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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Project Management and Business Process Mapping

Hopefully, every project manager has been involved at one time or another with helping their customers map their business processes. Business process maps make work flow visible, understandable, and measurable. An important consideration when mapping your business processes is to view them through the eyes of your customers.

Four steps you can take to begin Process Mapping are:

Identify Your Organization's/Project's Business Processes

What are the processes in your organization that your project will impact?
What new processes will be created once your project is implemented?
What are your customers understanding of your processes?
What are the key trigger points of your processes?

Gather required information

Who are the process owners?
What are the processes you've identified trying to accomplish?
What is the level of quality required? Risk?
What are the control points?

Documenting the Processes

What are all the steps of the processes?
What are the objectives of the processes?
What are the inputs and outputs?
What tools or techniques are applied in each process step?
Where does the process begin and end?
Who owns the process?
Who monitors the process?
How we will know it is working?

Analysis (post mapping)

Is the process efficient?
Does it make sense?
What steps are unnecessary?
Is the process in line with departmental or enterprise objectives?
Are there too many approvals or too much rework?
Are there too many delays or bottlenecks?
Is the process efficient? How do you know?
What measures will be put in place to ensure the process is as efficient as possible?

There are many opportunities for problems to occur when mapping processes, but getting started will help your organization to become more effective. Once you become good at mapping your business processes everyone in your organization will begin to understand their role in the organization, what the organization it trying to accomplish, and feel like they are part of the effort to help drive improvements and efficiencies.

There are plenty of books on the subject to help your get started. Click the link below for books that can help.

Process Mapping Books

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