Implementing BPM with Kanban

Business process management has been the standard for managing big companies for a long time now and there is probably no manager out there that hasn’t heard of it. BPM and BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) are quite common terms these days and there are multi-billion businesses deploying and benefiting from the concept and the tools available on the market. This article relates BPM to Kanban and suggests an implementation of a simple but effective process management with Kanbanize.

Let’s take a simple business process and explore how we could convert it into a Kanban board.

Sample BPM Process

Sample BPM Process

The obvious workflow here is to start from a new sales lead, then review sales lead, provide additional information if required and finally store it into a CRM system. What would be the alternative with Kanban?

Kanban BPM

Kanban BPM

As shown in the picture above, each step in a business process can be mapped to a column on the Kanban board. Each task on the Kanban board actually represents a new lead and when its status changes, it is moved to the corresponding column.

What is the benefit of using Kanban software instead of the traditional business process management tools?

First one is simplicity. You don’t need to understand BPMN and you don’t need consultants to help you model this workflow. Literally everyone can set up a Kanban board, being a technical person or not, which is obviously not the case with traditional BPM systems.

Second comes the visual management aspect. The Kanban board gives you the whole picture with just a glimpse and this is probably the most valuable part. You don’t have to dig into fat reports or explore complex software applications to figure out what is currently happening. It’s there – in front of your eyes and you can take action immediately.

Improved productivity is one of the greatest advantages of Kanban systems. Applying Work in Progress (WIP) limits to a particular column on your board allows you to control the amount of work that accumulates with time. If you only allow small portions of work to enter the system, you will be very fast to complete it and therefore your customers will be happy and rewarding. You can read more about WIP limits here.

Price is of course a major factor to consider. While a BPM system traditionally costs six or even seven digits in licenses (and that much for consulting), SaaS based Kanban software systems cost a couple of dollars per user/month and $0 for consulting.

In Kanbanize, you will find a sophisticated yet user-friendly business rules engine for automating your process. This allows is to accommodate any and all BPM processes without the unnecessary overhead. Find out about our runtime policies here.

Happy Kanbanizing!

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