Lean BPM or Low Code Business Process Management solutions are rapidly emerging as major players in the BPM market. Traditional BOM solutions, typically sold by the likes of IBM, Oracle and PegaSystems, require a huge budget, extensive deployment work and there is a concomitant risk of project failure.
Even where a traditional BPM solution is successfully deployed, there are two major issues with them – first is the delivery of functionality that is hardly ever going to be used, if at all, but for which a lot of cost and effort has been expended. The second issue is that while gaining visibility on business processes may be achieved, traditional BPM solutions are notoriously difficult to change and modify, rendering continuous improvement problematic.
Enter the Lean Business Process Management Solution
Low code or Lean BPM solutions do away with non-core BPM functionality – those features which are typically unused by enterprises, even after they have paid for them. Another characteristic of Lean BPM solutions is that they have open code, or at least the ability to allow you to purchase the code so you can do whatever you want with it.
In addition, they typically will come with very robust APIs that allow you to quickly plug the Lean BPM solution up to just about any other system you are operating, or are planning to deploy in future. One tip when reviewing solutions is to inquire of the solution provider what customization work they have carried out, and what restrictions will be placed on just what their solution can integrate with.
You will typically find a standard core functionality toolset in the major competitors in the Lean BPM/Low Code space. Major providers include Appian, Wrike, K2 Blackpearl and JobTraq from Swift Software.
Core Lean BPM functionality will include:
Visual Workflows –
The ability to drag and drop objects in an intuitive UI to create automated workflows which are implicitly visual. More than this, some Lean BPM solutions, such as JobTraQ, provide the ability to automatically push the visual workflow task components into the task management system, which brings us to…
Task Management –
A task management systems is at the heart of any effective workflow, and a good workflow solution is a prerequisite for being able to gain visibility into the work in real-time. Task management solutions do vary, but at a minimum you are looking for role-based permissions, ability for anyone to assign tasks and not just admins, recurring task management, and automated alerts and notifications along with resource utilization and reporting.
Robust API and Open Code –
The ability to integrate with anything without the need for heavy IT involvement is a major differentiator of Lean BPM solutions from their traditional counterparts.
Low cost –
ALean BPM solution will be fully deployed and working for around 20-30% of the cost of a traditional solution.
Fast deployment & No IT involvement –
Another great feature of Lean BPM/Low Code options is the ease of deployment and hardly any IT involvement. IT involvement may only actually be required to stand up a server to operate the Lean BPM solution off of, assuming you are going for an On Premises version and not SaaS.
Jane Wrythe is a business and technology writer who is currently working with Swift Systems.