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Information Broker

Tool: Process analysis

Typical use (type of issue/project)

A shared approach...

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself and your team.

Tips for effective use

Structure the processes by level and clearly define the owners of each part of the process.

Signals of successful use

Outputs which demonstrate the responsibility of work, collaboration between performers, branches in the process flow, results of key decisions, synchronisation points where wait-states must be resolved for the process flow to continue, and related instances of work that are performed throughout the organisation.

Signals of unsuccessful use

Although graphically representing the flow of work through a business process model, being unable to understand what the model represents and how it can be made more efficient.

Links to other tools

RACI, Purpose and mission, Role profiles, Work unit, Skills and competencies, Design governance.

 

Process analysis

Process analysis is the systematic analysis of any process which records the events and activities that make up the process in a form which can be easily understood. It is used to identify what the ‘to be’ structure should look like. The best source of this data often comes from what problems need to be solved (or need to be addressed in the new design).

Therefore, ‘as-is’ process maps may suggest where work unit structure inhibits performance while ‘to-be’ process maps reveal expectations about which groups will do what and where boundaries must be crossed.

Key activities:

1. Structure the processes by level

Identify and define the process and subprocess involved. Start the process analysis at the highest possible level. Each level should go into more and more detail:

  • Level 0: Category – the area or function you’re about to analyse (for example HR)
  • Level 1: Process area – which process area you are going to analyse (for example sourcing)
  • Level 2: Processes – further specification of the exact process to be analysed (for example external recruitment)
  • Level 3 Activities – the main activities related to the selected process (for example interview candidate)
  • Level 4 Tasks – all activities that need to be performed (for example sign contract)
  • Level 5 Work instructions – the necessary steps in ‘manual style’ detail (for example click save button)

2. Familiarise yourself with the signs

To create and read a workflow properly, it is vital to understand the signs below:

3.Define who will do what

Identifying who will do what can be accomplished by:

  • Defining the key decisions, processes or activities that will require agreement on accountability, work responsibilities, and so on.
  • Generating a list of workgroups that are involved in those roles and responsibilities
  • Listing the parties involved in the identified decisions or activities (for example construction, despatch, information management).
Example
Exit management – resignation (blue collar)

This chart is also available as a PDF file.

 

4. Identify improvement opportunities

Ensure process owners, stakeholders and customers all review process maps. Facilitated group discussions are useful to accomplish this.

Improvement opportunities come in three key categories:

  1. Process – is the process inefficient?
  2. People – do we have the right people involved? Are they properly trained?
  3. Technology – how can we better utilise existing technology?