For people who perform recurring tasks and often mechanically, having to model their processes can be challenging, but more often than not, this represents an insurmountable task, a crazy request, a non-necessary workload and is often described as a manager’s fantasy, excessive micromanagement or simply, an invasive acute case of proceduritis!!
But in reality, it is quite otherwise. How can we improve if we cannot clearly define what is currently in place? How can we justify the request for additional staff if we cannot justify the time spent by current employees to do the required tasks? Furthermore, are these tasks all necessary or are they the result of years of neglect and of doing what has always been done?
Mapping versus Modelling
First of all, let us make the distinction between the various terms that can sometimes be confusing:
- Mapping aims to graphically represent the key processes of implementation, support and management
- Modelling in turn goes further, keeping lines of sight, it can help understand the operation of a system.
Useful for Business Services
Modelling can also be done on a business process that often contains models of system processes. So it’s easy to get lost in terminology. However, in the three cases, the benefits and reasons for getting it are much the same. So we do not go into a linguistic battle over these terms and will focus on the benefits of implementing them.
Target potential improvements
The need to model the process is often initiated by an external need:
- Supply chain optimization,
- Expression of functional requirements for software development,
- Reorganization of an enterprise
There are multiple advantages to modelling processes:
- To define, visually, the tasks currently in place and their sequences
- Clearly establish the impacts on third parties and the interaction between the stakeholders
- Allow to communicate the process steps and define the actors
- Help to define the key elements of a process determining where it begins and ends
- Allows you to identify who provides inputs and outputs.
- Target opportunities for process improvements.
- Allows you to establish performance matrices and performance targets.
An exercise that must remain alive, dynamic and recurring
Often wrongly perceived as a fixed exercise in time with a static output, process modelling is alive and must be repeated frequently. To improve we must review what we do and how we do it. The review process should be at a minimum annually and more frequently if changes are required.
The initial modelling of the processes of a business is a daunting task and may require a time-consuming investment for the employees impacted by these processes, but the return on investment is still being felt quickly.
Are you able to define who actually does what in your business?