High Level Process Mapping and KPI’s – Part 2

This week, we want to continue on the thought of helping you define and discover KPI and high level process mappings to help jump start your BPM project. We will start this series by focusing on planning activities to ensure you have a solid foundation to support process modeling activities and continue into modeling best practices and approaches.   .

Pre Project Activities:

In an effort to include structure and governance as part of your overall BPM program we recommend the adoption of a standardized taxonomy framework. Frameworks are used to assist organizations with describing, scoping and classifying their business processes.

  • Taxonomy – provides a detailed framework for scoping boundaries of processes

However initially this provides little value but do aid in the long term success of BPM. So an informal approach is typically your best bet for early projects.  

Process Decomposition:

It is important however to understand process decomposition as you under take your first attempts at process modeling. One process may be made up of several other lower-level processes. The breakdown of a group of processes, into its lower-level processes and eventually to a series of tasks, is known as process decomposition. Decomposition provides several initial benefits such as:

  • Shows linkages between different process levels.
  • It is used to define and communicate project scope.
  • It is used as the foundation for more detailed process documentation like mapping..

The importance of individual process maps is of course that they illustrate the flow of work of a process at a single process decomposition level.  A series of process levels enables a business process to be depicted from a high-level view, or a more granular view depending on the project need or team need. It enables a process to depict an entire value chain of a business with high level components without too much detail, or a subsection of the value chain at a lower level, with more detailed views.  The goal of any process mapping exercise or the goal of any team involved in process mapping exercises should be to start and capture process information at one of these levels, then endeavor over time to branch out both to more detailed or finer grained levels of process mapping and to higher level enterprise mapping exercises.  In our experience capturing  a generic process level detail with KPI’s and high level process maps is a great place to begin, followed by decomposition to finer and finer levels of process description.  After value and understanding has been shown at these levels (a.k.a. you’ve got some process project wins that have shown value to the greater organization) and the business has the stated direction of process improvement through automation of business process, then the higher level enterprise mapping exercise makes sense.  Very rarely have we ever encountered high level enterprise level process mapping exercises which returned value over the short term or retained value to the organization over the long term…therefore were of little value at all in and of themselves to any organization.

Next installment:  Defining process levels, their scope and definition and value and the difference between business process mapping and business process modeling.

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