Business Process Mapping Part 3
May 14, 2012
By: David L Butler, PhD
Executive Director, National Association of Call Centers
This is the third post of series. To see the first post in this series go to Business Process Mapping Part 1 on May 10, 2012, or the second post Business Process Mapping Part 2 on May 13, 2012.
Business Process Mapping, when completed well, shows when, where and whom does what within an organization. It is a virtual representation of the processes occurring each and every minute that the organization is open. It provides a map of the white noise going on in the background. It offers order to what may seem chaotic. However, the real power of process mapping is not in its ability to show what is going on at a given time or location, even though that is good, it is in the ability of the user to then begin to ask the all important "Why" question. The what, when and who questions can be answered by any number of people within an organization from those in human resources to the trainers who teach the people about the "what" and the "when." Most organizations are set up to handle these questions with relative ease. What is missing from most organizations is asking why a person does what they do, why do they do it there and why do they do it that way as opposed to the any number of other ways one can do the similar task.
Let's look at a typical contact center. There are 100 customer service representatives on the phones. Each of these people have specific skills and take specific calls based on a routing from the system. The expectation is for each representative to successfully complete 20 calls per hour with less than 5% call backs to improve first call resolution. All of these are facts with each having some sort of data or metric to go along with the process. What is missing is someone coming in and asking, why 100 representatives instead of 50 or 150? Why skill based routing rather than non-skill based routing? Why 20 calls per hour versus 10 or 30 as the metric? Why do we hire more women than men? Why are most of our employees employed with us an average of 28 months? And the questions of "why" can go on for a long time.
The reason to use the "why" question is not to undermine the processes in place in the contact center. There was at one time a logic by which the processes were set up and that logic may still prevail. Then again, that logic may not still prevail and only institutional momentum is carrying the organization forward. Thus, is is paramount, as the process mapping exercise is occurring, each step of the process needs to have the "why" question asked to be sure that the basic principles still apply for keeping the process in place the way it has historically be completed.
When creating Business Process Map of an organization the people in the organization need to support the exercise. More on that in Business Process Mapping in Part 4.
Copyright © 2012 David L. Butler