Sustainable Business Process Improvement can only come from a standard methodology that is easily teachable and repeatable across an entire organization. From the more than 300 enterprises that we have consulted with, Business Enterprise Mapping has developed the following steps to ensure consistency and increase the likelihood of success.
1. Select the Business System or Value Stream to Map.
All processes within a Business System or Value Stream should be mapped as a single project to best assess connectivity and cause and effect relationships. We know from experience that cause and effect relationships rarely exist within the same process.
2. Identify, Educate and Engage Process Owners.
Process and System owners are the most essential element to a successful study of the business process and its improvement, and the viral spread of a continuous improvement culture. Those who do the work should be intimately involved in documenting and improving their work.
3. Develop Process Maps.
Process maps should be built through a grooming method that delivers task details that adequately capture the work taking place. Most process maps are documented at a level of detail that is too high to really assess the efficiency and effectiveness of a process.
4. Identify Process Improvement Opportunities.
While building the process map, the team should identify the problems and improvement opportunities known to exist by process users. We commonly find somewhere between 25 and 50 opportunities per process.
5. Assess Connectivity and Alignment.
Business System process alignment is an essential element of Business Process Improvement. BEM conducts a System Alignment Workshop on every Business System or Value Stream, where we bring all Process Owners together to evaluate their customer-supplier relationships. This leads Process Owners to find and fix the connectivity gaps between processes within the system or stream.
6. Assess Customer Value.
The team should assess the Process Owner’s understanding of the primary process customer and, when validated with that customer, define the process output specifications that meet that customer’s need.
7. Perform Process Analysis.
Process analysis should include areas such as Responsibilities, Value & Time Analysis, Information, and Opportunity.Process analysis further informs the process improvement opportunities that may be pursued by the team.
8. Define Process Metrics.
Most organizations desire to implement Business Process Improvement using a few key measures, including cost, time, quality and customer service. However, very few organizations actually consistently measure these characteristics.
9. Develop Business System or Value Stream Improvement Plan.
The Improvement Plan workshop engages Process & System Owners with company leadership to define system-level GMOST (goals, metrics, opportunities, strategies and tactics) against which sustainable Business Process Improvement efforts are aligned and prioritized.
10. Deploy the Business Process Improvement Plan.
Sustainable Business Process Improvement includes the elimination of problems and opportunities while continually finding new opportunities along the way.
Sustainable Business Process Improvement
Significant and sustainable Business Process Improvement is achievable through a simple, standard methodology that can be taught to all employees and systematically deployed throughout the organization.