With all the new tools and technologies available, it's difficult to make the right decision for your business. BPM and BPA solutions can help you to better understand the processes that drive your business. Knowing the difference between them and how to best use them is your recipe for business success.
The world of process management and automation can be difficult to navigate. Companies are under increasing pressure to be more efficient and deliver results. In a recent survey, 57% of respondents said that effective decision-making was most important to them, yet the processes used often don't support the team to make effective and accurate decisions.
BPM and BPA are two different technologies that can help companies better structure and set up their business processes. While they may seem similar, both technologies accomplish vastly different goals.
Business process management (BPM) is an organizational discipline that allows a company to get a bird’s eye view of all the processes in their company and update them accordingly. BPM tools aim to give the company clarity around who is doing what, and when, so the company as a whole can work together with more alignment.
There are many different ways companies attempt to get this comprehensive overview of their workflows. Some popular methods of mapping out processes include methods like kanban boards, post-it notes, spreadsheets, or even brainstorming processes onto paper. While these methods can help conceptualize the ideal process with stakeholders, it's also static and prone to errors.
Business process management is very effective in helping managers and employees have clarity around each and every one of their processes. Companies that know what their processes are and manage them accordingly are more likely to build a business model that is both practical and scalable.
How BPM can help your business:
Improved business agility. When you know exactly what your processes are and how they're running, you can optimize and change them at the drop of a hat. Altering workflows and adapting them to new market conditions will help your business to be more responsive, especially in crisis situations.
Reduced cost and higher ROI. Process management eliminates bottlenecks, meaning that processes can run smoother and faster than ever. As a manager, you can report improved cycle times to your superiors and empower your team to be more efficient. Employees are able to spend time on what matters most, so you won't get tied up on tasks that don't matter.
Expert visibility. Outlining and standardizing a process means that only relevant employees are included in every single task. This way, you can maximize resources and get more done without overloading and overburdening team members. As a manager, you have a bird's eye view of who is working on what, and who you should follow up with.
BPA or business process automation, on the other hand, involves automating steps in the process to take the burden off managers. Instead of outlining a static process on paper and performing the management tasks manually (like sending emails, chat messages, and creating documents and pages), BPA tools can take the brunt of these tedious and repetitive tasks.
Process automation software has traditionally involved coding expertise from the IT department, which remained out of reach for many. In recent times, process automation solutions have actually become more attainable for more than just enterprise businesses. Technological advances and the pandemic have caused automation to become more mainstream, starting a digital revolution for many businesses.
Automating business processes creates more efficiency and productivity within the organization. Managers can focus more on daily tasks that require critical thinking, rather than copying and pasting data from one spreadsheet to another or writing yet another email. Instead of static processes that live on paper, automation makes process management more dynamic and adaptable.
Why you should implement BPA:
Utilize resources. Both managers and employees now have the time to focus on the tasks that require their unique skills. Managers can shrug off tedious project management tasks in favor of decision-making tasks, while employees can focus on tasks that require critical thinking.
More productivity. Lessening tedious tasks means that your team now has more time on their hands to get other tasks done. Tasks that are important but usually get left to the side due to ad-hoc demands can now be front and center once more.
Raise employee satisfaction. Prevent high employee churn by giving them tasks they actually want to do. Employees can now develop their skills, give more value back to the business, and feel better in their role.
While many companies have implemented some kind of BPM system, many are yet to implement automation. Setting up automated tasks can feel especially daunting for many businesses, but it is an important step toward creating a work environment that functions more cohesively.
Business process management tools can help your company know its processes better, but automation takes you to the next level. Automation is the difference between having a process and ensuring that process is followed.
Certain tools like FireStart provide you with both BPM and BPA that are easy to set up. Instead of setting up each automation manually, which can take hours, FireStart has automations built-in. What's more, the drag and drop interface means you don't have to code anything to get started.