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Get Started with Mobile BPM Part 1: Identify Projects for Applications Development

Cindy Cheng, ​Sr. Director of Marketing Communications, EMEA, Appian
December 7, 2012

According to Forrester, 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices by 2014. Furthermore, mobile devices will surpass PCs to become the majority of devices used for work (Forrester, "Tablets Will Rule the Future Personal Computing Landscape", April 2012). If your organization has not already started formulating or implementing a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy and mobile-enable enterprise applications, the time is now.

Not sure where to start and what will provide the most value and return on investment? Start identifying enterprise applications for mobile enablement by listing:

User Groups: Consider executives, knowledge experts (e.g., specialists, lawyers, doctors), general office workers (e.g., operations managers, administrators, customer service and support reps), mobile professionals (e.g., sales, field technicians, service engineers), even partners and customers who would require mobile access to enterprise data and content, news, tasks, actions.

Core Processes: Identify mission-critical business processes that would benefit from having mobile access. These are key processes that are either strategic revenue generators or cost sinkholes, such as new customer on-boarding, loan origination, service fulfilment, and quality control. Secondly, list User Groups from above to each process. Each process can span across multiple user groups, departments, or even organizations.Lastly, associate existing application(s) for each process. Make note of what's working and opportunities for improvement.

Quantitative Metrics: Associate revenue, cost, resources, or other quantifiable attributes to each key process at a profit or at a loss. Estimate them if you have to. Basically, assign value to each process so there is a way to assess its estimated worth to the organization. This will come in handy when comparing a number of processes and prioritizing projects.

Key Performance Indicators: Besides having a value, consider additional quantitative and qualitative performance indicators to benchmark each process. The speed of resolution, customer satisfaction, and other indicators, for example, are important factors in providing quality customer services. Think how a mobile application would help provide better access to data, provide more consistency in execution, improve quality and other measures of success.

Now, having done the preparation with above information, start mapping the processes on a Value to Complexity Grid like the one below.

This will help visualize the various key business processes, their value to the company, and complexity of them. It's best to start with a project with high value to the organization with low complexity, so it is easy and quick to implement. Having a successful first project will provide the experience and business case to scale or move to other projects with corporate support.

The next post in the Get Started with Mobile series will identify a few common use cases across industries to provide ideas, insights, and inspirations. To learn more about Appian's Mobile BPM capabilities, visit our website for information on mobile access, mobile development, and security.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing

Cindy Cheng