When you design your process, who is going to view the graphical description? Who is the consumer of the information provided? It is important to consider this, otherwise you may end up having a fantastic graphical description that is not understood by those viewing it.
In the first instance when you conduct a survey of a business you usually end up with text describing the business, this is what I call a verbal description, and also with a visual representation of sequential business flow through the company or organization. It is like a map of the business. I call it a graphical description. The map showing the ‘As-Is’ state of the business may appear very chaotic and hard to follow -that is fine, because often the undesigned process of your business looks that way. It is easy to understand that a process that has not been designed to be efficient will also, be untidy when drawn for the first time. I’ll cover the ‘As-Is’ state and the map more thoroughly in another blog post, and also in my training material.
The designed process is showing what I, in my model, call the Visionary-state and also the Decided-state. The Visionary state shows the process, as we would like it to be if everything were to be ‘optimal’. By ‘optimal’ I mean, as far as we can see for the moment. As we progress in our development we will also find a new, developed, Visionary-state.
The Decided-state shows the process as what we have decided to implement, here and now. We are constantly working with improvements towards the Visionary-state, but for now, we have the Decided-state. There will be several Decided-states, as we can decide along the way what we can change so that we are able to move forward and improve our process.
Both the Visionary-state and the different Decided-states show the designed business to the viewer. Who is the viewer then? We have to list all those in different roles both in and outside the organization who are going to view our designed business. Remember, that the process is the business, not something that is drawn on the side, so everybody that is interested in our business will have to view this graphical representation of the business.
A viewer of a business includes :
We cannot show the designed process in a way that suits all consumers and their respective interests. That would be an all too chaotic graphical description. The process is the same, but we need to make sure that we show each and everyone the process with the information that is relevant to them. Some require more details than others and some need information in a graphical representation, which to others may be totally irrelevant.
To use an image – a world map can be drawn in many ways, meaning that you can have several maps showing the world:
Whatever set up of the map we select – it is still planet Earth that we depict. There is not one map of Mars and another of Venus and the third of Earth. This would be like showing different processes or different business.
So you have to understand the needs of the viewer, the consumer of information, to understand how you want to present the graphical description of the process. Remember that it is the same process, but from different viewpoints. Make sure that you select a tool that helps you to show the different viewpoints, otherwise you will end up having a huge amount of work maintaining the descriptions. That is not good at all, because the more the work to maintain it, the longer it will be between updates of the description. It is most likely that if the viewer cannot be sure that the information is correct, then they will start to distrust the description and look for the information elsewhere.
How many different graphical descriptions of a process do you have in your business? Please comment!
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Matts helps Business Analysts, especially those who work in government administration, to design efficient and high quality business processes for their clients so they are able to deliver value in a sustainable and transparent manner. With over 20 years of advanced business process design in both IT and government, he can show you a simple ‘Business Excellence’ formula which dramatically reduces the time required to design a process as well as ensures it is created in a way which is optimized for the people who actually do the work. The health of the business and the people working in it is always at the forefront of how I help business analysts design their processes. ➔➔If you are a business analyst who wants to ensure you deliver the best possible outcome for their clients (especially if your current project is not running perfectly according to plan!) then Matts can help you.
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