A lot of people, when reading or hearing about the modeling of processes wonders: „how can the modeling of processes help in our organization?”, “can this model solve our real problems?”. In the post below I will try to resolve the above doubts.
Modelling of processes is without any doubt connected with the reality of a company. In short, the purpose of activity is to describe, how a given process is working in an organization (and very often how it should be working). The process itself is a repetitive set of activities which lead to the obtaining of expected results (process products) in a given activity area of a company as a result of activities taken by persons who play specified roles in the process. The example of a process may be the handling of correspondence, complaints or technical support of the clients.
When does the modeling of processes bring effects?
The simple answer is: in the majority of the cases… however the benefits for a given enterprise will be different depending on the actual situation in a given area. The adopted strategy of works specifying among others the area of a company covered by the modeling and the expected products (deliverables) of the analysis phase is of great value. Determination of further steps after the completion of the modelling is important as well.
Do we have to wait for the effects of the work till the end of the analysis?
The first effects of the work connected with the modeling of processes are obtained quite fast due to the fact that during the workshops conducted with the process participants, as a result of the talks and answers to the questions, we obtain the overall image of the process – with consideration of particular activities, dependencies between the activities and roles. Thanks to this, every participant can better understand the significance of these activities in the context of the entire process.
The exchange of information naturally creates the opportunity to review the tasks within the process, to pose new questions connected with the validity of previously identified presumptions and to identify the improvements. The needs for changes may be of various scale – from the small ones (e.g. changes of the layout of documents templates) to the need for remodeling of the entire process In connection with the change of conditioning. These improvements which may be introduced on the spot, as the intermediate stage before the introduction of all changes, become the first effects of the works (i.e. the so called “quick-wins”).
What can help during the performance of works?
The provision of documentation of performer works, the existing procedures, instructions may help – but it is not necessary for the commencement of the works. In other words – if the process diagram or card is not available, the worked out documentation may be obtained as a result of the works connected with the modelling. Thanks to this an organization will achieve a measurable result – the owner of the process and all interested persons will have the chance to use the actual process model to be applied in the future (the nest posts will be devoted to this issue…).
Automation (irrespective of what it concerns) provokes countless emotions. We hate automation truly and fervently and sometimes even with great devotion. It happens very often that the ideas connected with automation of a certain process make the potential participants of this process wear their most coarse armors.
Right after the idea, million of reasons emerge, which make the process as unique and ambivalent as possible. The scale of uniqueness immediately expands to its breaking point.
In a sense such a reaction is quite understandable. I was told that I have to do something in a specified way and I am doing it according to the guidelines provided to me by prehistoric highlanders and I follow the same path every year. The fact that the reality doesn’t fit to the instructions of the prehistoric highlanders is unfortunately very often neglected by us.
In this short text I would like to refer to this reality, which doesn’t fit to the above mentioned instructions. Very often some solutions which worked on the smaller scale (of notifications, reports, analyses, projects) in certain moment start to cover everything else.
Several clicks, which at the beginning of the way seemed to be less absorbing, turn into thousands of clicks in order to obtain the same effect. The report which initially was composed of a few positions and its preparation i.e. copying data, took just a moment, changed into a monster who is devouring time just like a greedy glutton. The frustration is growing every day. There is no time to analyze the report itself, because its preparation is so time-consuming that you can’t see its contents.
Sometimes when sitting in the epicenter of this clicking, it is hard to notice any connections. Such a connection may let’s say be the fact that the supplier of data to our report (for example controlling or data store) is delivering it in a format which must be conversed. This usually takes certain time.
What would happen if we had a macro or any other solution, which with just one click would standardize data in a way preventing us from arduous and irritating part of the job consisting in making the said data usable? Is this kind of automation truly useful or harmful as well? Ca nit be adopted with a spoon or rather with a fork or maybe it cannot be adopted at all?
Are we threatened by some kind of a cataclysm when we are applying a solution, which can make our life easier and a part of a process will at last become painless and less irritating?