Business Process Modeling
Be sure to use the best map
An Enterprise is like an organism. To keep it alive, better to understand how it works and what it needs, what is its reason to be. Before entering in Business Process Modeling, some preliminary questions have to be answered:
The Enterprise and its Stakeholders
Step 1: Identify what is our Mission?
- What is our reason to be in the Business
Step 2: Identify also what is our Vision?
- Where we want our Business to go in the future
Step 3: In relation with our Mission and our Vision, what are our outputs and the value they have for each of our stakeholders?
- Society and its laws
- Suppliers that are also other Businesses
- People who work in the Company (or want to work)
Doing so, we obtain the first level of our Business Model, considered as a Process by itself.
Mapping Processes: discovering all the Supplier/Customers links
Personally, I like to use the IDEF0 methodology, to work on Business Process Modeling & Mapping:
- Each process is presented by a box with the outputs on the right side.
- The outputs include all the results of the process execution.
- On the top: the control inputs that active the process
- On the left: what the process receives and is transformed by it
- On the down side: the resources or mechanisms the process uses
- Inside the box, you put the main action the process do (using verbs).
The second level is a map of the major processes (between 3 and 6 in the IDEF0 methodology), according to the nature of the business we are modeling.
Then, each major process is opened down into its next level process map, and so, and so, down to the level that permits to define procedures and basic operations.
The lowest level is normally the level where automatic operations or workflow are implemented in appropriate information systems.
All processes are linked together with Supplier/Customer links as well with the Stakeholders of the Enterprise to form the complete system.
Hereafter, you will find some example of business processes maps (on level only)
Business Process Modeling example 1: Strategic planning
Business Process Modeling example 2: Survey process
The Process Definition Sheet: looking for added value
Together with the visual representation of a process, other attributes have to be defined:
- The Mission of the Process, as part of the Mission of the whole Organization
- What the process do, with more details than in the graphic sentence
- Who is the Customer of our Process: external (stakeholder) or internal (other process or processes)
- What my Customer do with what I deliver him/er
This last one is probably the main step of all the Modeling Process, the Customer focus. Don't forget it. If you just want to remember one idea on Business Process Management, keep this one.
Once, we are at this point, it is time to delegate the Management of each Process to a Process Owner.
- First we have to coach him/er on the methodology.
- Second s/he has to have some functional knowledge of the work the process performs.
- Probably s/he will help us to refine all the previous steps of the Process definition,
But don't forget the Customer focus questions "what my Customer do with I deliver him/er." and also "what is the value for him/er"
Following with the Process Definition Sheet, the Process Owner has to complete it with a set of Indicators to measure:
- Outputs, quantity, quality and delivery in time to measure Effectiveness
- Time & resources consumed by the process: in order to calculate the Efficiency
- For Quality, two kinds of Indicators have to be considered:
- The technical quality: the point of view of the Supplier
- The perceived quality: the point of view of the Customer
The most significant Key Performance Indicators should constitute the basis of our Dashboards, together with those obtained in the Business Planning Process using Balanced Scorecard methodology.
To complete the Process Definition, identify the Procedures associated to the Process execute:
- The Process describes what you do
- The Procedure: how you do it (or you should)
Process Improvement: maximizing the value I deliver
Once we have defined our process map, and we have the instruments to measure the value of each process brings to the system, we are ready to work with our process owners to identify the improvement areas using:
- SWOT analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
- Balanced Scorecard: to align with the Strategy.
As an owner of a process, a good practice to improve it, is to listen what my direct customer want to tell me:
- This is probably the more revolutionary change in the organizations
- Normally each function select as process owner, the best specialist in his/er area, within the enterprise. - Management by Process is not about saying how you have to do your job.
- As a Customer of the process you own, I will say you what I expect to receive, and what represent value for my own process, and what not, in your deliveries.
- At this point, objectives indicators are important to compare either a process at different steps (before and after improvement actions), either for benchmarking purpose with other processes, inside or outside the Company.
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