Business Process Mapping Part 1
May 10, 2012
By: David L Butler, PhD
Executive Director, National Association of Call Centers
For the past several years an issue within the contact center industry continues to be brought to my attention. The issue is that of business process mapping, or process mapping as I sometimes call it. If you are not familiar with this term it is basically the process of mapping out, in detail, all of the process from the smallest transaction to the largest global flows, to understand what is happening within an organization. The real strength of process mapping is not only the visual tool of seeing how the organization works, who does what and when, but also to answer the all important "why" question. Why does this employee do this at this time? Why do they do it that way? Why is this considered essential to the organization? Why has this process not been automated? And so on.
The reason why process mapping is critical is that when many organizations are formed they set up processes. These processes are then cemented in place, training put into place to reinforce these processes, people hired to fill each needed process hole and the organization runs. The issue is that as people leave and new people are hired to replace them in the organization, the new people are trained to do the same processes as the person before them, and before them and before them. If someone not at a high enough level asks a question such as, "Why do we do it this way," the most common response is, "that is the way is has always been done." If someone with sufficient authority within, or from outside the organization (re a consultant), asks the same question, there is an opportunity to review the business processes, mapping them out, and asking the "why" question at each juncture. More about Business Process Mapping in Part 2.
Copyright © 2012 David L. Butler