Issues with Process Mapping

Posted Posted in Articles

I’ve been using process mapping for over a decade now. I’ve probably been the recipient of more process maps than I’ve created, as I’ve had to implement changes that have already been designed by others. I’ve also had to talk many business users through the intricacies of their redesigned processes, especially if they (wrongly) hadn’t been designed by them. The most common scenario for me is where I’m asked to review process maps and assess how easily they could be implemented, bringing together knowledge of people, processes and IT/ICT. Over that time, I’ve seen many sides for and against process mapping. I’ll discuss some of the issues and some of the methods for mitigating the risks associated with mapping processes. 1. Takes too much time Mapping a process takes a long time. If that’s the only method that’s being used, […]

Use Case Diagrams for Documenting Scope

Posted Posted in Articles

Use Cases I embraced UML as a communication tool some years ago and have found it successful in being able to convey messages in a simple manner. I don’t use every type of diagram – some are too strange for the average business user. I do use Use Case diagrams. These are great and, with a small amount of education, are suitable for use with business users. Use Case Diagrams for Scope As a communication tool, Use Case diagrams are great at showing who does what at a very high level. They’re good at showing system solution scope, types of actors and ownership of integration points. In one diagram, I can show the scope of the system in a way that users will understand. Now that’s a powerful tool. Depth of the Scoping Use Case Ideally I like to have […]

What’s in a process?

Posted Posted in Articles

I’ve had a view for a number of years now that a process cannot be described with just a process map. Well, not in its entirety. A standard process map usually consists of rectangular boxes linked with arrows. Better process maps have some variety in the size and shape of boxes representing the variety of actions and decisions that occur at the process steps. When good, these process maps conform to BPMN, UML (Activity Diagrams) or other similar standards. When bad, there can be missing outcomes from decision points, missing references to other processes or references to missing processes and so on, the list goes on. How Deep? However, no matter how good the process map, they cannot completely describe the process. Take the instance of capturing an AS-IS process, perhaps during the check phase of lean systems. A process map would only give […]

4 ducks in a field watched by a lamb

Facilitation

Posted Posted in Facilitation

Regardless of the project, sometimes we all need an external guide to help us along. Facilitation brings structure to events, ensuring that attendees stay on-track. The facilitator needs to be sensitive to the needs of the attendees and the needs of convener. The two sets of aims may well not be the same. Good facilitators will bring about results regardless of the differences. Facilitation sessions are split into 4 phases: Initial engagement, identification of purpose, high-level scope definition Planning, arranging, engagement with attendees and procurement Facilitated sessions Output report and review Previous clients have found facilitation useful for setting strategy, uncovering the real underlying problems and deciding on solutions to difficult problems If requested, any follow-on work beyond the output report is contracted separately. If you think you could benefit from a facilitator, contact us for an overview and further details.

Mentoring and Training

Posted Posted in Mentoring and Training

All of the changes facing every organisation require skilled personnel, either increasing a team’s knowledge in the tools and techniques used for change or by mentoring analysts, providing guidance and supervision. Training Training packages can be developed in the following: Lean Service Redesign Business Process Reengineering Business Analysis Each training package is bespoke, specifically tailored to the client’s needs. Mentoring Mentoring is a longer engagement than training, designed to offer support to your staff in their profession. For those involved in the change profession (change analysts, business analysts, business process analysts), we can provide a mentoring service; either with regular drop-ins or remote via email or onto your organisation’s existing discussion forums. This service should be considered as supplementary to the standard employee mentoring and welfare within your own organisation. It is ideal for SME (Small-to-Medium Sized Enterprises) with one […]

Yorkminster

Service Redesign

Posted Posted in Service Redesign

Are you designing a service or transforming an existing service? For redesign, we help organisations to reform teams more logically and change the way that they work resulting in more efficient processes. This is more structured and more logical than older BPR (Business Process Redesign) concepts as we’re heavily influenced by Lean but in a service environment. At the smaller end of the scale, there are service improvement engagements and delivering strategies and methods for continual improvement. We can’t implement the continual improvement for you; that has to come from within your own organisation, but we can be there with you on your journey. For new services, we assist organisations in developing their new operating models. At this level, it’s not the strategic target operating model, it’s a more tactical design that has to be workable in a live situation with […]

Angle-poise lamp

Methodology Design

Posted Posted in Methodology

This starts with a review of your team, what it’s trying to achieve and how it’s trying to achieve that. Following that, we can advise on and develop suitable methodologies that will work for you and what you’re trying to achieve. The main focus with previous clients has been on integrating change methods and software development methods. Often the project management method is already present within the client, even if it’s just what their practitioners bring with them. Sometimes, it’s a different combination or developing a new change control process that fits in with what the stakeholders expect of it. Want to know more, then contact us.

Strategic Analysis and Direction

Posted Posted in Strategy

Bringing a calm strategy to muddy waters. The benefit of using external consultants is that they can see through the internal politics and difficulties. Strategic Analysis and Direction Often the direction is not clear; there are a myriad of options or the service is trapped in an ever-continuing scenario of fighting daily fires. If you’re in that situation, then you could benefit from an engagement of Strategic Analysis. In that engagement, we look for the critical fulcrums; those pivot points that provide the greatest benefit to you at the time that you will need them. We specialise in Lean concepts, finding it more applicable to service industries than Six Sigma or mixed Lean Six Sigma. By applying these concepts at a strategic level, organisations can achieve more efficient and aligned processes and teams. In the end, we’re always aiming for a […]

Wood pile

Trouble-shooting and Solving Problems

Posted Posted in Problem Solving

To be able to fix the problem, you first need to know what the problem is. More specifically, you need to know which problem to fix first. Your staff may already be telling you what the problem is, you may already know what it is, but what if that’s not the most important problem and the underlying problem is something else entirely? That’s where using an external consultancy can prove valuable. We’re impartial, unencumbered by politics, with no axes to grind and passionate about uncovering the real underlying causes. Uncovering your real problems and the causes of what’s troubling your department is the first step in improvement. It’s a ring-fenced engagement with a clear gateway meaning we’ll agree what work is to be performed before we commence to following stages, if at all. This could be the start of a […]

Welcome

Posted Posted in Articles

Welcome. You’ll see the products and service I offer through this consultancy. I focus on strategic and business transformation, usually where there’s a difficult problem to resolve.