Every business has literally thousands of business processes. They range from business critical (e.g. client billing and recovery) to seemingly unimportant (e.g. employee leave request and approval).
What people sometimes fail to recognise is that each of these has to WORK successfully both in its own right but also integrated with other business functions and processes.
It is almost impossible to have a successful organisation that does not depend on the effective running of these processes. (I did it now J I used the word effective.)
If you want to do something effectively, you have to know what it is; understand how it works to stand any chance of improving on it.
Welcome to Business Process Discovery
The steps to achieving this are:
1. Define Basic Process
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to get it right the first time. It simply has to include the most critical steps, functions, or decisions.
All these elements get noted is a simple format:
What should be focused on are questions like these:
- What are the business output requirements?
- How do we get to the delivery?
No values– Just a sequence of events
2. Describe Event (External)
Events usually have the following components:
- Business Rules
Basic rule – If multiples (components) occur, split the event into constituent parts (e.g. if two groups of people interact during the event, separate the event to address one group at a time).
3. Describe Event (Internal)
Which functions or actions occur within the event?
Please don’t be shocked when you discover that within the event there exist many or multiple mini processes.
Obviously the same route has to be followed in discovering the workings of the internal processes.
4. Limit Depth
As seen from the previous points, this could be an iterative, looped, and therefore almost endless cycle.
You can elect to manage internal discovery can also occur as a black box.
This, however has to be noted and the result of a decision.
5. Assemble Process
Well now most of the elements to successfully complete assembly and accurate description of the business process is in place.
The elements that govern how events relate to one another (business rules) can now be clearly described and noted.
Oh yes, as shown; now things like the ability of events to occur simultaneously or be processed in some predetermined sequence will become evident.
6. Evaluate – Feedback Loop
Is the process is executed as described:
- How does the results compare to the initial requirement?
- Is the process complete?
- Does it fulfill all of the desired requirements?
This question and answer section is commonly called a Feedback loop.
The aim of the feedback loop is simply and irrevocably to ensure that the process is functioning optimally.
7. Standardise, train, replicate, implement, evaluate, and improve.
The aim of any business process description is to improve the business in which it functions.
The heading of this section describes the process that governs the management of all business processes.
Happy Happy – You’re done.