Issues with Process Mapping

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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, […]

What’s in a process?

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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 […]