Search This Blog

Loading...

16 August 2007

Process Analysis 101 - Part 3; Inputs and Outputs

This is the third post about some techniques you can use to ensure you do good quality work when eliciting, documenting and analysing business processes.

When documenting business processes in workshops, interviews and other forums there are a number of useful techniques you can apply that will ensure your elicitation of data and analysis are of a high quality.

When analysing processes you are identifying the sequential steps of value adding and transformational activities that (typically) help fulfil customer needs. Each step should be linked to the ones before and after it by their entry and exit criteria, or by their inputs and outputs.

Extending my previous example; the inputs and outputs around scheduling a technician visit may be a customer calling and asking for a service activation and the confirmation of the order on the technician’s daily job list.

There are all sorts of inputs and outputs, but what you should do when capturing process steps is listen to ensure that you are clear about each input and output and that there is a logical and sequential ink between the steps.

If you come across gaps as you go through your elicitation process you need to back up and question the subject matter expert about what’s going on. Have they skipped a step in their description? Have they described activities out of sequence? Or is there a flaw in the business process.

If it’s one of the former you can sort the problem out by more careful questioning and investigation. If it’s a case of the latter then this is your opportunity to improve the process, or avoid migrating the problem forward into the new post project state.