Sometimes the Ways of Old are Best
Process Documentation is a Timeless Source of Business Value
“Sometimes the ways of old are best.”
Orion’s team has been making process maps –and teaching Process Mapping– since our very beginning in 1993. Process mapping is often underappreciated or overlooked. One may be so enthralled with the innovation potential of new IT that he or she skips past as-is process analysis. Or, teams may be so focused on new tools and techniques when a company introduces Six Sigma or Lean that a process map may seem passé. Post implementation, process documentation may be filed away in a dark corner of the office even though it is key to the M in BPM. If we are going to manage our processes, then we must have clear standards that help new team members achieve consistent excellence. Indeed, process maps, SOPs and performance standards create the “language” of our operations.
Why the sudden interest in process documentation this year? Our clients have five main reasons:
1. Return to Growth
Sales are increasing and they need to maintain quality/consistency while scaling up – especially if long-service employees left during the pandemic.
2. Digital Transformation
The shift to virtual sped up many modernization plans. Our clients understand that you need to streamline and optimize processes prior to automation if you want to capture maximum return on expensive IT investments.
3. Knowledge Turnover
Whether they are seeing the “Great Resignation” or just increased turnover, companies need to protect against institutional knowledge walking out the door. They also want to improve onboarding so that new employees can become effective in vital roles more quickly.
4. Supply Chain Pressures
Price increases and material delays made even small financial or time inefficiencies intolerable. Companies cannot afford business as usual.
5. The New Normal, Finally!
Clients have determined that some version of the hybrid workforce will remain in 2022 and beyond. It’s time to optimize and standardize work for that reality.
Perhaps these or other forces are making your management team question whether key processes have become obsolete. Now is the time to build your business process architecture and/or operations manual of the future. Good process documentation will deliver:
- Clarity of purpose
- Understanding of how each process fits into the “big picture”
- Exactness in roles and responsibilities
- Identification of potential metrics and pulse points
- Identification of risk and control points
- Interactions with IT systems, and
- (Of course) Clear work instructions with process maps
To consider which process documentation elements (maps, metrics, RACI, FMEA, etc.) make sense for your organization, use the form at bottom to request our free process documentation template. It’s a Word file that includes more elements than any one organization would use but is a good starting point for your needs analysis.