Skip to main content

If you mapped your processes, would you keep them the same?

Most people I speak to would say “no”.

Another question for you - have you mapped your processes recently?

I’m not talking about do you have mapped processes for your ISO 9001 Quality Management System from five years ago, I’m talking about a process being mapped in the last six months.


Warts and all

Also, there are two kinds of map – the ideal process and the real process.
So, in clarifying my second question, have you mapped your real processes in the last six months?

Real process maps include things like:

  • Rework loops.
  • Points of concern / irritation.
  • All of the steps required to complete one ‘ideal’ step.

It’s warts and all.
Improvements jump out

This is why so many businesses don’t say yes to the first question – once they map out their real process (and not a sterilised version) improvements leap out.

That is not to say that the original process was flawed, circumstances change and documented processes often lag behind either what is required, or what is happening.

If you don’t already have a recent warts and all process map, an accompanying ‘Future State Map’ and an action plan to close the gap between the two then I recommend taking a time out to do so.

It doesn’t take long to map out a process, but the rewards for doing so can be enormous.

Embrace the journey

Don’t worry if you find yourself getting into an argument about the correct mapping out of the process steps; this is just a sign that you have a process that is broken and needs to be repaired. It is part of the journey to achieving a higher performing process.

It’s definitely worth the investment in time, just don’t forget the action plan or the new way of working won’t become a reality.


Giles



About the author
Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes.
Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.

Popular posts from this blog

Kaizen improvements need to be specific

Do you find that your Kaizen improvements don't always go to plan? If you do, then you're with the majority! Whilst there is great deal of 'trial and error' there is a simple approach that can help. Available from Amazon Being specific about critical parts of your improvement can uplift your results. So, how do you go about doing this? The most direct route is to be clear about which parts of your improvement are critical. From here you can explain, in detail, what you want for those items. This might take some practice as many of us have become lazy in this regard. We take it for granted that our team 'get us' and will know what they need to do. If you ever feel that something basic is missing from an improvement ask this question: "What does good look like?" The answer should put you back on track. About the author: Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes and

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w