Illustration versus Proposition
In the current scenario when businesses all around the globe are going through tough times, it is necessary to have a re-look into their businesses. They will have to shun the traditional approach of doing business as per the understanding of the management and instead switch to doing business as per the customers understanding. Any actions or inputs in a business for which the customer is not willing to pay is a waste. Hence, the business model should be customer centric and not management centric.
In order to do so it is the call of the time to identify every process in the business including management processes, which includes corporate governance and strategic decisions; operational processes such as outsourcing, purchasing, manufacturing, sales & marketing and supporting processes. They also include hiring and recruitment, accounting, and tech support for the purpose of process mapping and identifying wastage and improving efficiency.
Process mapping helps in determining who is doing what, who is responsible for what action and how the standard of a process which is relative to the success of an organization is maintained. Process mapping clarifies and documents every step in a flow chart with specific shapes denoting specific process components.
Process mapping is accomplished in four steps. The first step is Process Identification in which full understanding of all steps of a process is identified. Second is Information Gathering in which goals and objectives of the process, risks to the process, key controls over those risks, and measures of success for the process is ascertained. With the help of process profile worksheet and work flow surveys, the third step of interviewing is made to understand the individual’s point of view in the process, followed by a mapping of the process. In the fourth step, analysis of processes is made based on the above information.
Business process modelling is a quality management tool which is very useful in change management. It focuses on processes, actions and activities. What people do, to what and when and for what reasons? It is cross functional and takes into account more than one department in an organization.
A process model allows to measure performance metrics for example cycle time and throughput at each step in a process. This can be also used to measure yield or output, waste or defects. Whereas, process mapping illustrates inputs, process steps and outputs.
Process model is a closer illustration of the process whereas process mapping provides logical relationships between process components. It is limited to flow charts while most of the components are covered by the process modelling. Process modelling depicts much more information of the process and can be used for testing or simulation.
Process mapping documents the process at a particular level such as a process map with swimlanes and may represent the current or proposed state of the process design, whereas process modelling helps the business to stimulate resource requirements for operating a process. Process modelling may be also helpful in highlighting teething trouble or bottlenecks in a process.
Therefore process mapping is all about documenting the “As Is” while process modelling is strategic act of illustrating “To Be”. The outcome of business modelling is value for the customer and reduced costs for the company leading to increased profit.
Should every business go through process mapping to understand the way they do their business? Your valuable comments are solicited.
Suman Saran SinhaCertifed Management Consultant and a member CMC-Canada.