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Process Mapping

Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction


Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction is co-authored by Mike Jacka and Paulette Keller and published in 2009. The book introduces a basic process mapping methodology that can be followed by anyone interested in process mapping and improvement as the foundation for organization improvement.

Initial emphasis is on understanding the drivers for process improvement and alignment of business processes in support of key business objectives, including customer service, efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability.  The book stresses employee storytelling, using business process mapping as the way of recording these stories.

A process is defined as an input, transformation and an output, which can be divided into units, tasks, actions, and procedures. There are four major benefits of business process mapping;

1. The holistic approach that explains interrelationships in the organization.

2. Achieves buy-in to the maps created.

3. Instills pride in employees, as they understand how their work delivers organization value.

4. It focuses on how the customer sees the organization.

The five steps of process mapping include,

1. Process identification.

The first step is to identify trigger points or “moments of truth” that define how the customer interacts with the process.  The next step is to identify and name the supporting processes, which operate behind the scenes in serving the customer.  The final step is to prepare a business process timeline worksheet, which outlines the broad overview of process relationships.

2. Information gathering.

Process information includes process owner, process purpose, and the process profile. A few of the most important information issues are business objectives, business risks, key controls, and metrics. It is also important to define a clear start and stop point in the process.

3. Interviewing and map generation.

This phase begins by obtaining buy-in from all participants.   Without that, the project will fail.  The organization must set aside enough time for participants such that they can meaningfully participate in process improvement.   A project room helps keep the project in focus and provide for private conversations that may be sensitive.  And finally, a positive atmosphere is essential so that all participants feel their input is valued.  Maps should be built in real-time using the sticky notes technique. This facilitates interaction and flexibility.  The emphasis should be on keeping maps simple and easy to understand.

4. Analyzing the data.

When analyzing process performance, it is important to asses the four types of process outputs 1) what you expect the process to produce, 2) waste, 3) surprises, and 4) invisible consequences.  Classifying outputs in this way will help uncover opportunities.  The analyst should be aware of common process opportunities, including approvals, looping errors, excessive handoffs, long cycle time and unused reports.  A RACI matrix is an excellent tool for linking business process to responsible individuals.  Finally, the analyst should be looking for disconnects between the process under study and surrounding processes.

5. Presentation.

The purpose of process mapping is to analyze and improve a process.  It is a means to a larger end.  Make it a habit to focus on analysis and not just the presentation of a good-looking map. In addition, don’t get wrapped up in the details such that you lose sight of the bigger picture.


Customer Mapping

In contrast to process mapping, customer mapping focuses on the steps customers must take to meet their needs. The steps to customer mapping are:

1. Define the job; what the customer wants done.

2. Define the tasks; what the customer must do

3. Define the inputs/outputs; what the customer inputs and expect for outputs.

4. Identify the measures of success; what outcome the customer desires.

5. Rank the measures; what the customer values most.

6. Examine results; what processes deliver the customer outcomes.

6. Create process maps for failing measures; map the critical processes.


Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction

In conclusion, process mapping can be a very valuable tool in not only improving performance but also assessing enterprise risk.  When process mapping, the analyst should consider these enterprise risk indicators, internal environment, objectives setting, event identification, risk assessment, risk response, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring.

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  1. Mike Jacka and Paulette Keller (2009), Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Service. Hoboken NJ: John Wiley and Sons.