Low-Code BPM - Business Process Management: a path to business agility and resiliency

Low-code BPM – Business Process Management is one of the aspects of automation, with greater management control and failure resilience. In a BPM approach, methods are used to discover, model, analyze, measure, improve and optimize business strategy and processes, according to Gartner's definition. In this way it is possible to identify and monitor critical processes of the organization to align them with their strategy, gaining evolutionary agility.

A BPM software platform can be the right arm of organizations by ensuring the improvement and efficiency of operations. In essence, it is fundamental for business process reengineering and continuous process improvement.

The flexibility, efficiency and agility of an organization can only go as far as business processes and operations allow.  Therefore, the management and improvement of operational processes must be continuous. It's out of the question to implement a BPM solution at once. The implementation should accompany the development of the business and its new needs, on a regular and constant basis.

The BPM market is arguably growing, according to a study by GrandView Research. The size of the global BPM tool market is expected to reach US$23.04 billion in 2024, a sharp growth attributed to the need for automation to reduce production or service costs.

BPM is not project management

The BPM approach should not be confused with project or task management. The scope is wider, as IBM explains. On the one hand, task management focuses on individual tasks, while BPM takes end-to-end processes into account. On the other hand, project management has beginning, middle and end, while BPM focuses specifically on processes that are repeated. Through business reengineering, organizations can streamline work processes, contributing to greater efficiency and savings. The six  sigma and  lean principles are examples of BPM methodologies and continuous improvement.

By incorporating advanced analytics, active monitoring and decision management capabilities, a BPM approach allows you to coordinate people, systems and information to achieve operational results. That is, it can be one of the pillars of strategies to accelerate digital transformation.

Objectives of a BPM approach

Bpm's main objectives are to minimize errors, reduce waste and improve productivity and efficiency. According to the BPM Institute, BPM should focus on the following aspects:

  • Clarity in the definition of the strategy;
  • Alignment with company resources;
  • Increased discipline in recurring operations.

Business Process Management: definition, improvement and management of end-to-end business processes with the aim of achieving three crucial results for performance-focused organizations: 

  1. Clarity in the direction of strategy
  2. Alignment of the company's resources;
  3. Increased discipline in recurring operations. Source: BPM Institute

Business processes are essential for the operations of virtually all organizations. They are the plans of all types of business functions, allows different parts of the organization to collaborate efficiently, and allow interaction with suppliers and customers.

With BPM tools, organizations have a systematic approach to measuring, managing and optimizing their operational processes. In a light, the bpm discipline requires the strategic practice of the following nine areas, in a coherent program:

  • Alignment of Processes with business strategy (processes);
  • Identify and model processes;
  • Measure processes;
  • Analysis and benchmarking of processes;
  • Collection of policies and rules;
  • Continuous improvement of processes;
  • Management of change and culture (people);
  • Decision-making and governance;
  • Implementation of technology (technology).

Low-code BPM is still foreign to many companies

Unfortunately, what is happening in many organizations in business process management is still far from ideal. Many continue to have process silos or do not have them at all. It is common for processes to be defined because 'it has always been done this' or only because they derive from the software systems themselves used. It's time to think first about the business and not technology, which can be a challenge. But, there is usually a lot of room to optimize processes.

However, there are more complex situations. As a result of mergers and acquisitions, many companies are equipped with various software that performs the same functions. BPM, combined for example with agile methodologies, can be an excellent solution to create practices of continuous process improvement.

Other organizations feel the need to identify and automate seemingly as simple tasks as quickly responding to e-mail messages or orchestrating process flows into financial, HR, or other systems.

BPM, particularly when developed in low-code, allows automating business processes as simple as holiday marking processes, shopping, travel, among other common workflows in most companies, but with high impact on cost rationalization.

By taking advantage of low-code it is also possible to define process patterns so that they become accessible on multiple platforms. For example, students of a university can register and upload the necessary documents, via a mobile phone, from home, removing administrative burden on the university's operational teams, and simultaneously generating greater user (student) satisfaction.

One last example, through Low-code BPM is possible to quickly create web sites or portals with forms and applications where customers can ask questions, place orders or ask for help.

Key capabilities of a BPM

  • Workflow management: to design, test and perform interactions between employees, systems and data;
  • Business Rules Engine: to create rules and business conditions, automatic;
  • Form generator: to build web forms, automatically;
  • Collaboration: tools for discussion, management of decisions and ideas, quickly;
  • Analytical: to define metrics, KPIs and generate reports, for continuous improvement;
  • Integrations: To connect data between systems and save double introduction to

What is the relationship between BPM and low-code

The shortage of IT professionals is known to all. And we are also aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transition process of a large slice of the economic fabric. But for everything there is  solution and low-code can be the ideal option for managing business processes, since it avoids the use of traditional code to create your applications.

First, low-code is the fastest and most cost-effective way to accelerate the development of your organization. In addition, low-code takes  advantage of intuitive graphical interfaces and configuration wizards suitable for those who are not IT professionals to be able to map business processes and automate workflows, mitigating the lack of specialized human resources or freeing them up for higher added value tasks. It is an agile way to improve the productivity of departments and organizations.

Benefits of Low-code BPM

The low-code BPM is currently used in organizations of all sizes, but has proved to be very relevant in larger organizations such as hospitals, financial institutions and even universities. Typically, it allows you to achieve benefits such as:

  • Agility: accelerates the creation of applications based on business processes and automation;
  • Cost reduction: by being faster and without the use of skilled labor, it represents a cost reduction;
  • Flexibilization of the workforce: frees the skilled workforce of tasks that can be performed by other professionals such as business analysts. On the other hand, it allows business people to create their own solutions;
  • Innovation: productivity and innovation benefit, as it is now possible to build new applications and digital solutions in a short time, with less investment.

The low-code BPM turns out to be a facilitator of digital transformation, but does not dispense with a robust business strategy, without which it is not possible to improve and automate processes in an integrated and logical way. It remains essential to identify business opportunities and get to know the company, something that top administrations should devote themselves to.

The life cycle phases of BMP

The correct implementation of a BPM approach goes through several phases. Whether it's five or six phases, depending on the source, the goal will be for the organization to continuously seek to achieve operational excellence. These are the essential components:

  • Design of the business process as it should ideally exist (ToBe). Comparison with the pre-existing process (AsIs) and determination of what needs to be improved (Gap);
  • Model or verify how business processes take place in various scenarios;
  • Implement improvement solutions, with standardization and process automation;
  • Monitor and measure overall performance, following the improvements introduced;
  • Continue to optimize business processes in an itenative way.

A sixth component, referred to by some sources, is reengineering, a phase in which a process is simplified if it becomes too complex or is not corresponding to the identified improvements.

Being a cycle, the return to the first phase is part of the whole process of continuous improvement.

Which business systems can benefit from a BPM approach?

Virtually all enterprise systems can benefit from a BPM approach and, in particular, critical business processes:

  • Finance, purchasing and accounting;
  • Sales and Marketing;
  • Human Resources and Talent Management;
  • Production and Operations;
  • Legal Compliance

These systems are somehow interconnected with the enterprise database where a BPM approach can go to drink data.

Unik Digital Workboard: A Low-code BPM Platform that stands out

The Unik Low-code BPM plataform , release 6.1 “Trinity", allows the business to create customized software products, streamline workflows, manage integrations (SOA), capture data with 100% accuracy (AI/ML) and more,  capterra defines. It is used to build business solutions such as: eKYC & Onboarding , employee portals for human resource management, insurance order management and intelligent document processing (IDP).

The same analysts say that this solution is suitable for organizations and business operations that seek hyper-automation and that want to give a fantastic experience to the user.  A low-code platform ensures great flexibility and user autonomy in defining business activities.

The Unik low-code BPM platform allows you to create business applications and promote digital automation through customer-defined processes and workflows, without the need for programming. It is used by large financial institutions to support credit onboarding and legal compliance related to consumer credit. It is present in public and private institutions in support of process automation and digitization. You can authenticate to any device and, thanks to a single sign on, the user has access to all its applications through the platform, be  it Unik systems, business verticals or any other system, including others configured by the user himself.

You can easily build applications and update versions between quality and production environments. You can start by defining whether the workflow is simple or complex, the variables and fields of information that will appear in the forms. If necessary, you can also connect documents to each form. You can also configure rules for automation in decision making.

Each user has the possibility to choose the dashboards and KPI they feel most do for their function. You can also set your desktop configuration on the desktop, widgets,  and apps you'll have access to. You can search for tasks or processes, by dates, or check for pending tasks, either to get a general idea or to perform an action. Business actions and rules are defined for each process or workflow. The platform validates compliance to proceed to the next phase of the process in question, simplifying work queues between teams and ensuring service levels (response times) to customers and partners.

The platform also generates predefined documents or templates and fills them with the data provided earlier, in the context of the process, or submits forms and documents (from templates) to other entities, taking advantage of a BPM engine.

Finally, the Unik low-code BPM platform connects processes to data sources or other applications through web services, to facilitate the continuity of processes and information flows between different systems, internal and/or external.

Characteristics

  • Development assisted by Artificial Intelligence;
  • Business process automation (iFlowBPM);
  • Collaborative development;
  • Aggregation and publication of data;
  • Implementation management (hot deploy, zero down time);
  • Drag & Drop Process Editor;
  • Management of integrations and interactions;
  • Performance monitoring;
  • Visual modeling;
  • Requirements management;
  • Document Templates;

Web development and mobile apps (responsive).

by Ricardo Barros – Chief Customer Success Officer @Uniksystem

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