS capabilities. Exceptions are not uncommon in process management. You will always deal with processes that deviate from the regular ones you have created workflows for. Your BPM system should be able to quickly adapt to situations that are not structured enough for a typical BPM use case.

11. Real-time reporting and KPI evaluation

The insights you gathered from process monitoring can help you make impactful business decisions. An ideal BPM system should be capable of delivering real-time reports at every important step of the process life cycle. Reports give you complete visibility into the processes to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas of improvement. 

Guide to business process management

Before choosing a BPM system, understand what is BPM, what a BPM life cycle looks like, and why you should invest in implementing BPM. Read more.

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