What is TO BE process mapping?

In a recent post, we talked about as is process mapping, highlighting how important it is to adopt such mechanism in the process management. Now, continuing with the subject, we will approach the “To be” business process. The “To be” process mapping will incorporate improvements to the as is business process. The following article, extracted from the BPM Quotes blog and written by the specialist in Corporate Management Systems Pedro Mello explains what are the characteristics, precautions, and strategies to take when implementing the “To be” process mapping.

To have a wider knowledge about as is and “To be” process mapping, click on the link and read about process mapping BPM techniques.

Definition: it is the discussion, explanation, and documentation of the future situation of the process, known as TO BE. It is represented in a flow or diagram – also called design or modeling.

Who: the people who participate in this process are the ones who perform the “As is” process on a daily basis. When possible, it is also positive to have people who have had external and successful experiences with it, to enrich it.

Granularity:  the documentation’s level of detail depends on of the purpose of the project. We must be careful and gather all the data and information in just one meeting. The best way is to describe the “As is” process as explaining it to an apprentice new at the job, and that he or she understand all the specificities of how to do it.

Documentation structure: it is fundamental that the documented process – flow – has the equivalent element in the macro structure of organizational processes, represented by the Value Chain.

Precautions and Preparations to the TO BE process mapping:

  • In cases when the documentations are based on an ERP system, make sure that experts in each module participate in the to be business process definition.
  • Check the strategy and indicators related with the “As is” process purpose.
  • Make sure that the communication flows (within the Change Management scope).
  • Aware the senior managers about the project, its requirements, involvements, etc.
  • Talk with the operational about the project, its requirements, involvements, etc. (Management Process Workshops). 

TO BE process mapping techniques

The as is and “To be” process mapping can be done in many ways, depending on the scenery and the company’s context. The most usual are:

  • Interview: although is the most common it is not advisable because it considers only the view of one person.
  • JAD sessions: the representatives involved with the process gather and document the process. This is, by far, the most adequate, because it is fast and delivers quality.

What to consider when documenting TO BE business process:

  • Work with small process blocks – prioritizing always. Big projects tend to wear out with time, and take time to bring results, generating discredit.
  • Be careful not to map the process of the area – use the Chain Value as a guide.
  • Invite the people who know the most about the “As is” process to the mapping meetings is key to success.
  • Create an enthusiastic vision for the future – something that is positive to all, thus making everybody interested in achieving it.
  • Do not think about the restrictions; reflect on how the process should work.
  • Consider all the “I wish that” – remember the expectations of the senior management.
  • Always define Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
  • Always define a manager to the process.
  • Validate with the senior management the improvements identified and proposed at the as is and “To be” process mapping meetings.
  • Take notice if the managements’ expectations about the profits. Calculate the ROI (return on investment) to each process treated. The best source to do that are the improvements actions approved (validated) by the senior management. In that case, it is beneficial that we analyze the problem that we are solving, its value or the value of its harm, as well as the cost to develop and implement the solution.
  • Create an implementation plan for the changes, according to the possible dates to each approved (validated) improvement.    

Some common issues in TO BE process mapping:

  • What we are doing, and does not have value (consider both the client and the organization).
  • What we are not doing, but has value.
  • What we are doing little, but is expected to do more.
  • What we are doing a lot, but it is not so expected.
  • About the activities, contemplate what can be:
  • Eliminated;
  • Replaced;
  • Added;
  • Improved;
  • Unified (with other activities);
  • Put together and done in just one area;
  • Parallelized (according to the execution)

Checklist to the improvements implementation:

  • Follow every date and commitment. When implementing it, make sure that the executed process complies with the documentation. Get the signature of the responsible in a document, confirming this.
  • Try not to delegate or transfer the responsibility to follow and check the improvement implementation.
  • If the improvement to the “As is” process cannot be implemented in the date set, justify without losing the story.

Application to the TO BE documentation process:

  • A basis for the generation of the Blueprint implementation, in cases of design based on the system functionality ERP.
  • Operation image, defined by the process design.
  • Process study, related to costing, competences, risks, controls, etc.
  • Standardization, in the case of different practices within the same process in the same organization – unified vision.
  • Internal training for the new operation.
  • Source to the process automating, or to the developing of a computerized solution.

When you finish the as is and “To be” process mapping, do not forget to publish the obtained gains with the implemented improvements!

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