Covid has got us all tightening our belts and focusing on reducing our costs to give us an edge against our competitors, so it’s not surprising that many businesses are turning to Business Process mapping as a vehicle to help them achieve their goals and become a best in class organisation. Understanding your processes, and overlaying them with data will improve quality of service, reduce cycle and delivery time and ultimately reduce costs and improve the customer experience.
If you think I’m an advocate of Business Process mapping you’d be right. It has helped me deliver £67.9m of cost benefits. Almost all of the transformation opportunities that I have identified and delivered over the years have related to
- Broken processes
- No recovery process for when things fall off the “Happy Path”
- Over engineered processes where unnecessary work is carried out
- A lack of adherence to a documented process
- No process measures so no one has any idea how many tasks are processed each day or how productive the workforce is.
- No co ordination between team members in a department, and even less co ordination where a process runs across different departments or organisations.
Processes are mapped, and then never used.
I’ve also seen companies, who recognizing the importance of Business Processes, have brought in expensive consultants to get it done quickly. They get them documented, find a repository to store them in, share them with the business owners and then nothing happens. They sit in the repository and no one looks at them. The business owners aren’t trained or equipped to do anything with them and anyway they are busy running the operation.
So if you don’t have your Business Processes defined along with the appropriate process measure, or if you have spent time mapping them but not taken the next steps then how do you know how efficient your organisation is?
It doesn’t have to be like that. Once the processes are mapped it’s just the start to the ultimate goal of a best in class organisation. Once you have processes mapped you’re on the road to Process Maturity.
So what is Process Maturity?
If Business process is the framework or the structure that holds your business together then Process Maturity is the measure of structure effectiveness and stability.
Process Maturity is a framework made up of 5 stages. The objective is to move through each stage and improve the maturity of each process as you go. The outcome is a best in class organisation that gives you a competitive edge over the competition.
Process Maturity also gives you structure which means that everyone knows what they should be doing. There are measures in place to ensure the process and work or service is working at an optimum level
Let's take a closer look
Process Maturity level 0 – People dependent - No documentation
If you don’t document your processes there is no guarantee that work will be completed to time, cost and quality. There is no Service Level Agreement (SLA) between different departments and this can impact delivery time.
People in the same department may all have their own way of doing things which can result in variation and repetition. This type of work often requires the cost of a supervisor or manager. There is no knowledge transfer and training documentation so if someone leaves there is nothing to support the new recruit.
Process Maturity level 1 – Some processes documented
Processes are limited but documentation is not evident because processes are either not being adhered to, or they have changed since they were first documented. At this level no one is able to tell if the process is being adhered to as there are no measures or checks in place.
In my opinion this is almost worse than no documentation because time has been spent documenting some of the processes to no effect.
Process Maturity level 2 – Partial deployment
Processes are documented on flowcharts with some limited process metrics.
There is still no process ownership and processes are still reactive rather than proactive. Processes are deployed but not consistently. Some functions may be covered while others are not.
Process Maturity level 3 – Full deployment or Controlled state.
Processes have been defined and they cover all functions and cross functions. Process measures are in place which measure adherence to the process. The processes reflect the actions that are taken. In other words they match.
There is process ownership and the process owners understand the relationship the process has with internal and external customers which includes feedback on customer satisfaction. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are in place between departments
Process Maturity level 4 –Measured, Improving and automated
Processes are now linked to systems and as a consequence are automated. Process ownership now also includes system ownership. Efficiency targets are now set. There is a focus on completing the process within specified timelines and theses are built into the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Process measures are not just in place, they are also hitting their targets
Customer satisfaction has improved as more robust processes ensure a consistent customer experience and automation of process has improved delivery timescales.
Operating costs have reduced.
Process Maturity level 5 – Best in class and continuously improving
The operation, business processes and business systems are now under control and are aligned to future strategy. Process and system owners are fully engaged and continuous improvement is embedded into the workplace. Process measures including on time delivery, cost reduction, customer and employee satisfaction are exceeding targets and targets increased in line with the improvements
This business is now considered to be a best in class organisation
Having Process Maturity in an organisation means that tasks are done in a documented way. Everyone knows what is expected of them and performs accordingly. Opportunities to improve the processes have been identified and implemented and the organisation is continuously improving. In such organisations, performance is not dependent on individuals doing what they assume is correct, but due to proper process flow.
If you are going to map your processes you can use microsoft powerpoint or opt for a process mapping software tool. The review below includes free tools to get you started
Review of process mapping tools
If you want to know more on how to achieve a best in class organisation through Process Maturity then contact me below and if you enjoyed this then please share with your friends and family.