Advantages of BPM/Workflow and Selection Criteria

Advantages of Business Process Management or Workflow
There are countless advantages to using BPM / Workflow, but here is a list of the most immediate advantages:

* Reduce Cycle Times
* Better Process Visibility
* Increased Accountability
* Smoother task orchestration and hand offs
* Process Standardization
* SOX Compliance


What processes should be selected?

There are many ways to select a process improvement project. First and foremost you need to select a process that is clearly defined and repeatable. If you have to build support for ambiguity and exceptions you will be left with a process that is difficult to use and maintain which will likely lead to a failed adoption. Another consideration is to select a process that uses people to rout and keep track of where a process is at. That orchestration can be difficult to maintain manually and normally does not give the other participants visibility in the current state of an individual request.

I then look for processes that are regulated such as purchase requests, common financial transactions, or IT account provisioning.

You can measure it using traditional Return on Investment (ROI) models, or you can take a more holistic approach and select your projects based on a broad range of criteria including Business Objectives, User Adaptability, and Technology Capabilities. While ROI is very important I think it can be misleading with BPM projects because it fails to include many of the soft return values for things like Process Visibility, Accountability, and less human bottlenecks in the process orchestration.

2 Replies to “Advantages of BPM/Workflow and Selection Criteria”

  1. Good blog post. You are right in that you need to select the right processes. In theory it would be nice to evaluate everything, but a quick Pareto Analysis should help identify the processes most likely to yield rapid results.One of the other elements to consider is exception handling. Graceful exception handling is one of the most critical elements of a successful workflow deployment.I also used the following criteria to help set the stage for the use of workflow/BPM systems: Reduced Costs, Improved Profitability, Manage Compliance Efforts, and Increased Shareholder Value.

  2. Good blog post. I like the points you highlighted. I used the following points on documents I created to describe the potential benefits of a workflow/BPM solution – Decreased costs, Improved profitability, ability to manage compliance efforts, and increased shareholder value.One of the other factors that is often ignored or at least overlooked in workflow solutions is the ability to gracefully handle exceptions.Good job. I look forward to additional posts. If you want to collaborate on a few different viewpoints into the BPM/workflow world let me know.

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