1. leader badge
    The Camunda BPMN Platform is very flexible and gives several options to deploy and scale it.I like everything about the entire BPM that comes with the BPM suite.
  2. leader badge
    In my opinion, the most valuable feature is the editor and its ease of use, and when people are looking at it, they can make comments about changes that need to be made.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about Camunda, Signavio, Pega and others in Business Process Management. Updated: April 2021.
    476,892 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  4. leader badge
    It is quite configurable, which is the most exciting feature. We can easily configure it as per our needs. It's a good tool for workflow automation.
  5. leader badge
    I like the ease of use and the fact that you can download and use their free version, which is unlimited. However, while it's unlimited use, some features aren't available.
  6. It provides us with real-time data on all connected systems in terms of how they're integrated with each other and how they are performing in a workflow manner.
  7. IBM BPM is both scalable and stable. This is one of the best tools to support the business and the way we work, and the numerous processes we need to implement.
  8. report
    Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Business Process Management solutions are best for your needs.
    476,892 professionals have used our research since 2012.
  9. The ease of use is the most valuable. I have tried a number of BPMN packages, and I find the user interface of ARIS BPM easier and more intuitive than others. If your team is knowledgeable on BPMN, it is really pretty easy to figure out on your own because it adheres to the standards extremely well. I have tried Bizagi, BizFlow, and a variety of such solutions, and I just liked ARIS BPM better.
  10. I like the UI rework, it's much easier.The best part of Airflow is its direct support for Python, especially because Python is so important for data science, engineering, and design. This makes the programmatic aspect of our work easy for us, and it means we can automate a lot.

Advice From The Community

Read answers to top Business Process Management questions. 476,892 professionals have gotten help from our community of experts.
Tuslim Mohaungoo
Hello All,  I am looking for a BPM tool and I would like to know what are the best alternatives for Signavio? Thanks Best Regards Tuslim
author avatarArt Hebbeler, PMP
Consultant

Hi Tuslim




As a recovering low-code skeptic, I have looked at a lot of the options out there. You can find details, comparisons, reviews, and more here on IT Central. 



Personally, for my work internally and with clients, I am a huge fan of Bizagi. The cost to model, develop, and test is just in manpower. The tools are free. Costs come in when you move to production. My current client is on-prem, but there is also a cloud option. TCO is favorable compared to others in the top-right quadrent of Gartner or top right of the Forrester wave. 




Officially,  I am on holiday, so I will keep this short until my return, lest The Boss sees me work g when I am supposed to be relaxing :) 





Cordially, 


Arr





author avatarArt Hebbeler, PMP
Consultant

It really depends on what your ultimate goal is. Are you looking for a tool for doing only modeling or one that you can leverage into a starting point for intelligent process automation? What do you dislike about Signavio? What do you like? 

I'm happy to help, but the more you can share, the better the recommendations from others here on IT Central will be.

author avatarreviewer1278369 (Consultant at a engineering company with 11-50 employees)
Consultant

Hello


Yes it really does depend on what you are trying to do. For just process modelling you could look at IBM Blueworks Live.


But if you want to export BPMN models to other non IBM tools then you will hit the Achilles heel of Blueworks Live. This is an area where I think Signavio does well.

author avatarAndré Sutter
Real User

We are very happy with Signavio and the end-user acceptance is high. But depending on your goal other options could be alternative, e.g. Adonis.

author avatarSekhar Ramarao
MSP

Hi Tuslim,


Check out AuraQuantic BPM. We at Intertec Systems work with them for the last 4 years on several implementations from 5 users to 1000 internal users. It gives a good mix of BPM that can manage complex processes and DMS capabilities.



Regards


Nikhil 

author avatarKevinO'Rourke
Integrator

I must admit I am a bit biased but QualiWare is the tool that you are looking for. Whether for just business process management (using any number of notations including BPMN), to add risk management with controls, or as a full-blown Enterprise Architecture tool that can feed a process engine. OOTB QualiWare implemented on-premise, in a private cloud or SaaS gives you all of the functionality that you will ever need. BPM and EA tools can help drive business transformation, organizational change, and corporate agility so they need to enable two-way engagement with the whole business, not just within IT. A key value driver for QualiWare is that content consumers don't need to know the software - just need to be able to use a web browser to access, analyze and update process/repository content (driven by a full OOTB governance workflow engine). We have been doing this with great success for over 10 years using QualiWare for clients of all sizes (100 -100,000 staff). https://www.closereach.ca 

author avatarUday Shankar Tummala
Real User

What is your primary usecase to introduce BPM tool into your organization?

author avatarJulio Falcón
Real User

Hi @Tuslim, did you try https://www.creatio.com/studio, there were a lot of recommendations, also is much just like BPM, is Low Code, you can develop almost any app using it. And if you just want to design and document BPM process you can use Studio free a very useful tool to enable your teams document your process in the cloud see it on https://www.creatio.com/studio...

Rony_Sklar
Done right, business process management can help improve processes and increase efficiency. But business process management isn't always successful. What are some of the most common reasons that BPM fails?
author avatarSherif Ibrahim
User

It's all about the business case and how it is assessed by the field consultants and specialists before the implementation and even before choosing the vendor. It needs a deep understanding of the need and choosing the best tool/vendor that can fulfil the specific need. Another thing, BPM is a kind of software, needs culture management/change management which could be achieved by few specialists or "Center of Excellence" in some organization. It may take some time but it can only succeed gradually.

author avatarArt Hebbeler, PMP
Consultant

BPM seems to fail most often when it is being done because someone in leadership has read a book (or more likely,an article) and thinks it is the silver bullet to making more money for the business, rather than an investment in long term improvement of the organization. BPM in and of itself is but one of a gazillion tools businesses can use to improve efficiency, increase production/output, improve the bottom line. It is not a "quick and dirty" way to justify personnel reductions nor will it result in real change unless undertaken with the understanding that change is going to be necessary, and just because "we've always done it that way," how things are being done are going to stay that way.


However the biggest source of failure is when leadership wants process improvement, then says, "We have all these exceptions that we allow (although not necessarily permitted by rules or official policy or a good thing to do, anyway) that the process has to allow us to keep."

author avatarAdrian Koepe
User

One or more of below listed option(s) could lead to a failure:

1. Lack of understanding / abstractness


2. Unable to define / determinate the bounderies of services / process steps


3. Unable to decouple the execution and management of the involved process steps


4. Afraid to try something else with evtl. no direct measured benefit


5. Rigid environment (incl. planning)
 

author avatarKevinO'Rourke
Integrator

In our experience, BPM initiatives fail for two key reasons, firstly lack of a business champion - IT might think it's a good idea or a hot topic but without business buy-in and a C-level (or equivalent) champion you are on the road to oblivion. The second reason is lack of funding - it is more than just buying, configuring and using a tool. The tool is an enabler - you also need resources and funding to drive organizational change which is what BPM is all about. In the near term, you need MORE business/process analysts, architects, and OCM specialists to work with those already in place that are busy sustaining the business. BPM projects frequently fail because many think that just giving a new shiny tool to people doing the work now is enough. You might get some incremental change from those that can spare a few minutes from their regular job to start using the tool but that is NOT the way to get change/success at a scale that is going to propel an organization to new levels of performance or success.      

Kasinee Boonyanant
I am looking for a comparison of reasonably priced BPMN tools based on ease of use. Any recommendations?
author avatarScott Francis
Real User

I don't have a great ease-of-use comparison, but let me give you a few thoughts that are a bit easier to read than some of the below: 


1. BPMN.io - simple open source package for modeling BPMN processes.  Many BPMN modelers are based on the same interaction paradigm here, so you can decide if you like it or not - and if you do, there are lots of choices - bizagi, signavio, cawemo, and probably others that I apologize for not thinking of here. 


2. blueworks live - this is an offering from ibm that has a few modes of diagramming (process mapping, and process diagramming) - you can quickly outline your ideas, and turn it into a BPMN diagram. The main fun benefit of it is having multiple simultaneous editors, and that it can produce good documentation from the data you put into it. There's some magic in showing a diagram to a room, and having someone else (or two or three someones) adding to it while you discuss it so that it evolves in real time. 


3. iGrafx - the professional's tool for modeling processes.  Again, I don't have experience with using it in a collaborative mode, but in single user mode I doubt there is any tool that has more features and functions than iGrafx. 


I prefer something like BPMN.io when i'm working on my own to create something black-and-white and print-ready and clean. I prefer blueworks live when i need to collaborate with others on a diagram and the meaning of it. And while I've used lots of other tools on my own, I haven't had the chance to collaborate as I have with blueworks live so I can't judge on that basis. 



Good news, lots of choices :) Almost all of them should offer a free trial! 


author avatarMark McGregor
Real User

@Rony_Sklar ​Thanks. As I said in my original post without knowing the purpose it is not possible to know what questions to ask, for example;


1. If you are not automating then integration with automation is irrelevant.


2. If you are only looking to draw pictures then modeling capabilities are not important


3. If you are working alone then team capabilities are not likely to be in focus.


4. If you are not seeking to share then publishing and online viewing may not matter.


5. If you are only documenting than analysis and simulation may be irrelevant.


6. If you are only drawing single processes then a repository-based tool may not have value.


7. If only doing something simple then commercially supported may not be needed.


8. If only for yourself you may not require decent reporting capabilities.


However, if more than one or two of the above may be needed then I suggest being cautious of FREE, it may seem attractive at first, but the cost of switching when you hot limits can be worse than taking the time to invest in the right tool in the first place. Often people forget that all tools are cheap when compared to the time and effort that goes into creating useful results.


Lastly, ask yourself is BPMN alone enough to provide a complete answer or present your goals. You may find that in addition to BPMN you may want to use DMN, Customer Journey Mapping, Business Capability Modelling, etc. in order to derive and drive a complete picture or solution.

author avatarArt Hebbeler, PMP
Consultant

This is a common question. If you are seeking a tool which is BPMN 2.0-compliant and can easily move you from model to developed process application, I certainly would recommend Bizagi Modeler (www.Bizagi.com). It is free, and the development tool, Bizagi Studio, is also free to use. Costs only come into the picture when you move to production (you can test for free with up to 20 users) for the Bizagi Automation Server/Services (on prem or cloud).


I have been using Bizagai for a major digital transformation project with a state government client for about 3 year now and we have been impressed with its ease of use and speed of modeling/development.

author avatarAntony Craven (Refinitiv)
Vendor

BPMN modelling tools are usually ok. However, the phrase 'BPMN compliance' means many different things across these toolsets. So if you are fully bought in to the approach and wish to build business process models that adhere to the spirit and stick to the engineering discipline from APQC principles then you would need to go for something that enforces not only the notation but good design.


Examples of where the different interpretation allows for loose compliance - subroutines and linked processes, collaboration diagrams, validation, plus many more. So a tool that advertises low code, microservice, workflow (too generic a term in this instance) will not give you the functions and capability for you to model BPMN. 


The other challenge is that if you do want to move to orchestrating business process models as end-to-end executables then you need to have more scrutiny over the tool. A key guiding design principle is that the business process model should be system agnostic and no strategic parts - data model or infrastructure - should be built into the BPMS. The only tools and components within the BPMS should ALL be about getting the process from start to end and should not persist as business data. 


An integrated tool that compromises BPMN is next to useless and will send you down dead ends where the only solution is to tightly couple your underlying strategic architecture to the BPMS. This is fatal and simply builds in yet-another-system that will inevitably become a legacy system. So another key crtiteria is the portability of the models either by using the standard file protocols (.bpmn files or variants like xml) or having tools available to migrate. 


All in all it depends on your requirements - if you simply want good modelling tools the cheaper end are good. But if you want sophistication and to be able to move to orchestration then you need to apply rigourous criteria to both the modelling and orchestration tools. If you want enterprise level with the adoption of BPMN across an organisation then there are no shortcuts and only the enterprise level tools are appropriate, examples being ARIS (SAP), Oracle, TIBCO, IBM. 


author avatarMark McGregor
Real User

There is not a simple answer to your question. There are many free BPMN tools out in the market, people like BizAgi have offered one for years. But the key question is around what the purpose of having a tool is. Are you simply looking to create BPMN diagrams as you would in Vision or Lucidchart? or are you seeking to actually model processes and create more of a process architecture? In which case you are seeking professional modeling tools. These can be low cost or community based like BOC or Axellience, giving you a very easy way to test the tools with low-cost commercial options. Then you have more expensive but more featured tools like Signavio, Software AG, and iGrafx. Lastly, if you are looking at process as part of a broader Enterprise Architecture initiative then spending more but getting the right tool could be important, in this case an example would be BiZZdesign.


Please don't rush to buy based on low-cost, look harder at the use cases and the value of your efforts. I can't believe that if you are saving or making large sums that the cost of any tool is an issue. On the other hand, if you are not sure what the value of the effort is, then the cost of any tool is too high.

author avatarLinda Namayanja
Real User

An Enterprise Service Bus is a software architecture, set of software tools, software,


and a communication medium or carrier. Together these ESB components control


the movement of data between computers. Applications in an ESB‐supported IT


architecture can communicate by tying into the communications carrier (network)


part of the ESB, which serves as a message broker between the various applications


in the company that use the ESB. Each computer on the ESB is a separate node on


the network. Each has a separate unique address on the network. The applications


using the ESB will define the places or nodes that will receive the message or


request and then assign the right address or addresses to the message. All nodes on


the network constantly monitor or listen to the traffic on the network, waiting for a


message with their address. When heard, the node accepts the message and sends it


through the EAI adaptor to the application. The adaptor converts the format of the


message so it can be accepted by the application. The reverse is true for messages


being sent by an application.


The ESB software tools thus sit between the applications and work with the


Enterprise Application Interface (EAI) software, allowing legacy or any other


applications to communicate over the ESB in a standard format.


When used with an SOA open‐messaging approach, information can be broadcast


over the network for all applications on the ESB to hear and use. These messages


will be in a common SOA form so they can be easily consumed by the EAI adaptor. In


this way, information can be easily sent to several applications at one time, without


a need to build separate interface programs between each of the applications. This


eliminates the need for much of the point‐to‐point or application‐to‐application


communication connections (interfaces) that exist today.


This simplification of interfaces and the reduction in the number of interfaces


between applications reduces the risk of change, cost of change, and the time it


takes for a change to an application.


Enterprise Service Buses normally work well with BPMSs and are, in fact, part of


some BPMSs such as the IBM WebSphere and TIBCO suites

author avatarreviewer1278369 (Consultant at a engineering company with 11-50 employees)
Consultant

Depends on what you want to do with BPMN, but since you say reasonably priced I would say have a look at Camunda, Flowable, Alfresco Activiti and JBPM.


These Companies all have open source options so you can try them out before you buy.


By the way are you looking to just document BPM models to give you a good visual representation of your business processes or are you looking to also orchestrate your business activity to give you an end to end workflow execution, based directly on your documented business process models?


Bizagi also comes into the picture of reasonably priced software tool, but I do not have much experience of it.



If price was not an issue then you could look at some of the higher priced and richer feature BPMN modelling tools like Signavio, IBM Blueworks etc. These guys offer more features  for multiple teams collaboratively working modelling business processes. But you will need to do your homework carefully, because some of these so called enterprise BPMN tools still do not support the spirit of open BPMN standards and you can quite easily find yourself being locked into a particular vendor or system.




author avatarLinda Namayanja
Real User

I would recommend BIZAGI process modeler

ValeryTezo
What is the difference between ERP and BPMS Tools? On which elements can we rely to decide if we used an ERP (Like Odoo) or a BPMS tool (e.g. Camunda, BONITA) to develop an application? Thank you for your response.
author avatarArt Hebbeler, PMP
Consultant

This is great question, and one that is rarely asked and even more rarely understood. ERP and BPM are two very different things, although there are some common elements.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a type of software that provides users access to a suite of applications. These modules are built with major business functions in mind, such as human resources, accounting, inventory management and others. The core feature of an ERP system is its ability to store and pull data from a common database, allowing for a single source of truth.


For Business Process Management (BPM) software, it’s helpful to understand BPM as a discipline. BPM is comprised of the strategies and techniques used to understand, improve and automate business processes. BPM sees processes as resources in themselves and seeks to improve them.


Enterprise BPM software, therefore, works to organize, manage and automate an organization’s business processes. This system achieves this by providing users with a process modelling tool to design and edit workflows. Process modelling allows users to include process descriptions to inform the audience with exactly what happens during the process.


Many companies and practitioners suggest that business digital transformation can be done by taking an ERP and manipulating its applications with custom code to match the business processes, or force the business to change processes to fit the software. That can be as big a challenge, or even bigger, than designing a system from the ground up. ERP are very good at managing and data views. BPM are good at process definition and application development (if coupled with an application development tool like Bizagi, Appian, Bonita, et al), but need additional tools (BI, for instance) to provide detailed insight. 


Long answer to say they are both different tools in your digital transformation process, and can be complementary to one another.

author avatarBPMexp67
Real User

In my opinion, that is the main difference.


ERP offers a standard commercial application in different areas, such as financial, commercial, production, inventory management, etc., depending on the ERP modules and the company's needs.


BPMS offers a development platform more oriented to business flows, being certain that there are some BPMS in the market that allow the development of business modules that ERP also offers.


The ideal solution should combine the two, use BPMS as a management layer for business flows and, in each workflow activity, invoke the module or functionality that ERP can provide.


The advantage of having a process management layer independent of the business functionalities is the dynamics and easier adaptation to the changes required by the business, while the business flows incorporated in the ERP itself make these adaptations much heavier, generally hard-coded, in addition to additional costs whenever a new version is implemented.


From a business perspective, a combination of two solutions allows to create the foundations so that the company remains more easily competitive, through process management, more efficient and more visionary, while the implementation of just an ERP is a kind of marriage for life, creating many difficulties of divorce even when the marriage no longer works.

author avatarAlan Zimmerman
User

I agree with Art's answer. ERP systems are more about managing and tying-together the data, as opposed to executing a process per se. BPM (now often called Digital Process Automation--DPA--just to add to the confusion) is all about defining and executing the process. If you have a help desk process or product fulfillment request, you wouldn't do those in an ERP. You'd do those in a BPM/DPA system. The data from those systems may well get sent to the ERP for tracking and analysis. I hope this helps.

author avatarGene Hammons, MBA
MSP

So ERP is transactional software. A Purchase Order(PO) is issued, a widget is sold on a Sales Order(SO), incoming raw materials are received - each transaction is recorded at the point of activity, purchasing issues the PO, Sales enters the SO, the receiving dock scans in shipments and indicates where' they're put away. 


ERP follows the business process but does not normally dictate it. 


BPM is a tool to design, streamline, measure, and create business processes. You might use BPM software to design how you wanted your business processes to work and how the ERP would interact at key areas to capture the actual flow. 


Oddo is an open source ERP, which lets you construct your own ERP. Most companies do cost analysis to determine how much ERP will save in efficiencies or enhance in revenues, and given the impact can be significant, building out an Oddo instance for a year or two is huge money wasted down the drain. Of course if you have no idea how much ERP can benefit your organization, no one really notices hidden costs piling up. Plus when you finish an Oddo implementation, you have a really nice v1.0 design come to life, while everyone else is using v18 with 20 years of live experience, input from hundreds of customers, and hundreds of thousands of man-days development behind the product. 


You might want to look at naologic - they're doing an Oddo sized ERP that I think is a big improvement - but I've not put any clients on it yet. More tips on selecting ERP at ProfitFromERP.com if you are interested. 

Rony_Sklar
When phasing in BPM software, which processes should a business start with to make the highest impact?
author avatarAmitChauhan
Real User

Your question leads me to another question: which business problem do you want to manage now? An organization is a collection of processes. You can not pick all or any process based on the preference. Business Processes are categorized as Management, Core, and Support Processes. An end to end cross-functional process involves the combination of these three types of processes. For every end to end process, we set the target. Each E2E process is assessed as Target Vs Actual.  In case the Actual is not meeting the target, it qualifies for "Response" i.e. improvement. 





author avatarAdrian Koepe
User

Hi,


depends on the requirements and process itself. I agree previous answers, but a a small checklist of things to be checked is always good:


- is my process more like a flow-chart? all states are well defined within the process and they are also predicted.  The transition is static.


- is my process more like a state-machine? all states are defined as well as their transitions in form of rules - rule engine perhaps - and the process states are defined but rather not predictable.


Based on these 2 question you known what kind of BPMN we will need and how complex it will be to improve your process with a BPMN framework / software.


Now back to your question, the highest impact will be there where the process can be improved by reducing the user interaction, redundant / overhead in system integration / communication and/or orchestrating complex/different system API interaction.

author avatarArt Hebbeler, PMP
Consultant

Whether or not BPM software is used, there are basically no processes that can't benefit from improvement. That said, begin by looking at processes where folks frequently say "But we have always done it that way." That has been a key sign of a process ripe from innovation. Also consider processes that require someone up the organizational change to review before the next step can take place. Many times, those reviews are not necessary when the process can be improved by adding validations and rules to the input earlier in the process.


Start small, but with a key process (leave/time off requests, for example). Build quickly, deploy quickly, then scale.

author avatarAndres Murillo
Real User

We started with customer-facing processes in order to reduce acquisition friction and improve customer experience.

author avatarLinda Namayanja
Real User

First of all, before you introduce a BPM software, it is very important to understand your current business processes and how activities are done. So look through your processes, you can choose to start small and simple. Pick out a process that is simple &small and introduce the BPM software before you roll out to the whole organization-it can be your pilot study.


Secondly, look out for processes that are relevant to your organization and bring value to your business and consider introducing BPM software to improve and make them more efficient. This will also enable you to identify those processes that are redundant and you need to get rid of. Remain with only those that are relevant to your organization's goals.


Thirdly, look at processes that involve a number of people, so collaboration and task assignment benefits from software support.


Finally, lookout also for processes that have repetitive activities and tasks, these are also a good choice for automation.


Some practical examples of processes I can think of include; HR process i.e. hiring and on-boarding of new staff process, finance process i.e. customer invoicing, management process i.e. approvals.

author avatarAnkit Jain
MSP

The processes which involve Routing/delegating work different users. Also where there are many sub processes/external ApI calls/assignments in an end to end process. BPM tools are build for change and reusabilty of smaller sub-processes. 

See more Business Process Management questions »

What is Business Process Management?

Business process management (BPM) is an area where IT and business (theoretically) work together to make an organization’s workflows more effective and efficient. BPM has become more prominent in recent years as organizations have expanded and grown more complex – creating a need for managers to build coherent process workflows that touch multiple systems. BPM software brings it all together, enabling business analysts to collaborate with IT and orchestrate business process steps that invoke different underlying systems.

BPM is one of those concepts that sounds great, and has truly strong potential but is notoriously hard to implement well. As a result, members of IT Central Station emphasize usability as a key selection factor when deciding which BPM solution to buy. Users want fast results and easy deployment from BPM tools. On the end user front, powerful wizards, for example, can streamline workflow design and automation processes. The best BPM tools provide mechanisms for capturing business processes. This minimizes the repetitive, error-prone process of transposing business analysts’ observations into BPM requirements.

On the back end, admins and architects want the ability to integrate with other systems like SAP, Oracle and so forth. BPM platforms have to be flexible, modeling business processes transversely to all areas of a company. The toolset should ideally accept multiple data types and offer rules-based decision workflow capabilities. There should be logical modeling and embedded programming within BPM libraries. Task components ought to be reusable for the sake of efficiency.

Some users express a desire for BPM software packages to support Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), a standard for the graphical representation for describing business processes. Specifically, IT Central Station members expect a BPM suite to support BPMN 2.0, the latest version, from modeling through execution. In the best case scenario, the tool won’t create extra work for developers. Users like real java-like hooks into development of the business process model to help developers easily build integrations. Members prefer BPM that doesn't use any type of  proprietary scripting language.

Find out what your peers are saying about Camunda, Signavio, Pega and others in Business Process Management. Updated: April 2021.
476,892 professionals have used our research since 2012.