Business process mapping

The Community Blog for Business Analysts

arun charles
arun charles

Business Process Mapping a Practical Approach

Most important part of any system analysis is to understand the existing system . In order to understand the existing system usually reading the existing documentation of the system helps , but if a chance permits before getting requirements from the business stakeholder or product owner ( in case of agile) . Identifying the current business process and thereby understanding the system intervention is key to better analysis.

One of the tools used in this process is using the business process mapping exercise.

This involves drawing a simple flowchart of each and every step of the current process in a more understandable format.

It’s a good practice to revise and review the business process map which was created several times to find any of the missed process or correct any of the processes documented incorrectly. This process provides the Business Analyst better understanding of the existing system.

Some of the organization uses the business process maps as the first step to gather new requirements which documents the change in the process which latter drill to down to the business requirement documents.

Simple example of business process mapping

Let’s take an example of simple order fulfillment process such as above.

Where the swim lanes represent customer, order processing system operations, delivery department, there might be number of process hidden in each step for which information has to be gathered from the stakeholders, clue is to make the process as simple and granular as possible adding comments where possible in order to define or explain the process to the team members which might include the IT team. QA teams,

Operations or the actual end users of the application or processes.

Numbering the process also makes the reader or reviewer of the business process go through process in sequence.

Once the current process is finalized , it’s a good practice to identify the changes are new requirements of the new process , this can follow the actual process of elicitation of requirements example like Requirement gathering workshops , Focus groups , Job Shadowing .

In each of the elicitation process the current business process map which depicts the current process can be baseline on which we build the new business requirement or process.

Since the stakeholders or business sponsors whoever provides the requirement can compare and visualize the change in the process and therefore better articulate the requirement and it also helps business analysts to document the requirements the process more accurately .

Key point is to make the diagram look simple and readable as possible so all the stakeholders could understand without ambiguity , however in some cases it might not be possible to keep the flow simple.

This entry was published on Sep 11, 2015 / arun charles. Posted in Business Process Management (BPM) . Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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