The difference between being successful and effective is knowing how you got there. Success can be luck, it was incredible, however upon reflection there was not necessarily a process to get there. Being effective has longevity and can lead you to success multiple times.
Taking time out to analyse your process can lead to even greater results. A good example was the process of cash machines. When they were first introduced the Banks found that they had high costs on lost cards. The process they had mapped out, was as follows:-
- Insert card
- Enter PIN
- Request cash
- Collect cash
- Retrieve card
The initial process involved getting the cash out of the machine before the card was returned. Most people were focussed on the money, so, once they had the notes in their hand, they turned away, leaving their card still in the cash machine. Simply by reversing the order of two steps solved the problem – people had to remove their card before they got their money. This small change in the process saved the banks money and also was a more effective process for the customer.
We can process map anything, your morning routine, invoicing, sales, customer returns and setting up a new system.
The most effective way to conduct a process mapping session is as follows:-
- Map the process – use magic whiteboards or a roll of brown paper, then use post-it notes to log every step of the process
- Analyse the process – step back and decide whether there is anything missing and who has ownership at certain points of the process
- Redesign the process – if there are obvious points where the process gets held up, look to redesign
- Implement & communicate – Follow the process and document it (infographic) share with as many team members as possible
- Review – after 90 days review with the original process mapping team
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