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Trends in digital process management

Updated: May 27

In recent years, business process management (BPM) has taken off enormously. There are several trends in Business Process Management that are currently influencing the way organiSations approach process improvement and optimisation.

Business Process Management (BPM) is about continuously optimising processes so that they deliver more and faster value to the customer. Overall, the trends in BPM are focused on improving efficiency, reducing errors, and improving customer experience through the use of technology and data-driven decision-making.

Trend 1 - Emphasis on customer-oriented processes

Organisations are increasingly focusing on processes that directly affect customer experience and customer satisfaction. BPM is used to identify and streamline these processes, leading to a better customer experience.

This is a new insight for many organisations: organisational processes are (too) often described, in which the customer or citizen plays a marginal role. Anyone who does not put the customer at the center of the process misses the essence.

Ultimately, every process delivers value to the customer. So it is advisable to connect the customer process to the (organisational) process model.

It cannot be the case that the people who analyse and optimise the organisational processes are not in contact with the people who analyse and optimise the customer journeys. Unfortunately, this is still often the case in practice, with all the negative consequences that entails

Trend 2 - Agile and iterative approach

Agile methodologies are applied to BPM, enabling organisations to continuously improve processes and respond quickly to changing business needs.

So organisations that only focus on describing processes 'as is' do not get around to improving the processes and are certainly not able to respond adequately and in a timely manner to changes.

Trend 3 - AI for data-driven decision-making

BPM is increasingly becoming AI- and data-driven, with organisations using process data to make informed process improvement decisions using AI (artificial intelligence).

A huge amount of data goes around in processes: information is input and output for a process, but a lot of information is also processed in the process.

Information was too often an underdog in process analyses, leading to major problems in automation because only the process flow was properly described and not what information should come from where.

This means that data and business rules must be given an explicit role in the design of processes and process automation. Only then can the deployment of AI (artificial intelligence) come into its own. This is a huge step for many an organisation, but it delivers enormous benefits.

Trend 4 - Collaboration and communication

Collaboration and communication are essential for successful BPM. In digital transformation, organisations break down the silos and involve stakeholders from different departments in the process improvement process.

Breaking down the silos is pretty much the biggest challenge in digital transformation. BPM can help with this by starting from 'end-to-end' processes; these processes transcend the various functional departments of the organisation.

An 'end-to-end' process starts with the customer's need and ends when the customer has received a product or service with value. All actors in that process must be able to cooperate freely with each other and be able to further improve the process.

Trend 5 - Automation and digitisation of processes

Automation and digitisation are becoming increasingly important in BPM. Organisations are automating repetitive tasks and digitising paper processes, which not only improves efficiency but also reduces errors.

Thanks to web/micro services and 'low code' it is becoming increasingly easy to use generic 'process engines' for all kinds of 'vertical' business applications. The first steps in robotic process automation (RPA) have also contributed to more pragmatic forms of process automation.

Thanks to this technology, processes can be partially or completely reused in other processes. This requires a different (read: granular) way of thinking about processes.

And note: automating inefficient processes (by secrecy) only saves time and makes fewer mistakes. It does not contribute to the real optimisation of the process.

Trend 6 - Integration with other technologies

BPM integrates with other technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics to improve process efficiency and decision making.

RPA itself is a fairly simple technique of data scraping and scripting. The developments in artificial intelligence could make these types of (macro/scripting) tools superfluous.

It is currently unclear exactly how the market in RPA and process automation will develop. But it is almost certain that things will change.

I would also like to mention the first projects in which Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are used to support processes.

Trend 7 - Cloud-based BPM

Cloud-based BPM solutions are becoming more common, allowing organisations to access BPM tools and data from anywhere and on any device.

This is an important development that contributes to the 'democratisation' of BPM. Process information is becoming easier and more widely available in the organisation. This gives more professionals in the organisation the realisation that this information can really contribute positively to their work.

On the other hand, these professionals also place greater demands on the functionality, availability and user-friendliness of the tools and process information. That seems to me to be a very positive development.

Get to know the trends in BPM training

Do you want to know more about the role of BPM in digital transformation and the latest trends?

Erik Hartman will give a 4-day BPM training (in Dutch) on April 18,19 and 25,26. Here you get all the tools, methodologies and best practices to optimise the value and efficiency of your processes and then automate them.

The training is practical; from day one you work on your own case. On the fourth day, you will present the case based on everything you have learned. The following week you can immediately start working with this case in your organisation.

Register today! (10% discount with code 'NEWSLETTER-24').


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