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Preview: Six Opportunities to Look for During Process Documentation

Many processes seem very simple at first glance. We expect the workflow to be as easy as 1, 2, 3 and done. In reality, there is usually more complexity under the surface – especially if good process documentation is not available.

process documentation

As my colleague, Steve Wall, says getting from Point A to Point B in business is usually more circuitous than a straight line. This could be due to handoff delays, bad inputs that cause rework, or many other factors that seem easily avoidable in hindsight. Process mapping and process documentation initiatives are the easiest ways to reveal and remove these twists and turns.

Orion has facilitated hundreds of process documentation projects over the last three decades. Many of these efforts focused on transformation or information technology projects but most organizations were simply trying to get a handle on operations and establish their own best practice processes. This blog addresses some common themes that emerge during documentation projects. They include:

  1. People Variation – The “same” process being executed using different methods.
  2. Customer Variation – The unintended Burger King syndrome.
  3. Sequential Processing – Siloed work that causes delays and slows cycle times.
  4. Unbalanced Work – A process undermined by the weakest link in the chain.
  5. Handoff Issues – Every department is doing great job but somehow…
  6. Bad Inputs – We built Band-Aids and workarounds rather than fix the root cause.

The full version of this blog, with all six opportunities, is now available. Special thanks to Bob Boehringer and Ralph Smith for providing some of the real-world examples I used in this blog.

Click here to learn more about Orion’s Business Process Documentation Services.

Click here to learn more about Orion’s Process Mapping training options.

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