How low-code platforms can aid intelligent business process management


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The potential for low-code/no-code platforms is gigantic. Low-code will increase the productiveness of IT builders — typically by a number of orders of magnitude. And no-code empowers consultants and material consultants totally on the enterprise or operations aspect (versus IT) to turn into “citizen developers.

However as I defined in a previous article, low-code and no-code platforms aren’t a panacea; they face challenges.

Given the broad spectrum of low-code and no-code platforms, how ought to enterprises discover the perfect choices for his or her particular wants? And what are the use instances for utilizing a number of low-code/no-code platforms?

I’ll tackle these questions in a collection of articles that will help you navigate this transformational panorama whereas avoiding the pitfalls. Particularly, I can be low-code/no-code associated to clever enterprise course of administration (BPM), clever databases, automated integration, and various different areas.

On this first installment, I can be specializing in low-code/no-code within the context of intelligent BPM, or iBPM.

What’s iBPM?

iBPM’s core worth proposition is the collaboration and orchestration of individuals, purposes, related gadgets, and buying and selling companions to realize and constantly enhance enterprise aims. Intelligence and automation are two important conjuncts for BPM. Intelligence for BPM is available in many kinds: digitizing enterprise guidelines, clever digital assistants, and more and more course of mining. A BPM answer will contain absolutely automated robotic process automation sub-processes for repetitive duties that don’t want human intervention and automatic duties assigned to human members. Thus, more and more RPA is turning into a part of the whole clever BPM platform.

Right here is a straightforward order-to-cash course of instance:

Some duties can be carried out by people — as an example, approving the orders. Others may contain automation with RPA — for instance, receiving the products. There will even be duties accessing methods of report — as an example, making ready and paying the bill.

An iBPM platform will mannequin, execute, monitor, and enhance the end-to-end course of. Different phrases are additionally typically used to indicate end-to-end processes. These embody “workflow” and “case administration.”

Clever BPM is way more than expertise. At its core, it’s a transformational administration self-discipline that helps organizations obtain their strategic objectives. Automation is an important part of iBPM options. As a self-discipline, BPM drives the operations of enterprises. It consists of a number of iterative phases from design to execution to monitoring and steady enchancment.

There’s a remarkably shut affinity between low-code/no-code and BPM. So far as again in 2005 or earlier, BPM suites have been touted as platforms for model-driven improvement, which is akin to what we now name low-code/no-code. What have been the “fashions?” Effectively, test the following part on how low-code/no-code manifests itself in iBPM platforms.

Low-code/No-code in iBPM

Low-code/no-code iBPM platforms deal with:

  1. Modeling the workflow or the method
  2. The person expertise or screens for the human members, and
  3. The method analytics dashboards — for steady enchancment.

There are different parts of an entire iBPM low-code/no-code platform — such because the decisioning (aka enterprise guidelines), integration, and knowledge mannequin — however I gained’t be attending to these on this put up.

The next is a straightforward buy request course of mannequin from BizAgi, utilizing shapes from the BPMN graphical notation for enterprise processes (the de-facto customary):

The swim lanes symbolize the members within the course of. The oblong shapes are duties or actions. The diamond form is for a choice, and the circles symbolize the beginning and finish of the method. There are a lot of different shapes within the BPMN customary, however these three are the commonest.

If human members, equivalent to Boss, Requester, and so forth, are concerned in a selected workflow, the low-code/no-code BPM modeling additionally helps the creation of UI kinds to allow that interplay, and these are fairly straightforward to mannequin. This “drag and drop” paradigm of constructing person expertise is frequent and comparable throughout all low-code/no-code platforms that assist Net or cell purposes. The next determine illustrates a easy person expertise designer from KissFlow. There can be parts equivalent to buttons, enter fields, drop-downs, photos, and so forth., non-technical developer can use to create the person expertise. The weather are then related to the properties or fields within the enterprise course of being modeled and automatic.

The interface builder of the iBPM platform is strong sufficient to permit the designer to construct a person expertise — ideally with none code.

As soon as the applying is deployed, the varied members can then monitor the efficiency of the actions by way of interactive analytics. These are actionable analytics dashboards, which signifies that if there’s a bottleneck or challenge, the stakeholder can take motion, equivalent to escalating or re-assigning a job. The analytics dashboards will usually have pre-built analytics that additionally assist low-code/no-code customization. Right here is an instance of an actionable enterprise course of analytics dashboard from Nintex:

iBPM Low Code/No Code Suggestions

Why is it essential for organizations to have the ability to mannequin, automate, monitor, and enhance their enterprise processes with out coding? A corporation is a set of enterprise processes for manufacturing, advertising and marketing, gross sales, service, and assist features. So any optimizations and enhancements of essentially the most crucial processes will improve the underside line: value financial savings, income technology, and compliance. These are referred to as operational excellence (OE) enhancements. iBPM low-code/no-code platforms are an enabling expertise for OE.

Listed here are my suggestions for iBPM low-code/no-code.

Prioritize your enhancements: There’ll usually be many mission-critical and assist processes that want enchancment. By balancing the complexity of implementation with enterprise worth, you’ll determine the low-hanging fruit. (For extra particulars, take a look at this explanation of four intelligent automation methodologies). The consequence can be a listing of automation and OE enterprise processes you could optimize by way of an iBPM low-code/no-code platform.

Be sure to begin with process mining: To search out the highest precedence low-hanging fruit, you have to know the commonest course of paths, the bottlenecks, the variations, and enchancment alternatives. In different phrases, you have to perceive what processes your transactional knowledge is topic to after which enhance them. That’s exactly the area of course of mining. Don’t automate unhealthy processes. The determine under illustrates the OE reference structure with iBPM low-code/no-code. On the backside, you’ve gotten the methods of report that generate the transactions for particular processes. After aggregating and cleansing the transactional knowledge, a course of mining device — equivalent to Celonis — can then determine the commonest course of path and the variations and the foundation causes for the problems. Like knowledge mining, course of mining algorithmically “mines” and discovers the processes from the transactional knowledge, together with the variations and bottlenecks. Based mostly on these, a iBPM low-code/no-code platform is used to enhance, implement, and automate the processes, leveraging workflows with human members and robotic course of automation.

Create and fund an operational excellence competency middle: iBPM low-code/no-code — and all different low-code/no-code, for that matter — is expertise. As famous above, additionally it is a administration self-discipline for operational excellence. For organizations that use this method, it’s a good suggestion to have a competency middle that does three issues at a minimal: balances innovation by way of iBPM low-code/no-code with finest practices for safety and reliability, allows non-technical material consultants to leverage iBPM low-code/no-code and turn into members in improvement, and governs the continual enchancment from course of mining to automation.

Perceive the panorama and leverage consultants: There’s fairly a little bit of confusion on the subject of classifying what options are BPM options. Some analysts classify these platforms as “workflow,” “enterprise course of,” or “case administration” options. For instance, see these classification schemes:

There are additionally low-code/no-code improvement platforms which can be intently affiliated with the BPM area however that may be classed into different low-code/no-code classes:

The low-code/no-code ecosystem is continually evolving. There are lots of of platforms — and new ones are coming into the market on a regular basis. Typically cheap and easy low-code/no-code instruments can be adequate in your wants. Don’t pay for what you’ll hardly ever use. Additionally, keep away from vendor lock-in. There are rising new and progressive low-code/no-code platforms that assist plug-ins and add-ons, together with those who tackle course of mapping.

Dr. Setrag Khoshafian is a cofounder at Startup Assistant and Principal and Chief Scientist at Khosh Consulting. He was beforehand VP of BPM Know-how at Pega, Senior VP of Know-how at Savvion, and CTO at Portfolio Applied sciences and is a member of the Cognitive World Suppose Tank on enterprise AI.

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