Design the process in conjunction with the various process owners, to achieve agreement on a synchronised overall picture of who, how, what, etc.
Make life easier for your users
Excel is used in every business sector, and by the vast majority of departments in companies. It is a commonplace application, known to everyone, and easy to get to grips with.
Excel certainly does have certain strengths. Your company’s objective should therefore be to focus on using Excel for those strengths, and to curb its use in areas where it causes risk and inefficiency to your organisation. Managing processes in Excel is the perfect illustration of such an area.
01 THE PITFALLS
Managing processes with Excel : the wrong tool for the job
Excel can in theory be used for almost anything. We have all seen examples like the following:
« The Chief Executive asks to receive a complete annual budget file within a fortnight, and every department concerned has to provide its information. The first person in the process sets up an Excel file as they see fit, with tabs for each department. They fill in the tab for their department with help from their colleagues, and email it to the manager of the next department concerned, who will fill it in, change the version number and send it to the next one, and so on. At the end of the process, the Excel file goes back to the creator or a management assistant who sends it to the CEO. »
But in reality, no process ever follows the smooth pathway planned for it!
There are many pitfalls, and it is essential to identify
the risks and limitations of using Excel as the core element of such processes :
Meeting deadlines is extremely difficult without a structured process and a warning mechanism.
Unopened inboxes, overlooked emails, lack of a complete picture over all stages, etc.
Tension between departments
Warnings and pressure to track the stages in a process arise between various stakeholders, instead of being unbiased.
Reminders, questions and accusations, tension between teams, etc.
Many tasks of no added-value exist, required fields that are rarely used, manual sending of files, and so on.
Wasted time and lost productivity are the inevitable outcome.
Poor data quality
Checks on data entered are best handled by macros. There will always be mistakes, poor data, design standards not met, fields left empty, errors in formulae, and so forth.
Access permissions are difficult to manage, files lack security and there is no audit trail. Data can be deleted by mistake.
Files can even be sent outside the company.
02METHODS AND SOLUTIONS
Best practices and methods in using BPM software to digitalise your processes ?
Excel must be dropped altogether from any data consolidation and sharing stages to successfully digitalise and optimise your processes. It is entirely possible to revert to Excel at the end of a process to keep its functionality and associated advantages, but all intermediate steps and data entry must be carried out in a user interface using properly designed forms under a BPM (Business Process Management) approach.
Build the process in the BPM system and generate the various data entry screens and forms.
Integrate the process into the information system to consolidate data.
In practical term, digitalisation of a process using a BPM system should enable :
- Automatic information sent to relevant individuals on process progress, plus warning mechanisms
- Easy data entry: lists of values from the information system, pre-filled field, etc.
- Advanced checks and ratification of data entered: type, ranges of values, etc.
- User-friendly and collaborative features: saving draft versions, comments, requests for additional information, etc.
- Data consolidation within the IS and the retrieval of open data
- Complete process security both internally and as regards controlled access by the outside world (from partners, suppliers, customers, etc.)
- Mobility in undertaking actions, whether for display or input purposes
03THE BLUEWAY SOLUTION
Blueway’s BPM solution
to serve the digitalisation of your processes
Blueway offers a flexible and upgradeable business process management (BPM) system, ideally suited to maximising the efficiency of your existing processes within very short time frames. Interchanges are orchestrated by an ESB application bus, which ensures processes truly form part of your information systems and manages the use of external data.
You achieve optimised business processes through greater automation and the presentation of data on screens that are totally Web designed. Our BPM software delivers a 360° view of processes in real time, covering how they are running, wait times, and any functional or technical problems encountered.
An extensive supervision toolkit provides real-time notifications and monitoring of critical processes to track your KPIs and simulate various scenarios when dealing with a process warning.
Over and above Business Process Management, the Blueway integrated platform is one of the most comprehensive integration platforms available on the market. It includes BPM (Business Process Management), MDM (Master Data Management), ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) and API Management.
Process quality and compliance
Checks and ratifications, notifications and warnings, traceability, etc.
Augmented, smart process
Data entry help, enrichment, comparisons, correlations, etc.
Upgradeable and designed to last
Lists always up-to-date, flexibility, etc.
Serving the organisation
Two-way connectivity, integration within the extended enterprise
DTP of data in the desired format (Excel, PDF, Word, etc.)