Mapping out a process “as is” is a standard part of process improvement efforts. It looks pretty simple but there are some pitfalls. In this video we look at the most typical ones and how to avoid them.
Mapping out a process ‘as is’ is a standard part of process improvement efforts. It looks pretty simple but there are some pitfalls. The most common errors in process mapping is
- Map the process as is – Diving into improving the process before you have finished mapping it. I can guarantee before you are halfway through any process discovery session participants will have brought up exceptions and errors and quite naturally, they want to discuss them. But you need to be firm at this point. Make a note of these issues but leave them for now. When you have the basic process mapped out you can go back and look at exceptions and errors. You can’t really prioritize until you have the whole picture.
- Involve the people who do the work – Not including all the people involved in the process. Always remember the best people to tell you what the issues are on what changes will not work, are the one who use the process. They are also the people who have most at stake so make sure all them participate not just one or two representatives. Unless everybody is there, you will not create the sense of ownership and control the process users need in order to make successful changes.
- Use a Large Temporary Map – Map the ‘as is’ process in small groups on a big map. Use a wall or a whiteboard where all the participants can see it simultaneously. If it looks temporary and sketchy. People will feel okay about changing it. If you try to capture it straight to computer in some graphics package it looks formal and neat and official on the screen and somehow nobody wants to mess with it.
- Collect all the Source Documents – Collect examples of all the documents associated with the process. That means forms, policies, checklists, templates, FAQ’s… Any document that is used in the process. You are going to meet these when you move on to improving the process.