This brings us to the major activity for many business process analysts, project managers and consultants; that of Business Process Modeling.
While many organizations don’t want to start there, we have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is the “as is” process. How things are done today, warts and all. When an organization wants to make change happen, they know change must happen, there is a general tendency to avoid documenting the existing process. Almost without fail this is a mistake. Without the institutional knowledge of the existing process, it is almost impossible to capture procedures, standards, methods and “the how” of how work gets done. Without this vital information all analysis will be based on assumptions that may not have any empirical value. So capturing the existing “as is” or “current state” process is an important first step in Business Process Modeling. If there are any plans for automation this is even more critical, as all elements needing automation will need to be carefully gathered to ensure the automated process does not introduce error or quality issues.
We have all been victim to revised automated computer processes that fell well short of their goals, adding time, frustration and customer dissatisfaction to the organization. Remedies are often expensive in the currency of finance and goodwill.
Once the data for the existing process has been captured, then the analysis can begin. In addition to reviewing the process for quality, efficiency and compliance we also can look at the process in the light of best practices in use in your industry or sector. This is often a great way to shorten and improve the analysis process taking advantage of what others have already learned in your sector. Measuring these against standards such as ISO, Six Sigma or others can also help the effectiveness of the analysis process.