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What Is Lean BPM and Why Do You Need It?

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Lean BPM, also known as Low-Code Business Process Management, delivers almost all of the functionality of traditional BPM software, but at around 20% of the cost and takes around 10% of the time to deploy. The functionality that Low-Code does not include is typically the unused features, such as process simulation.

By stripping out extraneous features, which tend not to work well in a live environment but carry a great portion of the cost and deployment pain, you end up with a solution which does just what you need it to do. This is why it is called Lean BPM.

Typical features to be found in a Lean BPM solution will include the following:

Enterprise Task Management

Enterprise task management takes managing the day-to-day tasks of your business activity and centralizes them in one place. Where many managers use a spreadsheet or whiteboard for scheduling and job tracking, a software solution acts as a true team collaboration enabler. Plus you never lose track of work, and your team can communicate with each other as to what is happening at any given time.

While there are plenty of low-cost task management solutions, such as Basecamp for instance, they are inflexible when it comes to using them in practice. Managing multiple projects, or creating a business process or workflow is almost impossible unless you change how you do business to suit the presets of the task manager.

Enterprise task management provides the flexibility to mold the solution to how you do business, allows multiple assignees, enforces policies and procedures associated with the task, and ultimately provides you with the basis for creating automated workflows.

Automated Workflows and Business Processes

Workflow automation is extremely useful because you don’t just carry out tasks in a random order. You wouldn’t paint a room, and then replace the drywall for instance. Automating workflows ensures the sequential execution of tasks, managed by the task manager, and allows you to build a picture into how your business operations are actually working.

By automating workflows, as one task is completed the work is routed automatically to the next step in the process. If something occurs which takes things out of sync, alerts and notifications are used to inform and escalate the issue to management.

You are also able to gauge resource allocation and utilization, which is a real plus when you are asked to take more work on for instance. Furthermore, this feature is indispensable when it comes to identifying bottlenecks in your business operation, and also allows you to balance the load across your labor and resources.

Granular Reporting and Audit Trail

A BPM maxim is that if you can see it, you can measure it and if you can measure it, you can improve it. Task management and workflow automation provide you with visibility into how your operations are working in reality. This allows you to establish metrics and KPIs, and over time you can build your data and start analyzing what is happening. This in turn will allow you to optimize your processes by making incremental changes, and then seeing how that impacts your results. Obviously, positive changes are adopted, which in turn will generate more data and allow you to consider how to improve the process even further.

About the Author

Jane Wrythe is a business and technology writer, and she is currently focused on Lean BPM solutions such as JobTraQ.

Photo credit: Bricolage

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