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The 4 Steps in Business Process Mapping


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In this presentation, we expand on the four steps necessary to perform Business Process Mapping (BPM), which we addressed in our webinar, "Take Your Service Operation from OK to Very Good: Best Practices in Business Process Mapping." During the webinar, John Ragsdale, Vice President of Technology Research with TSIA, highlighted the importance of defining processes before any technology project. We also addressed the benefits of Business Process Mapping and provided a high level overview of four steps to perform BPM. This drills down into each step to provide additional insights.

Step 1: Process Identification - Using a customer scorecard to keep customers at the forefront of your processes

Step 2: Information Gathering - 8 areas of focus

Step 3: Interviewing and Mapping - Who and what to ask to get to the root of the process

Step 4: Analysis - Use the 7 Rs of process innovation

Next Step: Building a case for business process mapping


Published in: Business, Technology

The 4 Steps in Business Process Mapping

  1. 1. Business Process Mapping by CSDP Corporation
  2. 2. This presentation is an overview of the 4 steps to performing Business Process Mapping (BPM). We explain each step including how to build a case for BPM. Overview
  3. 3. Using a customer scorecard to keep customers at the forefront of your processes Step 1 Process Identification -
  4. 4. Process Identification The purpose of this step is to gain a full understanding of all the steps of a process. Many companies take a departmental view, but rather than using this silo’d view, a better way is to look processes from the customer’s perspective.
  5. 5. Process Identification First, identify your customer trigger events, which are all the interaction points your company has with its customers.
  6. 6. Process Identification Then develop a customer scorecard. Have your team members do short interviews with customers to find out what customers need, want, and require of the processes and how the processes are currently performing. Compile the data and look for problems, trends, and things that are working well.
  7. 7. Process Identification Determine best practices and goals for improvement. Look at the visible and transparent supporting processes (the things your customer never sees). Create a graphic presentation of the major processes, including how they interrelate and support each other.
  8. 8. Process Identification Read the Technology Services Association’s (TSIA’s) report Process Is the Key to Technology Project Success to better understand why processes are the single most important element in determining the success of a new technology project. The report discusses common problems with service lifecycle management business processes, including the top two reasons poor processes create technology project failures.
  9. 9. 8 Areas of Focus Step 2 Information Gathering -
  10. 10. Information Gathering In this second step, you ‘ll need to conduct process interviews and review any existing documentation to gather information on and have a full understanding of the following 8 areas in your service lifecycle management operations. Image courtesy of
  11. 11. Information Gathering Responsibilities: Identify the key responsibilities of the process area and who is responsible for those actions.
  12. 12. Information Gathering Objectives: Answer the question: What is being accomplished? This will help you determine the objectives and goals for the process.
  13. 13. Information Gathering Activities: Look at what actions are being performed in the process (including current policies and procedures), when and where the actions are performed, and how the actions are performed (in other words what is being utilized to perform the action e.g. pencil and paper, specific software, database, etc.). Be sure to identify every task and every decision. Image courtesy of
  14. 14. Information Gathering Inputs: This is whatever enters something into the process. This can include resources (people), materials, and equipment (software). Be specific by listing out types of materials, names of reports or queries, software being used, etc. Image courtesy of
  15. 15. Information Gathering Outputs: This is whatever is produced as a result of this action; the key deliverables of each activity including both products and services as applicable.
  16. 16. Information Gathering Customers: You should already have your customer scorecards from the previous step. Be sure you’ve captured information from all recipients of the outputs of each activity including both internal and external customers.
  17. 17. Information Gathering Risks & Controls: Here you need to identify what risks exist with this process (ask yourself: what can stop this process from being accomplished and what could go wrong?) and what controls can be put in place to minimize those risks. Make sure you have at least one control for each risk.
  18. 18. Information Gathering Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): These will help you define the measures of success for the process; for example, you can measure cycle times for the process. These can also be broader to include multiple processes; for example, SLA compliance and workforce utilization.
  19. 19. Who and What to Ask to Get the to Root of the Process Step 3 Interviewing and Mapping –
  20. 20. Break down each process into the individual steps being performed (from start to finish) and document work that is actually being done from the people actually doing the work, not what is supposed to be done or what you think is happening. Do this through observation, interviews, and/or meetings. Get specific about the items, tasks, steps, and decisions in the process so you don’t overlook important areas for efficiency improvements. Use the questions on the next page as a guide to help you break down the steps in your process. Once you’ve documented the process, verify your work with people who actually perform the process. Is anything missing or inaccurate? Could a person not familiar with the process understand the flow? Interviewing and Mapping
  21. 21. Interviewing and Mapping • Who performs each activity? • What generates the process/task? • What forms and reports are used? • What computer systems, specific software programs, and files are used? • How do we do it? Why do we do it? • Are there any alternatives to the activity? • What products/tools/supplies are needed? • What decisions are made in the process? • What happens next? What sequence are the activities performed in? • Who reviews it and when? • What approvals are needed? • How long does it take? • How does this affect the customer? • What is the nature, frequency and cause of errors/problems? • How are errors/problems/exceptions handled? • Where does the output go? • What rules need to be taken into consideration? • What other processes is this process liked to?
  22. 22. Use the 7Rs of Process Innovation Step 4 Analysis –
  23. 23. Analysis Analysis should be occurring throughout the process and again when the existing processes are fully mapped. Look at each step in each process and evaluate it thoroughly. If a step does not add value to the process, ask yourself why it is being performed. • Can it be eliminated, combined, or the effort reduced? • Does each step of the process support the overall business objectives? • Is there any role or responsibility ambiguity? • Where are the delays between steps? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg…
  24. 24. Analysis One good way to organize your analysis is to use Stephen Shapiro’s 7Rs of Process Innovation: Rethink, Reconfigure, Reassign, Re-sequence, Relocate, Reduce, and Retool as originally described in his book 24/7 Innovation: A Blueprint for Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Change. Here are some specific suggestions questions he recommends for each step: Rethink • Why do it this way? What are the assumptions? • Is there a completely different way to accomplish this objective? • Is there a better, faster, cheaper way to complete the most expensive, slowest, poorest quality steps? Reconfigure • How can the activity be eliminated? • Can we consolidate common activities? • How can reconciliation be reduced by putting quality at the source? • Can we eliminate handoffs and non-value adding work? • How can sharing information with suppliers and clients improve the process?
  25. 25. Analysis Re-sequence • How can predicting increase efficiency? • How can parallelism reduce time? • How can we minimize the number of interconnections and dependencies? Relocate • Can the activity be moved closer to the client or the supplier? • Can an activity be moved to related activities? • How can we decrease cycle time by reducing travel time and distance? Reduce • How can the frequency of the activity be reduced increased? • How would more information enable greater effectiveness? • How can critical resources be used more effectively? Image courtesy of
  26. 26. Analysis Reassign • How can the customer or suppliers/partners perform this activity? • How can the activity be outsourced? • How can cross-training integrate and compress tasks? Retool • How can technology transform the process? • How can the activity be automated? • How can skill-level changes improve the process? You can view a more complete list of Stephen’s questions along with situations where the questions might apply here. Additional information can be found on Stephen’s website (including a great blog). In our last blog in this series, we’ll address how to build the business case for a Business Process Mapping project.
  27. 27. Build the Business Case for a Business Process Mapping Project Wha tNex t?
  28. 28. BPM Benefits • Improving organizational efficiency & productivity • Aligning processes with your business objectives • Providing the ability to respond more quickly to business and environmental changes • Increasing effectiveness • Maximizing customer interactions • Gaining competitive advantage • Improving process communication Image courtesy of
  29. 29. Build the case for BPM To get a business process mapping project off the ground, make sure you have a clear understanding of why you want to embark on this project. Whether you are trying to fix a problem or address an opportunity, you need a compelling business case. This starts with: – A clear understanding of the business reason(s) for the project – Exactly what you are trying to improve – Why it needs to be improved – Benefits of the improvements – Consequences of not making the improvements – Analysis of risks Often, it helps to start with the processes that are causing the service operation the most or most immediate pain. Some typical areas are service contracts and entitlements, RMAs, vendor/supplier management, etc. Also consider whether the processes are manual, paper-intensive, inconsistent or inefficient. If they are, they can be good candidates for a business process mapping project.
  30. 30. Build the case for BPM Next, you need a clear description of the problem. Start by developing a baseline of the current state. To help identify the problems, make sure you understand: • Who is performing the activities • What are they doing • When and where are they doing it • Why and how is it being done Now, define benefits and impact of the BPM project on the organization. You might need to describe the impact to the business if the problem is not solved. This could include threats like loss of market share, lower profits, over or under-delivering on service, etc. Benefits will be directly linked to the problems you’ve identified. When you think about benefits like increasing customer satisfaction, get more specific with things like faster problem resolution, increased first time resolution, increased customer self-service, etc. Increasing efficiencies could be described more specifically as reduced rework, avoiding unnecessary inventory investments, better scheduling of field technicians, etc.
  31. 31. Build the case for BPM Include performance metrics and success criteria by looking at your corporate objectives. Do the target processes influence any corporate objectives? Tying process improvements directly to overall corporate objectives will help build value for the project. Whatever the goals may be, make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). Finally, make sure you have an executive or department to sponsor and champion the project. You’ll need resources (people and money) to make a BPM project a reality. Getting an executive to sponsor your project and personalize the business case toward him/her. Show the overall benefits of the project and how it will benefit your sponsor specifically. In the Technology Services Industry Association’s (TSIA) report, Process Is the Key to Technology Project Success, John Ragsdale addresses the top two reasons why poor processes lead to technology project failures. So if one of the reasons you are embarking on a business process mapping project is the need for updated technology, this is a report you should read.
  32. 32. Build the case for BPM If you’re looking to hire a BPM consultant to help with your BPM project, the report discusses several benefits of this approach: “Professional services consultants can provide different perspectives based on industry best practices and can move projects along more quickly. Consultants can also help when you’re too focused on the details to see the bigger picture and can suggest alternatives that your team may not think of. When looking for a consulting firm, make sure they have real world expertise in the area of services that you are trying to fix and transform. Not all consulting firms have this expertise.” Image courtesy of
  33. 33. View a replay of our webinar, Take Your Service Operation from OK to Very Good: Best Practices in Business Process Mapping. On the webinar, John Ragsdale, VP of Technology Research with TSIA, highlighted the importance of defining processes before any technology project. We also addressed the benefits of Business Process Mapping and provided a high level overview of four steps to perform BPM. Read our Business Process Mapping Project brochure. See all the steps in an infographic. Read our BPM White Paper. Next Steps
  34. 34. CSDP is a services-led software company with solutions that can automate the entire post-sale service delivery process including: • Field Service • Reverse Logistics • Customer Support • Service Contracts, Warranty & Entitlements Our clients have realized improved customer satisfaction by up to 15 points, increases in service profitability exceeding 10%, decreased average cost per repair of 50% and increases in first call resolution greater than 20%. The Service Relationship Management (SRM)© product suite addresses the complete end-to-end service delivery lifecycle including Contact Center, Dispatch/Mobile, Depot Repair, Inventory Control & Management, Knowledge Management, Marketing and Quote Generation, Warranty Entitlement, Training, Contracts/Billing, Reports, Scheduling, and Time Tracking. Our software is fully tailored to fit your company's needs and easily integrates with your existing infrastructure so that it implements quickly and begins generating ROI immediately. CSDP's SRM© software solution has been delivered to some of the world’s foremost Fortune 500 companies to include IBM, Xerox, Fujitsu, Whirlpool, Rockwell and PSE&G. About CSDP
  35. 35. Website Blog Service Relationship Management LinkedIn Group Contact us at 888-741-2737 X 107 E-mail us at CSDP Corporation 15615 Alton Parkway, Suite 310 Irvine, CA 92618 Contact CSDP