That’s not our Process…

In the LinkedIn group ‘Business Process Improvement’ Vikas Gera started this discussion – Most of the time, people who know processes well are the ones who are least interested in documenting them.

Some of the comments…

Process oriented people may tend to dislike documenting. That’s because historically documenting is more often than not done for the sake of having a documented system in place.  They see it as busywork – adding no value to the process.

Then again, documenting is a skill. Not everyone has it. Few people value it.

My thoughts…

Having gone through this a number of times, processes aren’t always as simple as they appear.  I have found it extremely helpful to get input from all of the participants in the process.  Even then, the documented process will go through many iterations.

The first process that I attempted to document was eye opening.  I worked with a group representing the stake holders.  We spent a couple of hours mapping the process [about a 10 step process].  I scheduled a meeting for the following week to go over my diagram of their process.  Some of the original stake holders couldn’t make the meeting so they sent in a surrogate.  A couple of these surrogates said ‘that is not how the process works’.  So, I edited the process based on their input and we met again the next week to go over my diagram.  Again there were surrogates and again they pointed out errors.

The solution was to attempt to follow the paper diagram in person.  This uncovered some more edits, but in the end we had something akin to the actual process.

Still, by the time you get this process implemented into a system something [or someone] will have changed.  So, don’t expect perfection out of the gate.

Your thoughts…

What has been your experience?

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