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Author's profile photo Chet Harter

SAP Signavio – Three Key Capabilities You Need to Know About

Every year, companies lose millions of dollars in revenue, lose customers, and lose employees due to poor business processes.  This might be due to unreliable and inconsistent processes wrought with manual, error-prone tasks, or could be processes that remain inefficient because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”  More process management discipline is needed along with a more scientific approach.

SAP Signavio is SAP’s solution suite for enterprise business process management (BPM).

BPM professionals understand the importance of combining people, applications, and data into business processes that are purposely built to enable achievement of company objectives.  Operational leaders understand and accept the key management role of designing, orchestrating, and governing end-to-end processes as the blueprint for how work is to be executed within their organizations.  Information technology leaders have the obligation of providing operational leaders with the tools they need to properly manage their processes.

“Without data for process analysis, it’s anyone’s guess where the biggest improvement opportunities lie.”

We could talk about the functional capabilities of SAP Signavio; capabilities such as process performance analytics, process mining, process automation, and so on.  However, there are three key capabilities that stand out as key high-level value drivers:

  1. Improvement opportunity identification

Many, if not most, process improvement efforts today begin with an opinion and with little data support.  They are the result of a perceived process issue when the real root cause of the issue is not visible or clear.  As one client recently said, we will hear nothing about process or system issues in a particular area until there is a change in management, and then we hear about lots of problems.  So who was more accurate, the previous manager or the new manager.  Without data for process analysis, it’s anyone’s guess where the biggest improvement opportunities lie.

SAP Signavio provides data-driven identification of process inefficiencies along with effectiveness issues so that the best improvement opportunities across the entire organization can be considered for reengineering.  Leaders can depend less on opinions and emotions, and spend more time and resources on fixing and/or improving processes where the most beneficial improvements can be realized.

  1. Structured improvement process

Few companies have a standard, consistent, highly structured process for managing processes.  Frequently, knowledge of existing processes is largely stored in the heads of long-time employees, on seldom seen and outdated paper documents, or subject to widely varying process controls across the siloes of the organization.  The lack of structure and formality is often accompanied by a lack of participation by many of the business users, leaders, and IT people who could have contributed to much better processes.  Results are almost always subpar and suboptimal.

SAP Signavio provides a structured, enterprise-wide process for systematic monitoring of process performance, collaborative design and redesign of processes, process improvement orchestration, and process governance.

As more and more companies dedicate people and teams to business process improvement and transformation, having the right tools designed for enterprise process management becomes even more critical for company survival.

  1. Process improvement

Identifying improvement opportunities and designing new processes does not do much for the company if there isn’t a way to actually make the change.  Too often, companies lack the resources to understand the applications and technologies available to them for process improvement.  Some of the best ideas for process improvement end up being pushed aside and forgotten as people struggle to identify and use methods available to them for process improvement.

In searching for a way to improve a process, sometimes a solution can be found by simply using native functionality already available in SAP applications.  The SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) provides many technologies and prebuilt process components using Workflow and RPA for process automation and streamlining.  Custom user experiences can be assembled using available Fiori applications and the newer Work Zone framework for user, customer, and supplier portals.

A very significant aspect of SAP’s approach to business process management is the actual fixing or improving of business processes.  If a broken process results in broken transactions, then we should fix the process so that broken transactions are greatly reduced or altogether eliminated.  User alerts, process automations, guided procedures, and other capabilities sometimes referred to as “execution management” capabilities are fully enabled using native functionality and the powerful capabilities of BTP.

Any evaluation of SAP Signavio as a company’s business process management solution platform should keep these over-arching, strategic capabilities in mind.  Features and functions aside, these are the types of capabilities that clearly differentiate SAP Signavio from the other available tools for business process management, help SAP customers get more value from their SAP systems, and help business leaders establish a enterprise-wide culture of continuous improvement within their companies.

Chet Harter is a member of the SAP Signavio Center of Excellence and can be reached at

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