TotalAgility Series Part 1 of 10 – Business Process Outsourcing
As a partner of Kofax, I spend a good amount of my time keeping up to date with the features in their leading BPMS, TotalAgility. I aim to help existing and prospective TotalAgility customers use their BPMS in ways that will surpass expected benefits. To achieve this a strong understanding of the capability is required, but it is also important to understand how to apply that capability to support process improvement.
Over the course of this series I will pick out some of the features I like to focus on and will try to highlight just how valuable these can be.
I’ve decided to start by looking at how TotalAgility can help drive process improvement in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) organisations. A successful BPO aims to standardise processes as much as possible across the different faces it presents, branching only when required to meet customer requirements.
Kofax directly supports BPO via its Process Skins feature.
As the name “skin” suggests, a Process Skin stores context specific information that can be applied to the parent process, to alter how individual instances operate. Skins can radically change the look and behaviour of a process, or can effect only minor change.
They are incredibly easy to set up and amend, allowing a BPO to configure a single process with multiple skins, where previously they may have been forced to configure and maintain multiple processes to achieve the same goal.
Almost every item that is used to define a process and user activity can be overridden in a skin. Examples include providing context specific names for activities in work queues, setting specific task durations, priorities, and SLA’s and much more, all relating to the business unit the process is executing for.
At design time, rules are defined that TotalAgility uses at run time to decide which skin, if any, to apply to a process. This is a powerful approach as it allows new skins to be added without needing to alter the underlying process, allowing change to be implemented with low risk.
For BPO organisations, the functionality within Process Skins alone makes TotalAgility a product that should be seriously considered.
I also see benefits for non BPO organisations. Many such businesses execute almost identical processes across different divisions or function areas, such as responding to customer requests. Rather than configuring a process per division, TotalAgility allows a single process to be created and augmented by multiple skins, each applying a set of changes specific to the individual division initiating the process.
By using skins, an organisation can reduce the number and complexity of the BPMS processes they create, can achieve improved operating consistency, and can increase their ability to react quickly and safely to changing business conditions.