The recent Olympic Games got me thinking about the hours and endless effort the champion athletes have put into work and practice to win a medal. Must be quite a few. And then I realized that is the same thing in life. Gold medals are hard to achieve. You have to be willing to put in a lot of effort and hours of work to succeed.
But then I had another realization. All the winners have a great coach by their side. And I mean A GREAT coach. Someone who tracks their times and points out where to improve and how to do it. Someone who walks by their side and pushes them to try new things and see them with a different perspective. Does that sound familiar to you?
If you hadn’t noticed, in business, that’s the role of a BPM platform. I guess not many people see a certain software as something that can take you to a podium, winning a gold medal. But in fact, it is exactly that. It is a tool that you can lay on to improve your performance on a large scale.
I know this is a strange analogy, so let’s start from the basics. Any good Business Process Automation software will show you key metrics about your processes. This gives you a good picture of how the organization is performing. So it’s like the stopwatch of your coach. For example, it shows how fast you are running and then suggests working on some specific issues in order to improve your timing. Like the metrics in a BPM platform.
These metrics that we just mentioned are usually called Key Performance Indicators, and the whole point of these metrics is to improve things taking into account the business objectives. It’s important to define both long and short-term indicators, so we can measure and improve processes “in real-time” and in the long run.
Sometimes it can be tricky to define which of all the metrics are your Key Performance Indicators. For example, in long-term indicators, you can define as a KPI the total number of processes launched, the average time needed to complete a process instance, or even the average time each process step requires. These metrics allow you to identify different issues that may affect the business performance and give you the ability to react in due time. For example, you can see if there is seasonality as to how many process instances are deployed at a specific time of the year and improve your business capacity in consequence. You can also identify if there is a bottleneck in a business department or if a task is taking longer than expected.
Having this information helps you get on the podium. It lets you improve where you can and continuously optimize the processes that already run smoothly. And most importantly, the optimizations are based on objective information and not one's perception. Imagine if Simon Biles were to improve her performance based on what she feels when she's flipping on the air. It would be impossible for her to improve at such a high level to win a Gold Medal.
The thing with BPM software is that it is difficult to see the tool as your ally. In every company, there is always a little bit of resistance when it comes to changes. Most of all, when it comes to digital transformation. But instead, it’s critical to show your coworkers and teammates the great things that can be achieved when automating your company or business department.
A BPM tool gives you the ability to re-think and elaborate a whole process reengineering plan to take your company to the next level. If you think deeply, the things that took you where you are, won’t take you where you want to be now. In order to arrive at the next Business Olympic Games, you have to prepare from now, so you can beat your competitors shortly.