Business process management questions to ask solution providers is an annual sneak peek at the top-of-mind concepts to consider during product evaluation. For five key business process management questions to ask yourself, consult our Buyer’s Guide for Business Process Management Solutions.
Cue the process of seeking out, evaluating, choosing, purchasing, and deploying a business process management solution. Each features a particular set of capabilities, strengths, and drawbacks. Choosing the right vendor and solution is a complicated process — one that requires in-depth research and often comes down to more than just the solution and its technical capabilities.
To help you evaluate prospective BPM tools, these are five business process management questions to ask solution providers during product evaluation. If you find these questions helpful, check out our Buyer’s Guide, which features five more questions to ask yourself, a comprehensive overview of the market, and full, one-page profiles of the top-24 offerings, as well as our ‘Bottom Line’ analysis.
How long will implementation take?
Time is an invaluable resource in the modern enterprise, so implementation time is a real concern. You should ask prospective BPM vendors about how long it will take to go from signing a contract to seeing the platform in action. The quicker the roll out the cheaper the implementation process and the sooner you start to see a return on your investment. Naturally, low-code platforms are bound to be easier and quicker to set up, as more people will be able to work on it.
How user-friendly is the system?
It may seem obvious, but you should invest in a BPM system that is not only usable and useful to end-users but for those who provide maintenance to the system as well. Talk to vendors about the amount of training required to get end-users up to speed with the software and whether they provide that training themselves. If you have a few options in mind, ask some end-users to join in a trial period and ask them which systems they feel more comfortable with.
Which features and integrations are needed?
Spend the time looking at which features and integrations are considered “must-haves” for your business and then weed out all the vendors that don’t meet those requirements. Are you looking to go mobile? Then a mobile interface is a must. Will you be able to integrate with other systems such as ERP and CRM? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself. With that being said, you should also look to the future to make sure that potential BPM systems will meet your needs as your company grows.
Is it possible to alter an activity in a process while the software is running?
A few workflow and BPM products are able to provide on-the-fly process changes. Your need for this depends on how long your processes are expected to run. If your writing processes are all wrapped up in a few minutes, this may not be a big concern for you. However, if your processes are looking to take days, weeks, months, or years, this may be something you’ll want to look in to. In that time-span, markets, customers, and laws are in flux. You’ll want to be adjusting your processes with ease during this time as well.
Does the product support XPDL?
Most workflow and BPM software support XPDL to some degree. XPDL, also known as the XML Process Definition Language, is a format designed to interchange business process definitions between separate workflow products. While it’s currently the best option for transferring definitions, there are a number of other formats in use. It might be a good idea to compile a list of BPM products that people in your business may be interested in using in order to see which product formats are the most popular.