Where do I start with process mapping?

lost in the wilderness

What processes do I need?

Documenting processes can seem like a daunting task. We have heard it compared to being lost in the wilderness or that process mapping is so hard it fills me with dread and makes my eyes bleed please make it stop!

But its doesn’t need to be be that bad just start with these 2 questions

      1. What processes should I have?
      2. Where do we start?

Once you have recognised these two simple questions you can now embark on your process mapping journey. Process mapping is not a difficult thing to do in theory, its problem comes with the execution – ensuring a consistent approach is essential.

What processes should I have?

Answering Question number 1 in simple terms, we will look at the business functionally rather than by process. All Businesses will have the following functions

      • Sales
      • Service Delivery
      • Finance
      • Human Resources

If we this of processes as the what you do and not how you do it, we can produce a very simple process framework and can be filled out to the organisations individual needs. We will look at each category and identify the bare minimum processes you need to begin to get an understanding of your business.

Sales

The function of sales is to attract new business into the organisation and to preserve what you have. Some companies merge this function with customer relations but principally you need to have:

      • Prospecting
      • Enquiry management
      • Order Processing
      • Customer on-boarding
      • Customer off-boarding

Service delivery

      • Providing the product or service purchased
      • Managing the work/allocation
      • Ongoing maintenance or support of service
      • Customer Satisfaction Monitoring
      • Complaints/Compliments
      • Supplier Management

Finance

      • Customer Billing
      • Credit control
      • Purchase ledger

Human Resources

      • Recruitment
      • New employee on boarding
      • Induction
      • Payroll
      • Employee off-boarding
      • Training

There are a host of other processes you can add, but the essentials boils down to how do you get and deliver work and having the staff to do it.

So where do you start?

Firstly, you need to assess what you currently have. Looking at each of the process topics, give yourself a rating from 0-5 where zero is you have nothing at all to 5 being fully document and briefed out to all staff and is fully accessible.

Whilst you should have all of these key processes documented, if you have nothing at all, you  need to look at a priority matrix. We would recommend identifying your points of pain first and these can be categorised as:

      • There is no consistency everyone does it differently and you re-invent the wheel every time
      • There is a problem with the product or service being delivered.
      • Where does it stem from?
      • The business can’t cope easily with an increase in staff – training becomes burdensome
      • Single points of failure – only one person can do a task and it is a mystery to everyone else
      • The ability for the business to cope with adverse events

It is also important to establish a consistent look and fell to your processes so they become familiar to users. Consider linking documents and forms so all information is available at a single point of use. Finally consider using a professional Business Process Management Tool to help you keep control