Rarely does any technology change proceed without creating a need for altered business processes. In this video, Bob McGannon takes you through building business process maps including analyzing performance areas, the decisions that are made and by whom, the information or status required and what the desired outputs are in both content and format.
- My wife will the first to admit that she's become very particular about her coffee in the morning. So, we bought one of those fancy espresso makers, and as a result, my morning routine has changed. I used to put water and coffee in a pot and turn it on. Now I'm carefully measuring and compacting coffee, frothing milk, and warming the cups so we can have the perfect morning pick me up. In other words, new technology has changed my morning process.
Rarely does any technology change proceed without creating a need for altered business processes. In fact the for business process change is often the inspiration for technology projects. This is because technology can bring about efficiencies that are otherwise not achievable. As technology change is planned and implemented, business process changes are typically required to maximize the effectiveness of the change. To appropriately plan the journey to where you want to be, it's important to first understand your point of departure.
I recommend you complete As Is and To Be business process maps. For the As Is processes, you'll need an inventory of existing processes and how they work. Although you may see this as a waste of time, it's not. Not only will this help you understand your journey, but you'll probably learn a lot about your business as well. Let me share an example of a project I managed. The project was moving along well in all areas except one.
We were developing process maps for a number of business areas, and the human resource piece was taking much longer to complete than we expected. As I dug deeper by looking at the completed As Is process maps, I realized the degree of change for HR was going to be more significant and more complex than expected. It required deeper analysis. Due to the additional analysis, we added more technology requirements to our solution. We would have never realized this if we'd not completed the As Is process maps.
Now, let's shift to the To Be or future state process maps. For To Be processes, you'll need a lot more detail as this is typically where efficiencies can be gained. In your To Be maps, you need to document what area preforms the work, what decisions are made and by whom, what information or status is required as input, and what you desire for outputs, both in content and format.
For larger projects, you'll want a process mapping management tool to manage this. However, for smaller projects you can easily manage this yourself with simple drawing tools. And you could use a spreadsheet to capture details of your processes. In your spreadsheets, make an entry for each step in a process. You can then specify the requirements that are satisfied by a given process or step. In addition, when you develop test criteria, you can assign test elements to a process.
This ensures that each requirement is covered by a business process, and that each business process is tested, comprehensive yet simple. If you run into a situation where a requirement is not supported by a given business process, question if the requirement is valid. Conversely, if you have a business process with technology touchpoints that doesn't have a corresponding requirement, you're probably missing something, and can start new discussions with your business teams.
So, the best way to manage business change is to diligently understand both As is and To Be processes. Do this effectively, and you'll know that morning coffee is supposed to be a double espresso, latte, or cappuccino, and you can start the right process to get that going.
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Guiding process and organizational change
- Considering a cloud-based solution
- Planning a technology project
- Assessing risks and changes
- Executing a technology project
- Addressing challenges such as conflict and changing priorities