Good Business Process Management Is Human-Centric

Person about to step on a banana peel.

Even the best business processes can’t account for every possibility.

Business process management is nearly ideal in principle. A good system of automated workflows can make up for many less-than-perfect human practices.

But even the most well-developed and tested business process management system in the world can’t operate on its own, devoid of human presence. And you can’t expect even a great process to work well if the people who interact with the system don’t care, are uninformed, or simply don’t know how to use the system.

Automated workflows only work when they represent a good fit with the people who use the workflows, and that varies from industry to industry, and from one company to the next within an industry. Good business process management puts people, and not processes, at the heart of the system.

We’re Good at System-to-System Interaction and Management

Humans have come up with some amazingly efficient system-to-system interaction processes. Think of how warehouses work, routing packages automatically and preparing them for shipment. Or consider the process of getting checked baggage onto an airplane. You don’t have to tell the check-in agent your flight number in order for them to print the right tag, tag your bag correctly, get it to the right carousel and onto the right plane (theoretically, at least).

But the human interactions that surround such processes matter equally as much. For example, what happens when an airline chooses to cancel a flight due to bad weather? The behind-the-scenes automated workflows must be modified, and they must be modified by humans.

People Aren’t Nodes in a Machine, However

While there is no question that automated workflows take efficiency to a much higher level, the fact is that any automated system cannot anticipate every problem or address every need without human interaction. Have you ever attempted valiantly to solve a customer service issue through automated channels only to eventually realize that the problem won’t get solved unless you actually talk to another person and explain what’s going on? There are some things that automated processes still can’t do. Maybe they won’t ever be able to do them. People are far more complex than even the most sophisticated business process management system.

Woman talking on the phone surrounded by towers of binders.

Rare is the process that can operate consistently and end-to-end without occasional human intervention.

Look for These BPM Features to Create a Good “Human Fit”

Good user fit should be a top priority when choosing a system of business process management to create and execute automated workflows. This requires workflow software with a user-friendly interface that is both powerful and flexible. The system that works for one business may not be a good user fit for another, even if the two businesses are very similar.

Workflow software should also handle change management competently. People change, markets change, products change, and technology changes, so there is no reason to think that the perfect workflow for today will still be perfect five years from now.

Additionally, your workflow software should support collaboration, both in its user interface and with the features you can build into your workflows. For example, you should be able to easily create workflows that automatically notify a workflow participant when their input is needed to minimize slow-downs and bottlenecks.

Your automated workflows should be scalable, and scalability depends heavily on the workflow software you choose. As your business grows, you should be able to modify workflows to accommodate higher volume and additional workflow users. And finally, your workflow software should demonstrate a strong return on investment. Business process management doesn’t matter much if it doesn’t produce ROI.

PerfectForms is workflow software designed so that workflow users can create and customize workflows to suit their exact needs. It is designed for collaboration among workflow users, is ready to scale and change with minimum disruption, and produces a fast and appreciable ROI. We invite you to read through some of our many PerfectForms case studies. See for yourself how business process management that puts people at the heart of the system makes a tremendous difference for businesses of all sizes, in a wide range of industries. Contact us to learn more.

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