Signavio Process Manager Review

Good integration of process modeling, collaboration and automation

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is to raise process maturity in this UK government agency. The organisation is a 'trading fund' which has both publicly funded and commercial produces and services.

We began, in 2016, with a very low level of process maturity. Some inconsistent and non-standard policies and procedures had been published on the corporate intranet. There were no BPMN 2.0 workflow models or process architecture to any industry-standard; mainly models produced in Microsoft Visio or PowerPoint.

We needed to raise awareness of the value of effective business process management, document processes consistently and promote process performance management across the process governance roles prior to moving into process improvement and automation.

One if the biggest drivers for this was our ISO 9001:2015 certification which is a contractual requirement for some of our biggest customers.

So we are looking for the solution to help raise our process maturity from a zero base through: awareness of the value of process management, understanding what we do and proactive performance management of cross-functional processes - to help break the silos and shine a light on the pockets of activity that are not aligned with business strategy.

How has it helped my organization?

We didn't want a solution that produced a static diagram such as is produced by Visio, we didn't want process models to be something that sat on a shelf and were never looked at. With this solution, the models are living: stakeholders can go to them for reference or comment. The whole process architecture can be navigated by drilling-down or following lateral links. Documentation and custom fields can be linked with and displayed in the models.

We are still on a journey with the adoption, but we have some users outside of the core team in functional areas that we have trained to be modelers and they are happily using it.

Signavio has also awoken the organization to the reality of cloud adoption and the deployment of managed SaaS solutions.

An example of how this solution has improved our organization is the modeling of baseline and target processes and architecture for our HR department.  HR are implementing a new IT application (Ciphr). We approached the project with the recommendation to model their baseline processes prior to looking for an IT solution. This enabled them to do 3 key things:

1. Have a legitimate cost and resource baseline for benefits tracking

2. Enable the identification of 'change impacts' on functions, roles, processes, and other process model elements.

3. Provide a basis for 'what if' simulation of target models prior to deployment. 

When the IT vendor arrived to run configuration workshops, HR had the majority of the information they required at their fingertips. This made it easier than it would have been otherwise and now HR recognizes the benefits of using this approach.

Although it was difficult to convince them upfront of the benefits,  HR are advocates for this approach and the Signavio solution.

I would say that this solution gives everyone in our organization everything that they need to effectively manage their processes.

It has helped us introduce process thinking and most people have embraced it. I think that it will help the careers of managers because they can now visualize and understand their processes and how they link upstream and downstream. 

What is most valuable?

The model validation is valuable because many different people model in different ways to different standards. We have enhanced this by using the Workflow Accelerator functionality to deploy model approval workflows.

The Collaboration Hub allows us to share the models that we've captured and to get comments back, and we don't have to all be in the same room at the same time to do this.  Stakeholders can use their personal devices (even mobile phones) to collaborate and progress workflows.

We are using the simulation capability in Process Manager to accurately model how much things cost and how long they take at present. This enables us to simulate new designs safely at low cost prior to any significant investment in deploying new processes. 

The simulations will allow you to model where you are now, where you think you want to be, and check that it's going to work. 

This solution is very intuitive.

The integration of the Process Manager, Collaboration Hub, and Workflow Accelerator works very well. Now that the organisations process maturity has increased, we are looking at purchasing the Process Intelligence module to allow us to more easily measure and understand our current processes for LEAN six sigma process improvement projects.

What needs improvement?

We've seem previews of the new 'Velocity Edition' which is the latest release and we are looking forward to deploying the process performance dashboards in the Collaboration Hub.

The solution can enable us to carry out the entire process improvement life cycle from a central hub. We use the Lean Six Sigma methodology for improving processes, but there isn't specific functionality in the solution, at present, to support this. More support for process improvement methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma would be good.

We are trying to get help to up-skill our modelers and show us how to use it fully.

I have worked in many different organisations and have always had a vision of trying to improve processes and having a solution like this that ticks all of the boxes.

For how long have I used the solution?

3 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable, the only issues we have had are on our side and not with Signavio.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. We started quite small and we are still small in the number of users, but Signavio is over-provisioning us. We are gradually ramping it up as time goes on.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is excellent. They cheerfully guide our own internal support team to resolve issues that lie with us rather than with Signavio's solution.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used IBM Blueworks Live in this organisation and I have used it in other organisations previously.

We switched because we found that the Blueworks interface was inflexible and often produced messy and very limited models.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was easy and fast. 

It is browser-based and cloud-hosted.

What about the implementation team?

The deployment was done with Signavio.

What was our ROI?

This solution has helped us save time. We have done some studies in simulations where we've contrasted where we were before and where we are now - contrasting the previous unwieldy process models with the new optimised ones with fewer tasks, roles, lower costs and higher quality and speed.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Signavio is about the same price or cheaper compared to IBM Blueworks Live. The Collaboration Hub is an annual cost and enables 1,000 users to navigate published content without the need for a license (you can configure it to certain email or network scopes).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I had not come across Signavio until we undertook an extensive requirements gathering, market research and tender project. Signavio was 'head and shoulders' above the other 40 solutions we evaluated and is also one of the most inexpensive. 

Appian was another solution that was evaluated, but they are very expensive. It's a multi-hundred thousand-pound solution. Signavio is easier to get into and to build up.

There was one other good solution, Orbus, but it's not a cloud solution. It was an on-premises service solution.

Some other solutions could do what we wanted but are very complex and so large that you don't know where to start. Other ones such as IBM Blueworks Live is simple to use but it's limited in terms of the flexibility.

We chose Signavio because it is intuitive, very comprehensive, relatively inexpensive and is a SaaS solution.  It's a very good balance of the most important requirements.

What other advice do I have?

Our head office looks highly professional - it is modern architecture of metal and glass - it looks impressive - so you would expect the processes that go on within it to be super-slick. We are getting there now.

When I joined the organization in 2016, it took weeks to get a laptop issued for a new starter. We still have a lot of work to do to model processes and manage them properly.

We don't use the process intelligence function at the moment, but I think that we need to. We will be speaking with Signavio later today. We are interested in process intelligence, but we don't have it yet.

My advice would be to engage with Signavio. Get them to help understand what the issues are, particular issues for the organization. They are quite good at guiding you to what the best products are to use and how to use them.

Start simple and build on it.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?


Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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