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

Kamishibai Boards

Available to purchase here. Some tools are incredibly simple to use, and also deliver some amazing results. Kamishibai boards are a great example and are superb when you want some visual control over routine tasks. By the way Kamishibai is pronounced "come-e-she-bye" in case you were wondering! As simple as you could want it, a Kamishibai board is a T-card system that has red cards glued to green cards (so that each T-card has a red side and a green side). The red cards are for the incomplete tasks, where as the green cards symbolise that the work has been done. See the photo below of a board in use. On the red side of the card you write the name of the task that needs to be completed, and if appropriate you can include details of how the task is to be completed. This is not expected to replace standard operating procedures, but can be a good opportunity for an aide memoire. The boards can be organised for daily, weekly and even monthly cycles. They are g

Kamishibai Boards: A Visual Management Tool to Improve Discipline and Workplace Habits

If you need to increase your effectiveness in the workplace and need a visual tool to help with day to day task management then this short guide is for you. Giles Johnston, a business improvement consultant for small to medium sized businesses, takes you through the steps needed to implement a low / no cost solution to your day to day management problems - a 'Kamishibai' board.  A Kamishibai board can help to improve discipline within the workplace and ensure that the working days / weeks / months are more effective. Common within businesses that use 'lean' methods to improve efficiency and performance (and very effective to use when implementing 5S), a Kamishibai board can be used in its own right, in any kind of business, whether you are going through a lean transformation or not.  Click here to view on Amazon.com. Smartspeed Consulting Limited Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.

What is 5S and how does it help to improve the performance of my business?

Many businesses have heard of 5S; it is a simple workplace organisation system that is designed to make workplaces more effective and more efficient, as well as safer. Many businesses also try and fail at implementing 5S . It might be simple, but as you will know, anything that involves changing the behaviours of your staff isn’t always straightforward. If you haven’t heard of 5S before there are five basic steps, all beginning with ‘S’. They are: Sort – clearing out the clutter and re-distributing other people’s belongings. Set in order – optimising the workplace so that everything you need frequently is close at hand. Shine – cleaning the workplace to an appropriate level. Standards – defining what good looks like and how you will keep it that way. Sustain – forming the habits to retain the benefits of an organised and disciplined workplace. So, how does 5S improve the performance of your business? From a safety perspective, fewer accidents means less downtime.