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Process Mapping Tip #4 – Look Before You Leap!

Modern Analyst recently published our 10 Tips for Business Process Mapping.  For some the fourth tip is most critical, especially at a time when new technologies are being adopted at a rapid pace.

  1. Do Not Skip As-Is Analysis

As a young programmer, I thought process mapping a nuisance. It was an extra step before I began developing my elegant solution. Once I started working with clients in different industries, I realized that the process map represented the real work these people were doing. It helped me understand both “the what” and “the why” of my project.

Decades later, I still hear the “skip the map” instinct coming out of the IT world. “You can skip the as-is process map because we are building an amazing new to-be.” This can be a fatal mistake. As-is process mapping reveals nuances, special customer considerations and exceptions that must be evaluated prior to either automation or transformation. Skipping as-is analysis undermines any effort to deliver accurate business requirements.

Even with the best technology, it can be a long way down if you leap before you look.

If you need help mapping processes in the “virtual world,” Orion can help.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are two of my colleagues (Mandy Dietz and Bob Boehringer) who have decades hands-on experience supporting process redesign and technology initiatives:

The larger the project, the greater the peril of skipping as is.

When you install a new end-to-end system (like an ERP), there are hundreds of potential failure points throughout operations. Years ago, Orion worked with one of the Rockwell companies. Their on-time performance was 90%. Someone in senior management decided instead of improving processes, a new ERP would transform performance in one fell swoop. Fast forward several million dollars and on-time performance fell to 15% post-implementation. The gap between the promised “best practices” that came with the software and the real-world needs of team members and customers was enormous.

Mapping and streamlining processes prior to the IT implementation would have saved everyone a lot of pain.

–Paul King


Learn More

If you need help with as-is process documentation and analysis, use the form below to contact Orion:

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