The Major Benefits of Low Code BPM and Overcoming the Ideological & Technology Divide
Using the term, “BPM” with many senior executives is likely to cause a break out of laughter, or a deep frown and a chilly sweat. Big BPM may have extremely strong selling benefits, however traditional BPM also has the lack of credibility issue due to big deployments which failed spectacularly, costing money, resources, and careers.
As a proponent of BPM, you will have two chasms to cross: the first is technical, and how digitization can be harnessed to deliver value and control for your organization. The second is more ephemeral, because it is ideological and emotional, asking questions such as, “How can this deployment succeed where the one ten years ago failed?” or “Will this be good for management, or good for our people who will need to use it?”
So, how can Low Code overcome the problems, both real and imagined, that Business Process Management systems have?
First of all, let’s consider the driving force behind BPM which is Operational Efficiency. Operational efficiency is typically only visible or appreciable by those overseeing the operation as a whole. This precludes acceptance by lower level staff and managers, because they only get to see part of the problem, bounded by the work they are responsible for and not what came before, or what will come after.
Where you have a complicated, cross-functional structure, which is not uncommon for any large organization today, then you may actually make life more difficult for people navigating such complexity by automating processes. Operating in a complex environment requires the ability to exercise discretion and judgment far more than the ability to follow preset instructions and business rules.
This said, where you can provide a platform which delivers visibility into what is happening, but instead of delivering a straitjacket provides bounds within which actors may operate, then you start to gain clarity on what is really problematic. This in itself will change the dynamics or how process, resources/technology, and people will interact and work together.
Moving Faster With Less Oversight from the C-Suite
What Low Code BPM can do is provide an operational environment in which process owners and professionals can create, and modify, operational business processes in an exceptionally fast way. This removes the latency associated with traditional BPM deployments, and instead of heavyweight deliverables being worked on by IT or process consultants, lightweight applications can be developed and deployed in a fraction of the time, and by business people who do not have coding expertise.
It is axiomatic in Lean that process should be owned and modified by those closest to the work process itself. This has been impossible with traditional BPM solutions precisely because they require coding and development expertise, plus there are so many dependencies involved that preclude even a sophisticated business user from making changes directly. With Low Code BPM however, business operators such as analysts, are now able to identify changes to the processes they work with, develop or modify a business application to tackle the problem or deliver the improvement, and then move it to an operational state with a few mouse clicks.
The C-Suite is not burdened with what ought to be low-level, tactical, micro-managing changes to business processes, instead allowing them to focus more on strategy and higher-level management issues.
The major benefits of Low Code BPM are therefore:
- The fast creation of business applications and processes by the people who know them best.
- No heavy lift from IT or expensive third-party consultants/integrators.
- Faster turnaround of process delivery – whether new business processes or modifications to existing ones.
- Deploy and scale business applications in days rather than weeks or months.
- Test in a live business environment with “live trials” at zero or ultra-low cost, and make decisions based on real-world data rather than simulation.
- Extend the usable life of legacy systems without incurring high costs or sacrificing security.
- Be proactive and highly-reactive to changes in the business environment, allowing for change to maximize opportunity and minimize risk.