It can be intimidating when you are tasked to model a business process. With low code solutions beginning to emerge I thought it would be helpful to give some tips to newly appointed Citizen Developers. As someone that is already familiar with how your business works, you know what is important for success. Here are some tips to use when creating a process that will help ensure that it adds value to your business.
1. Understand the process you are already using
Whether you realize it or not, your business already has a process in place. It just might not be written down yet. The best place to start creating your new process is to understand the one you are already doing. People love to blame the process for the shortcomings of the business. While this may be partially true, there is still value in understanding the existing process. Don’t think about the value of a process as an absolute.
2. Stop guessing
Attempting to map out a process without talking to anyone is a terrible approach. By not talking to the people performing the work, you are just guessing at what you think is happening. I’ve met plenty of people that take a prideful approach to modeling processes. They adopt an attitude where the believe that they know what’s best even if they have never performed the task at hand. Swallow your pride if that’s an issue and get out there and talk to people!
3. Talk to the A Players
A Player is another term used for your Knowledge Workers. The people that know how the business works. Corporate culture has ingrained in many of us that we can’t let a process fail. Knowledge Workers are a prime candidate for this issue. They have the best intentions when they pick up the slack and help out. What these good Samaritans of the office don’t realize is that they are absorbing important process tasks. While they may not admit it, these tasks they are doing to help are a cause of job stress. Keep them happy by identifying these hidden tasks.
4. If no one understands the process, no one will use it
This tip isn’t often thought of when designing a process. It usually becomes apparent when you notice that no one seems to care about all the hard work you put in. Many of the business that I have worked with have started with a complex process that no one ever looked at. I distinctly remember a process that was printed out on multiple sheets of plotter paper that were taped together and hung on a wall. That process was over 20 feet long and no one ever consulted it. Keep the process relevant to the people or they won’t use it.
5. Winners Keep Score
If you aren’t tracking the usage of the process, how do you know if it’s working? Processes that are only modeled for the purposes of printing them out offer little value towards process improvements. If you haven’t already, find a low code software application that allows you to model the process and deliver the work. This is the most important aspect of good process management. If you don’t have visibility into the process and the ability to audit it, you are back to guessing its level of success.
I hope these tips help if you were lucky enough to get tasked with modeling your process. Don’t be intimidated. You just need to embrace that fact that good processes aren’t made on the first try. Learn to inspect your process and adapt it to what is working. I wish you all luck and I know you can do it.