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29 November 2019 5 min read

The (Signavio) World is not enough

Alex Fitter

Alex Fitter
Manager | Capital Markets | London

Between beatboxers and 1920s jazz versions of ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, there was one key takeaway for me at this year’s Signavio World Digital Transformation Summit in Berlin: few firms are fully harnessing the opportunities for improvement that the tools in their ecosystem present.

Whilst some firms have the capability to jump straight to implementing automated workflows across their business, for most the journey to maximising the improvement opportunities Signavio offers is still in progress. The people we had a chance to speak to could categorise their firms within four levels of maturity.

Level 1 - documenting processes

When speaking to attendees at the conference, we found that firms tended to the start their Business Process Management (BPM) journey using Signavio to document business processes to a consistent standard, maintaining them in a central, shareable location. This both helps them meet regulatory standards and helps them identify operational improvement opportunities. From our own experience implementing the tool for clients, Signavio has proven to be a market leader in demonstrating compliance with regulations including CASS and GDPR. However, once firms have documented their regulatory processes in Signavio, they tend to quickly expand the use of the tool to document their full suite of operational processes, to identify wider improvement opportunities, and to model future state processes.

Level 2 - guiding automation initiatives

More automation-savvy firms have taken their operational improvement opportunity assessments one step further, using the data captured in their documented processes to drive more significant automation initiatives. Firms have constructed automated workflows from the processes they have mapped out, as well as analysing the full operational process map library to identify and prioritise development of more sophisticated automation programmes such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Level 3 - combining automation solutions

Deploying automation solutions in silos results in opportunities for improvement being missed. Combining workflows with other automated solutions such as RPA is a prime example of how firms can more successfully automate end-to-end processes. This can be as simple as building workflows to launch robots following human process steps, or launching human-led workflows when robots fail. This merging of solutions not only supports firms in automating the end-to-end process but also provides a more complete view of the case progress through a complex process.

Level 4 - process mining on combined automated processes

Once implemented, RPA tools provide analytics on robot performance, but cannot provide insight on bottlenecks and weaknesses within an end-to end-process where there is interaction between humans and robots. Utilising process mining techniques provides the functionality to analyse an end-to-end process and identify further opportunities for operational improvement. This is the final piece in the puzzle for ensuring automated processes are continuously assessed and developed as future improvement opportunities present themselves.

While the functionality for firms operating at Level 1 may satisfy the original business case for procuring Signavio, firms need to be aware that they may be missing a trick if they do not fully develop the opportunities the system presents. For most, workflow tools and robotic process automation are well-established technologies, however, once these tools have been deployed, there are still opportunities to further optimise processes, cut cost and increase efficiency. Firms that want to maximise the benefits of the BPM tools in their infrastructure need to be conscious of the full potential of these tools and consider whether they can do more to realise their full capability.

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