Workflow management is an activity that aims to analyze, detect points of improvement, design new processes and implement them in an organization with the goal of making them more productive and effective.
Within the workflow analysis steps, one of the most important is process analysis.
Through it, you can understand how processes are unfolding in the company at this time to study them in search of points of improvement.
In this post, you will learn the 3 workflow analysis steps and the 10 points that need to be studied in them.
Workflow management and the 3 workflow analysis steps
Even before starting the 3 workflow analysis steps, to practice proper company workflow management, you must have the thorough knowledge of the organization’s strategic planning.
This is the only way to properly align the business objectives with the efficiency of its processes. With this understanding, the first stage of process analysis begins.
1- Interview employees (actors)
There is no more effective way of understanding the flow of a process than by interviewing those who perform it or have some form of experience of it.
At this stage of process analysis, it is necessary to identify:
- The activities of the process and its sequence
- Its participants, their responsibilities and the hierarchical level of each
- The information the process uses generates or transforms
2- Analysis of process models
To analyze the process models, you need to answer 10 questions:
What is the reason for the process?
What does it seek to accomplish? The systems it uses? What value does it add to the final product? And what is its current performance level?
What performance metrics do you use?
What KPIs are defined and which points are measured? Is the process within the expected performance standards (or not)?
How many interactions with customers are there? And what are they?
Also, who are the customers? What are their needs? Are they satisfied? Check for redundant or unnecessary interactions with customers.
How many handoffs are there? And what are they?
Handoffs are moments in the process where information passes to another person/system. Check if any of them are creating information bottlenecks and whether the organization measures the time between them.
What are the rules of the business?
Business rules are standardized procedures that expedite decision making. Check if they’re appropriate if they’re causing obstacles and what their steps and levels of approval are. Find out based on what criteria the company created them for and whether you could eliminate any of them without causing harm to the process.
Are there other bottlenecks in the process?
It’s necessary to find out what’s being constrained in the process (information, product or service), what factors are leading to the bottleneck (personnel, systems or organizational) and whether the bottleneck derives from a handoff.
Are there variations in the process?
Determine where they occur most often, what the tolerance threshold is, and whether task automation can eliminate variations.
What does the process cost?
Check if this cost is compatible with the market and if it’s possible to optimize the process to reduce costs.
What degree of variation does human activity cause in the process?
Find out if this variation is tolerable and whether or not you can eliminate it with the automation of a task.
How do you perform process control?
What documents do you use to control the process and what steps does it require for its approval?
If you want to maintain an adequate workflow, you must answer all of these questions as completely as possible during these workflow analysis steps.
Then you need to document the process.
Before you see the next step, understand what handoffs are more completely by reading these articles from our blog:
- Handoff agreement: one of the best handoff strategies
- Handoff strategies: Convert these procedures into results
3- Documentation of the process
The most important document of the workflow analysis steps is the As Is process diagram, that is, the process model as it currently is.
Some other attached documents may be spreadsheets, checklists, procedures manuals and even statements from participants.
What’s important at this stage of process analysis is to have understood how they occur and to be able to count on ways of sharing them with other team members in order to look for opportunities for improvement.
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