Fundamentals of Process Mapping – Introducing Subprocesses Part 3
In the previous diagram, I’ve put two crosses, not part of any standard. I’ve used them to highlight what’s wrong with the Choose Book process as depicted above. The second of the crosses is easiest to explain.
The process step of Scan Book more properly belongs in the Pay for Book process. We can see it in the Pay For Book process, so let’s keep it there. If it’s also in the Choose Book process, then we’re duplicating actions. Someone following the overall process in the diagram above would end up scanning books twice. That’s not right.
The cross on Take to Pay Desk is more awkward and shows where we cross the boundary between science and art. Does Take to Pay Desk belong more to selecting a book or paying for it? My view is that it should be in Pay for Book. Since the book is chosen at the point that the customer picks up the book. Anything after that (apart from putting it back in the bookrack again) is beyond the scope of choosing a book. Two other scenarios come to mind that reinforce the fact that it’s in the wrong process above:
- if they were going to steal the book, they wouldn’t take it to Pay Desk.
- if they were going to read the book in the store, as is getting a lot more common-place in the UK, they wouldn’t need to take it to the Pay Desk.
In both the above scenarios, the process of Choose Book would still be relevant. In the second scenario, the customer would still have followed the Choose Book process.
I’ve simplified the diagram by removing the Take to Pay Desk and Scan Book process steps and inserting the Take to Pay Desk process step in the Pay for Book process.
Remember: you won’t see the processes on the same page. That’s just so I can present the relationships between them.