Mapping the actual process in a lot of ways is the easiest bit. However what you may find more of a challenge is getting the information out of the people out of the process. This facilitation is a skill to learn all by itself.
In this section we are going to talk about some of the ways to process map.
- Document translations
Most process mapping will start with workshops (in-person/online) and this is a chance for you to get together with everyone who is involved in a process and listen to them about how the process works.
It may be difficult to get everyone together at one time, especially if they work in different departments. So when you manage it, it’s really important to get it right. If you don’t it’s going to be difficult to convince people to come to your workshop again.
Most importantly make sure that you have invited the right people to your process mapping workshop. You want to ensure that you have the subject matter experts in the room. If the process crosses departments do you have everyone involved? There will be no point mapping out the process if half of the important actors are missing.
It’s not always possible or suitable to run a process workshop, although this is the most common way. Another way to discover your processes is to hold one-on-one interviews.
An interview will be more focused and can be done quickly as you save a lot of time when not having to manage different discussions. Plus, the other advantage is that people can be more open when no one else is listening. You may find that in workshops people are afraid to be honest about how a process works especially if they are in front of management.
The disadvantages of an interview is that you get a very one sided view of the process. This means you need to make sure you interview as many people as possible to get different views and approaches. One to one interviews may be a safe space but it may also mean that issues aren’t addressed and teams are not aligned.
An interview could also be a good way to start off your process capture before a workshop. It allows you to review the process and then it can be discussed by the group.
In addition you can always examine existing documents to start putting your process mapping together. It is possible to take existing documents such as policies and procedures and translate them into processes. It’s unlikely that document translation would ever be enough to complete your process map. However it would raise questions and discussion points which can then be reviewed by the team later as part of the process capture.
The deliverable outcomes of your process mapping exercise will typically be:
- an agreed visualisation of the process
- an understanding of the roles within a process
- a list of functional requirements for software and any other custom fields created, such as risks and opportunities
- reports that help the business to understand the time and cost of a process
Read part 3: Marketing Process Discovery