In my previous post I’ve pointed out why mobile BPM can revolutionize process management and in which industries it is particularly useful today. Now, let’s take another angle on that subject and see what kind of qualities mobile BPM applications should have.
The purchase of applications allowing to gain remote access to company’s documents and business processes makes sense only when users will actually be willing to use it. There’s nothing more irritating than software that’s crude, slow and defective. Then instead of making things easier, it will only frustrate its users. Therefore there are a few things that you should consider before choosing your mobile BPM application:
- Interface – it has to be simple and intuitive. Smartphones’ screens demand limited amount of options available, placed in well-considered order. For instance in a way that would prevent a person with big thumbs to click “accept” instead of “reject” an invoice worth $5000…
- Simplicity – one of the biggest advantages of mobile BPM apps is that they save time. Therefore all activities performed on a mobile device should be doable quickly and easily. If the application you consider force you to get through 10 transition screens before you can finish your task – don’t buy it!
- Availability – all right, you’ve picked a nice and simple app… too bad it’s only on BlackBerry owned by 15 out of 200 employees of your company. In a process of choosing mobile software you have to consider what kind of support if offers. Ideally it should be available on Android (68% market share in 2012), iOS (19%) and Windows Phone (only 3% for now, but experts say it will grow to 12% in next couple of years). This way you ensure the vast majority of your employees will be able to use software you chose without buying new hardware. It is especially important if your company supports a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy.
- Functionality – a good application should primarily do its job. Sure, an built-in mp3 player would be a nice (however redundant) addition, but e.g. a possibility do delegate tasks to someone else while being out of office is exactly what your employees will expect from mobile BPM app. You have to make sure that the solution you buy is capable of handling series of day-to-day tasks that can be performed remotely.
- Security – being able to do day-to-day tasks remotely is all right, but at the same time you have to be able to draw a thick line between matters that can be done in and out of office. I think we all agree that business processes and documents crucial to company’s interest should be handled only on-premise. Especially when you consider the nature of mobile devices that can be easily lost or stolen. And when a careless employee has saved access data on them – tragedy is at your fingertips.
Following aforementioned tips will significantly help you avoid incomplete solutions that may not be the best fit for your company. It’s particularly worth remembering regarding the fact, that usually choice of mobile BPM app is connected with the choice of whole platform to be used on company’s premises. Therefore if mobility in business process management has great significance to your organization, you always have to look at the big picture. Because sometimes a great app is not enough when your stationary system proves to be insufficient.