In today’s world, maps have gone out of style. Everyone has a GPS on his or her smartphone or in their car. Simply input the destination, and it will display each step of the route. It even talks to you!
We wish there was a similar way to guide your business, but we still need to chart a course and have a definitive road map for success. A strategic and tactical tool that has recently become more popular has been Business Process Mapping (BPM).
Business Process Mapping should be a part of your change management strategy. Not only does it help your business better define your current practices, it also helps you identify the opportunities for improvement and the gaps in your current methodology. Below are four benefits that we’ve seen when conducting a business process mapping exercise that you should expect within your organization.
Promotes Teamwork and Collaboration
Business Process Mapping is an opportunity for disparate personnel and roles to come together. Not only does this break down the metaphorical walls within your organization, the knowledge silos also become ancient history. Meaningful dialogue about a common issue can be the foundation for building trust and solidarity. People view this as a team effort to help tackle critical business issues, and because of that, they are more willing to share, collaborate, and be positive agents for change within your organization.
Provides a Medium for Change
Depending on the organization, when people hear the words “change” or “change management” it is often not received with open arms. And if it is a breath of fresh air, then it is likely your organization has been dysfunctional for quite some time. However, business process mapping can be that medium for change. It can provide you a structured method for enabling personnel in critical roles to participate in these sessions to support and improve a process. Business Process Mapping is a subtle vehicle for change. The best part is that when the right people are involved, the change happens organically because it occurs from the ground up, not from a top down approach.
Identifies Opportunities for Improvement
This is by far one of the best reasons to conduct a business process mapping session. These design sessions create an environment where people openly discuss the process as it is today. What subject do they spend the most time discussing? The painful points within the process of course! Whether it is a lack of communication, a lack of visibility, a lack of clarity, or just plain illogical thinking, people tend to spend most of their time discussing the hurdles and obstacles they must get over in order to achieve the end result. Luckily, business process mapping is a non-threatening productive way for your personnel to voice their concerns and to capture those critical elements that need to be improved.
Helps Define Future Business Needs
After you identify opportunities for improvement, there will likely be gaps between your current state process and the future state process. These gaps are the critical path items that will help your business successfully navigate the change management process. If you’re not identifying future needs and gaps between your current and future state process maps, then you are likely not changing at all. What you’re looking for are measurable results, usually in the form of time savings or dollar savings. What we hope to achieve in these sessions is that the organization recognizes critical resources that will augment the process. Then, be sure to execute your plan and it is guaranteed to make the organization more effective or efficient.
When our organization assists companies with an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System Evaluation and potential selection process, business process mapping is a critical element. The process maps define the current state of the business, while the future state process maps expose very critical gaps. This helps us as consultants define those highly strategic elements in your business and select the best packages to bridge the gap.
In the end you can directly affect productivity, reduce waste, lower costs, and improve the bottom line. Everyone who gets involved is now part of the solution and not just part of the problem. A well-defined business process map can give you a clear direction to a more streamlined process, which will keep everyone on the same path to success.
This blog post was co-authored by Kevin Goergen:
Kevin Goergen works in our M&M Business Solutions Group. Kevin has over 5 years of experience in business analysis and consulting and primarily works with clients in the manufacturing industry, assisting them with business process evaluation, and providing application training and implementation services of Enterprise Resource Planning Software Systems. going in the same direction.