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The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

By 30/01/2020 No Comments
 

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This article will help you quickly compare and evaluate the best business process management tools and other process management software.

These tools are used in many settings. In project management, specifically, project managers can use BPM tools to help map out workflows and visualize processes that you use in your teams.

In this post, I’ll break down what business process management (BPM) is and what tools we can use to better analyse and automate different systems. I’ll share with you some of my favorite BPM apps and highlight why/how each stands out.

Additionally, I will answer some FAQs about BPM and adjacent processes. I will explain what process modelling software can do for you, outline my evaluation criteria for any BPM software, and provide a simple comparison of business process management tools.

Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best BPM Tools

 

The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools Logo Soup imageBusiness process documentation is meant to give you a complete view of the systems that make up, support, and control your business. This may include processes like manufacturing and distribution, HR and employee satisfaction, finances and payroll, web design and software upkeep, customer service systems, and more.

Every business is made up of many, many moving parts. Taking stock of all the moving parts and doing your best to improve and automate some of them is the primary goal of BPM and BPA tools. Process models software can help you do just this. Read on to find out how.

Business Process Automation FAQ

Have some questions about business process automation and the tools we use for BPM? I address some commonly asked questions below.

What is BPM?

Business Process Management (BPM) is a means to improve and automate any number of business processes. Business processes may be managed through software designed to streamline BPM, through operations management intervention, or any number of other methods.

What are some types of business processes?

Types of business processes include anything from manufacturing processes, banking and finance, HR processes like hiring or employee reviews, health care processes and/or emergency products and services, public sector, compliance and auditing, travel booking or agent liaison, and so on.

What’s the difference between BPO and BPM?

Business Process Management (BPM) is internal strategies and automations for navigating a range of business processes and is often carried out directly by internal management. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) manages business processes with the help of a third-party or several third-party sources. This may include an external HR department, for example, or an overseas call center for customer service management.

What is business process modelling?

Business process modeling is representing all the business process, often visually in a graph or chart, in order to survey, improve, and automate the current systems.

What is business process analysis?

Business Process Analysis (BPA) seeks to plot, view, and understand the current web of business processes within an organization in order to develop ways to improve operational effectiveness. BPA is a way to state and record business processes so that they can be understood, improved upon, and examined.

Looking for something similar to BPM software today? Check out my other reviews:

  1. Boost your team’s efficiency with the Best Workflow Management Software of 2019.
  2. Looking for deeper data analysis and business intelligence information that can help you make your next big move? Try the Best Business Intelligence Tools of 2019.
  3. Resource management getting out of hand while you have so many processes and systems on the go? Try these 10 Best Resource Management Software & Tools of 2019.

BPM Apps Comparison Criteria

What are we looking for when we select process mapping tools for review? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:

  1. User Interface (UI): Is it clean and attractive? Does the UX look and feel contemporary or antiquated?
  2. Usability: Is it easy to learn and master? Does the company offer good tech support, user support, tutorials, and training?
  3. Features & Functionality:
    – Robust BPM Database: Do they have a powerful way to sort, store, organize, and search a BPM database of processes, procedures, and systems? Is it easy to add, remove, and edit processes stored in the database? Can you control permissions on different entries? Do they offer a process checklist?
    – BPM Accounting & Financials: Do they offer solutions for navigating finances, budgets, invoices, billing, and other monetary processes? Are their solutions secure, reliable, and adequately customizable?
    – Process Description Capture: Do the tools provide ways to explain process descriptions beyond text (like attachments, visual/presentation elements, videos)? Is it easy to update descriptions and notify those affected?
    – Coding Specifications: How much, if any, complex coding is required for the software to be fully customizable and fully functionable. Are there low code options for non-technical users? Are their complex features open for customization by programmers?
  4. Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations? Can it import documents from other software? Can it export documents in a variety of formats?
  5. Value for $: How appropriate is the price for the features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent and flexible? Do they offer any try-before-you-buy options?

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Overviews Of The Business Process Management Tools Software

 

bpm tools featured image

Here’s a brief description of each of the business process automation tools that are featured on this top 10 list.

  • 14 days free trial
  • From $17/month for two users

1. monday.com – Award-winning, visually intuitive tool for managing and automating your business process with ease.

monday.com is a great BPM tool because of the way it has done away with a lot of the trimmings of typical management tools and focused on simple, visually intuitive layouts that help clarify the sequence of work.

monday.com’s features for managing projects include resource and project management, time tracking, collaboration, and reporting features. For example, users can upload and attach files to cards, make comments, mention teammates, and more. It also offers a great project reporting dashboard that can collect data from multiple boards, allowing better tracking abilities of progress. And while monday.com doesn’t offer a complete set of tools for project accounting and invoicing solution as other tools, you can use monday.com to track hours, timelines, and invoices.

Overall, this is one of the most customizable of the business process management software solutions that I’ve examined. It’s a tool that lets you work in whatever methodology—kanban or otherwise—that fits your project and team. You’ll also find some useful workflow tools for automating parts of your process.

monday.com’s integrations include business apps like Slack, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform and many more, accessible via Zapier.

You can try monday.com for free.

  • Free trial
  • Pricing upon request

2. Trisotech – Visual and interactive software suite with digital diagrams to capture your organization’s essential processes and decisions.

Trisotech screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

Plot, organize, and review how processes work together using BPMN process models.

Trisotech’s Digital Enterprise Suite is designed to describe and communicate the strategy of your organization by visually identifying goals using pre-set templates, assigning responsibility to items, and analyzing the quality and value of the work via LEAN and Six Sigma concepts. This tool not only models business processes using BPMN, but it also integrates with business rules and case management as well, which helps to automate more processes.

Trisotech aces the integration segment of the evaluation criteria in an interesting way: By strictly using formal standards and methodologies, it makes that uber easy to integrate with other platforms. Models carry over directly from one application to another (in many cases).

Trisotech DES integrates with Microsoft Visio but no other integration information for other apps was offered up.

The major con was a lack of access controls and permissions, as well as no alert and notification functions. Buffing up these basic features would be an asset going forward.

Trisotech offers pricing upon request and has a free trial available.

  • 30 days free trial
  • Pricing upon request

3. iGrafx – Capture, communicate, improve and optimize business processes like HR, IT resources, performance tracking, and more.

iGrafx screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

Build business process charts with a simple and intuitive Microsoft-esc interface.

iGrafx is a business transformation software supporting RPA and workflow automation, customer journey, governance, risk, compliance, and more. It is designed to easily connects and synchronizes information between customer and process while also being scalable.

iGrafx excels in plotting what-if analysis of hypothetical or upcoming process changes. Process documentation is also intuitive and flexible once you have settled on a direction.

Internal apps can be purchased for integration, which includes Flowcharter, Process, and Process for Six Sigma.

iGrafx was dinged a bit for being feature/function-lite according to our evaluation process compared to some of its competitors, missing key items like document archiving, document indexing, electronic signature capabilities, offline access, et cetera.

iGrafx offers pricing upon request and has a 30-day free trial.

  • Pricing upon request

4. Novacura – Low-code platform to build, execute and optimize business processes and optimally run your business.

Novacura screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

The Novacura Flow graphical user interface visualizes processes pathways for users.

Novacura Flow is a business process management that connects to your ERP. It allows you to create low-code, business-logic-oriented applications and push them to users. It also has barcode scanning, notifications and inboxes, offline work options, and more.

Novacura Flow checked off a lot of boxes for features and functions options. They offer a range of tools that include connectors, workflows, drag and drop capabilities, Gantt charts, easy flow design, and multi-platform and browser compatibility.

Integrations include IFS Applications, Microsoft Office (like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project), and others.

As for the cons, the graphical user interface leaves much to be desired. Between that and some ease-of-use issues for newcomers, they lost a bit of ground in the UX and usability categories within the evaluation criteria.

Novacura Flow offers pricing upon request and does not offer a free trial.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $53/user/month

5. IBM Blueworks Live – Cloud-based software with a collaborative environment to improve business processes via process mapping.

IBM Blueworks Live screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

Drag-and-drop mapping lets you quickly reorder and generate a process map.

IBM Blueworks Live is a business solution for documenting, improving, and automating workflows. With it, you will have drag-and-drop process mapping, starter templates, embedded tutorials, real-time collaboration, a centralized business process repository, and more.

As far as usability goes, Blueworks meets and exceeds our evaluation criteria because of how simple and intuitive they make the deployment. It’s simple to get started with basic tasks, like capturing and building processes with the discovery map.

System-system integrations are possible via an extensive set of APIs through Blueworks. Use various REST APIs to get data from or push data to Blueworks Live for various integration opportunities.

One minor con is that Blueworks isn’t as adept at moving lines and connections for visualizations around as some other similar programs. More customizability (color of lines, placement of boxes) would also be an asset.

Blueworks Live starts at $53/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.

  • 30 days free trial
  • From $12/user/month

6. K2 Platform – Low-code development platform with BPMS workflow designer to make process applications through a drag-and-drop interface.

K2 Platform screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

The drag-and-drop designer lets users incorporate logic to manage different processes.

K2 helps you build sophisticated automation and workflows and lets you drag-and-drop to create workflows, gain real-time insight, use and reuse feature-rich forms, contains comprehensive security and governance features, and more.

K2 Platform has a pricing model that can’t be beaten on this list. Not only is it an extremely low cost to entry but they have their model listed clearly and concisely right on the website. No sales call needed. They also have scalability for when you outgrow your plan. They scored highly on the value for the dollar segment of the evaluation criteria.

K2 Platform integrates with many different platforms, depending on what you need, for example: TensorFlow, Microsoft Cognitive Services, UIPath, PowerBI, and more.

Installation and deployment caused some delays. A considerable con was the amount of time required to get it up-and-running and workable, much less get those involved trained up on what appears to be a steep learning curve.

K2 Platform starts at $12/user/month and has a 30-day free trial.

  • Pricing upon request

7. Oracle BPM Suite – Set of tools for creating, executing, and optimizing business processes.

Oracle BPM Suite screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

A business-friendly dashboard design with many visualizations, including KPI watchlist.

The Oracle BPM Suite facilitates collaboration between business and IT to automate and optimize business processes. It includes real-time metrics and predictive analytics, rapid process modeling and development, process documentation and reports, and more.

Per the evaluation criteria, having a robust list of features and functions is a must. Not only does Oracle BPM Suite have what I’ve called out (BPM database, visual workflow modeling, etc.) but it has above and beyond other software offerings.

Integrations are admittedly one of their weak points. If you want to incorporate legacy tools or project management apps, you may want to look elsewhere.

Oracle has been around for ages, which is great in terms of expertise. However, it means that the primary con to this suite is that it lacks modern UX, usability, and integration options that new or emerging tech tends to have from the get-go.

Oracle BPM Suite offers pricing upon request and does not offer a free trial.

  • From $25,000

8. OnBase by Hyland – Single platform for building content-enabled applications while complementing your other core business systems.

OnBase by Hyland screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

Create a business processes path, complete with drag-and-drop visuals.

OnBase, Hyland’s flagship product, is an enterprise information platform for all important business content. Features include tools to build content-enabled applications, low-code configuration, automates processes and content, real-time task status visibility, and more.

Onbase received high marks in both UX and usability thanks in part to their colorful, user-friendly web-based design. The layout is easy to navigate and the “Favorites” system means you can pin important items close-by.

Integrations options include PeopleSoft, SAP, Microsoft Office, Outlook, ESRI, Ellucian, Workday, Infor, and more.

A minor complaint is that it can take quite some time to load pages and input files. It’s a minor quality-of-life complaint, but the form recognition through the scanning feature doesn’t always work well.

OnBase starts at $25,000 as a one-time payment and has no free trial option.

  • From $17/user/month

9. SAP Business ByDesign – Intelligent cloud ERP software suite designed to navigate all business processes.

SAP Business ByDesign screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

Overview, worklists, news, self-service and reports all in one easy dashboard.

SAP Business ByDesign is an intelligent cloud ERP software designed to connect all functions across your company in a quick-to-implement package. Features include real-time analytics, CRM tools, human resource streamlining, project management, and more.

SAP is an enterprise BPM software with a robust list of features and functions, per the requirements in the evaluation criteria. What’s more, they are intuitive to find and employ. They include robust CRM, sales quotation program, extracting info and running reports, and more.

Integration options include DiCentral EDI Integrated Suite, Onlineshop, Snap International, ERP Logic, Paymate, Incloud Solutions, All4Cloud, BEX, Bradler, Dicentral, iService Globe, Wirecard, Suportis, and more per their Apps & APIs listing.

One con is that the data output, while easy and fast to obtain, is not that user-friendly. Therefore, use of Excel to treat the data for readability is recommended. This adds time to reporting and analysis.

SAP Business ByDesign starts at $17/user/month and does not have a free trial.

  • Free trial
  • Pricing upon request

10. Signavio – Capture, design, and improve your business processes and share insights with other collaborators.

Signavio screenshot - The Best BPM Tools & Process Analysis Tools To Try in 2020

Process modeling with innovative web technology and a focus on collaboration.

Signavio’s Process Manager uses intelligent process mining and innovative web technology to assist with ERP transformation initiatives within your business. The software also enables you to quickly share modeling feedback, reviews and comments across the Suite.

Signavio stands out per our evaluation criteria in that it has an above-and-beyond list of features, like model validation, value-chain modeling, a unified dictionary module, process mining, and is fully web-based, to name a few.

Integrations can be implemented via an API and using JavaScript. More third-party application integrations would be a welcomed addition.

The main con is that the UI looks a bit outdated and there is a bit of a high time commitment required to get the full benefit of the many features. Parts can be quite technical, so basic IT knowledge is a must.

Signavio offers pricing upon request and has a free trial available.

Other BPM Apps Options

Here’s a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for business process automation, check these out.

What Do You Think About These BPM Tools?

What list of business processes do you require your BPM app to cover? Do any of the above fit your qualifications? Is there another software you would pick instead? Let us know in the comments.

 

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Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedigitalprojectmanager.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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