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Charlotte McConville01-Sep-2023 10:00:0010 min read

What's the best process mapping software for ERP and S/4 programmes?

When it comes to process mapping, how do you know what’s right for your organization? 

Being able to understand, monitor and KPI, and continuously improve your processes is essential — especially when you’re running a complex and expensive ERP program. 

Luckily, we have a handy guide to help you understand the pros, cons, features and support available for the four most popular process mapping tools.

Round One: SAP Signavio – The Heavyweight Hitter

If you work with SAP, when you think about process management Signavio is probably the first tool that springs to mind. 

Signavio promises to help you understand, improve and transform your business processes and drive operational change –  fast and at scale.

What you might not know is that Signavio is a suite of products that provides a wide range of functionality around your processes, from mapping and managing them, to process mining, and even automation and optimization. 

Within this suite, Signavio Process Manager is the tool you will use to document and manage your business processes. 

If you’re in the market for a process mapping tool this is an important distinction as you need to understand the difference between Signavio Process Manager and Signavio Transformation Suite.

So, what comes with Signavio Process Manager and what are the benefits? 

As we’ve mentioned, SAP Signavio Process Manager is part of the much larger Signavio Suite.

A lot of the “revolutionary” stuff you’ve heard about Signavio - e.g. process mining - are features of the wider suite.

So what’s included in Process Manager?

Signavio Process Manager is a BPMN 2.0-based process mapping tool which makes it instantly recognizable if you’ve ever made a process flow before, and it means it’s easy to upload maps from other tools. 

You can create process maps easily and at speed using a simple tabular format, giving anyone who’s ever used Excel a shot at creating a basic process flow quickly.

Offering a graphical, drag-and-drop editor it can be used to edit flows created from the tabular view, or utilized to create flows from scratch. Again, this is designed with ease of use in mind and should be fairly easy for business people to pick up. 

You can share your Process flows with other people in the business, where they can add comments to support feedback and collaboration. 

As part of the wider Signavio Transformation Suite, the process flows you create can help you and your team to create a single source of truth across all of your operations, making sure that your entire organization is on the same page and aligned from the get-go.

However, not even SAP is averse to issues…

SAP Signavio is no different.

Elements of the system can be clunky at times, and the UX can feel dated compared to other tools we’ll discuss later.

SAP Signavio also lacks the ability to create variants of current business processes, meaning you have to start from scratch anytime you need to view how an alteration would affect the overall process. 

Reporting is also limited, with a lot of the functionality you might expect as part of other Signavio Transformation Suite tools. 

The result is that on its own Process Manager likely won’t be the massive accelerator of transformation and change that you expected.

Who is SAP Signavio Process Manager for?

If you’re an SAP house with a high level of maturity when it comes to process mapping, then it’s really hard to fault the SAP Signavio Suite. It’s a best-in-class application for managing, testing, automating and optimizing your business processes. 

But, if you’re relatively new to process mapping, or if your existing BPML is pretty out of date, then the whole SAP Signavio Suite might be overkill. 

You could use SAP Signavio Process Manager in isolation, but for the price and functionality, we think Nintex Process Manager is likely a better solution. 

However, if the functionality of the wider SAP Signavio Suite still appeals and you might want it in the future, choosing Signavio Process Manager today could make sense in the long run.


Round Two: Old Faithful – Visio

Throwback isn’t often a word people like to associate with digital transformation, but that’s not the case with Visio.

Originally marketed as a diagramming and vector graphics program, Visio has undergone a fair few changes since its conception in the early 90s. 

Since Microsoft’s acquisition of the software in the early 2000s, Visio has become an innovative solution that helps with the visualization of data-connected business process flows, with a host of integration opportunities available.

Is Visio easy to use?

Listen, Visio is a solid all-rounder when it comes to process mapping. Its sole aim is to provide a program to easily document a workflow of processes to boost clarity and identify opportunities for improvement. Simply put, it’s one of the easiest programs to use and maintain. 

Just like Signavio, it uses BPMN 2.0 to build process maps so it will be familiar to people who have done process mapping before, and its outputs can be shared with other tools using this standard.

That’s not all, with a number of templates available, Visio allows you to build everything from a very basic sequence to a methodology-based process diagram, allowing you to define your process visually and professionally. 

Now that the confusion has been taken out of any processes, how do you control quality? 

Sharing, editing and viewing is possible across any device and browser, allowing you to invite any member of your team to collaborate and give feedback with in-app commenting and co-authoring.

You can also easily establish project goals and team roles, ensuring that any gaps, bottlenecks or compliance issues are carefully monitored and maintained. 

Customization and collaboration offer you and your team confidence when it comes to effective data visualization, decision making and process execution.

But there’s got to be a few drawbacks to Visio, right?

You’re not wrong. There are some challenges when it comes to functionality and features in Visio. 

Ultimately Visio is an effective entry-level process mapping tool, and with any entry-level tool functionality is limited.

Visio can only provide very basic views of processes, meaning that processes can easily become complex and unwieldy if not properly monitored, and you won’t get the deep functionality of more expensive, complex products.

It promotes the creation of static process diagrams which can quickly become out of date, while other more complex software encourages people to actively live in the tool and engage with the process diagrams stored there.

And, auto-arrange can result in errors, such as wrong diagram arrangement and, It can be awkward to insert new swim lanes, realign and connect processes.

Who is Visio best suited for?

If you’re just starting out on a process mapping journey, Visio is a cost-effective and easy solution. Its user-friendly interface and open collaboration are ideal for small to medium enterprises. 

Problems can arise within larger enterprises, as it’s such an open platform and can sometimes lead to too many cooks in the kitchen. 

Visio is a good starting platform but as your business develops, so should you process mapping solutions. Before committing to a specific software, it’s important to analyze your business needs and capabilities.


Round Three: The Knock-Out – Nintex Process Manager

Nintex Process Manager delivers a ‘single source of process truth’ for your entire organization, from business people to process owners and the leadership team.

By clearly visualizing your business processes it provides simplicity, ownership, operational efficiency, productivity and reduced risk across your Target Operating Model.

So what makes Nintex Process Manager so great? Well, firstly it’s a super easy and intuitive tool to use.

Nintex Process Manager provides clarity about your ways of working

The training and induction Nintex provides for Process Manager is time-efficient and simple, so it’s easy to ramp up usage across the entire organization.

And, this mantra of ‘simplicity’ extends to the software itself and the outcomes it provides.

In Nintex Process Manager, business processes are broken down into easy bite-size chunks layered with information, making them easier to follow.

This provides clarity around your ways of working, so you can better understand how processes work, the people and the technology that delivers them, and which processes deliver your competitive advantage.

Working together in Nintex Process Manager to document your business processes

Nintex Process Manager is designed with collaboration in mind.

Taking its lead from social media, Nintex Process Manager enables your business people to follow and comment on the processes they use in a way that feels familiar to digital natives.

This collaborative and social approach improves the quality of the information you hold in Nintex Process Manager and accelerates your ability to document knowledge about how you work. 

People can also see any changes made to processes in real-time, which supports change management and adoption as you implement new systems or optimize processes over time.

Nintex Process Manager provides a single source of the truth about your processes

Nintex Process Manager eliminates the need to have multiple applications holding information about your processes.

Within any documented step of a process, it’s possible to link out to further information, including but not limited to; work instructions, training materials and process documentation. 

Want to know what a change in your business processes would look like? With variation maps, you can represent processes with the changes you want to measure. In the long run, this leads to better maintenance and keeps things simple.

Things to look out for with Nintex Process Manager

Listen, this might seem obvious but, Nintex is a collaborative tool so you have to make sure you’re willing to spend time collaborating. 

It’s necessary for you and your organization to have the resources, the time and the team available in order to make the most of Nintex Process Manager. You also need to consider the total cost of ownership with this one because If you’re just looking at process mapping with a quick and dirty impact, then cheaper tools are available, Nintex is the most impactful and cost-effective as a long-term or project-focused solution. 

Avoid problems by embracing the software and opening your organization up to collaborating, reviewing and driving continuous improvement.


Excuse me for being forward, but how big are you?

Sorry for the personal question but it’s important to recognize where you’re positioned within the market. Of course, you have to consider this on an immediate basis, but you’ve got to consider the future. It’s crucial that you understand where you are now and where you’re going - there’s no use implementing a process mapping system if investment or restructuring is going to change your business's position. 

  SAP Signavio Visio Nintex
Small No Yes No
Medium No Yes Yes
Large Yes Yes Yes


Now you’ve got your business size sorted, it’s time to consider your training options. There’s no use implementing a system you know nothing about. Knowledge and learning are key to ensuring that not only your process can be maintained long-term but that it gets off on the right foot.


Get smart - What are your training options?

Understanding the types of training that are available, and also work best for your organization are key. Rule of thumb, a good mix is your best chance of success.

  SAP Signavio Visio Nintex
In Person Yes No Yes
Live Online Yes No Yes
Webinar Yes Yes Yes
Documentation Yes Yes Yes
Videos Yes No No



How much longer before I can make my choice? I hear you cry.

Well, this is it. You’ve read the pros and cons, you know your business, your training needs and the features you have to have. If you haven’t already made a decision, you can use this handy guide to decide which process mapping tool is best for you and your organization. 

Still not feeling 100% on the choices available to you? Get in touch. We’ll be happy to talk you through the options we think suit your business needs and help you plan for the future.