Make process flow charts (6/8)

GUIDE TO PROCESS SUCCESS (6/8)

Make process flow charts

Now that you have the basics in place, it is time to start to make process flow charts. The process owner is the right person to assemble the people who know how the work is done in each area.


Process improvement steps

  1. Succeed with your process improvement plan
  2. Prepare your business collaboration tool
  3. Make a process hierarchy and a process blueprint
  4. Appoint, nominate and educate process owners
  5. Present process mapping to all colleagues
  6. Make process flow charts
  7. Stabilise your processes
  8. Maintain process focus

This chapter is essentially a guide for the process owners. We assume that you have trained your new process owners so they now have a basic understanding of how to make a process flow chart and a work instruction. Now it’s time for them to get to work. 

Start with your process flows as they are

It’s important that you start by mapping process flows as they are today – not as you want them to be. This is the best way to quickly make process flow charts that your colleagues can recognise and execute. This is often referred to as your”as-is” processes.

Did you know that with 10 process owners and one process workshop per week, you can make all your critical process flowcharts in one month? 

STEP 6.1

Make process flow charts together

If you’re looking for a more practical and visual example of how to go about process mapping while keeping them simple, check out our video below:

At the first meeting, it is helpful to also involve an experienced consultant from the central workgroup, or an external consultant to support the process owner, and assist in the preparation and evaluation.

  1. Invite a minimum of one representative for each role (that is part of the process) to a two-hour workshop.
  2. During this workshop, make process flowcharts directly in Gluu.

It is important to emphasise that the job is to make process flow charts the way participants think it is currently being executed. You want to understand how the work is done – not how you wish it to be done.

Process Improvement cycle illustration

How editors can help the process owner

In Gluu, it is only the assigned process owner and editors who can edit a process. Formally, the process owner is responsible, but this role is often given to employees who:

  • Are very busy.
  • Receive many emails.
  • May not be “digital natives” and therefore are a little hesitant about technology usage.

Where a process owner may be good at creating process understanding, facilitate and making improvements, he or she may not be good at remembering to maintain the process as you learn. This is where editors may help.

We recommend that the busy process owner appoints 1-2 editors when closing the process workshop. The ideal editor looks like this:

  • Young, energetic and ambitious.
  • Enjoys working with modern digital tools.
  • Careful and thorough.

The editor’s task is to intercept and record all changes to work instructions and process, and then update Gluu.

Example of a successful process owner

A factory has a daily management meeting in the production area. This is led by the process owner. Now and then the group identifies necessary adjustments to the process and work instructions. These are then done directly into Gluu via a tablet operated by the group’s youngest employee, Simone. Simone uses the comment feature to summarise the background for the change. Thus Simone, as the editor, safeguards the link between the daily management meeting and the process as a whole.

Example of a workshop to make process flow charts

Invite to a meeting (in a room with a projector and internet access), then:

  1. Log in to your process collaboration tool.
  2. Select the right process flow chart in the hierarchy and open it in edit mode.
  3. Facilitate process mapping by the group, so you produce a diagram that shows the overall responsibilities.
  4. Click on an activity and show how each participant can add text, links, images, video, files and comments to each activity in the process.
  5. Ask everyone to add their ideas, comments and questions – while the process owner goes through the intended output of each activity.
  6. Give participants 5-10 minutes to answer and label each other’s ideas before you go on to the next activity.
  7. Give participants a home assignment to add the documents, templates and links they use for each activity. Harvest useful tools to refine and share with everyone.
  8. Finish by identifying the next opportunity to execute the process. This should give as many of the group members as possible a chance to test the process in a real environment.

With this collaborative approach participants are more likely to take real ownership of their process flow charts.

In this phase, Gluu’s compliance dashboard is useful for monitoring progress by a process. If a process is rarely modified or commented on, then there is a need to follow up on whether or not the process owner fulfils his new role. 

Checklist

  • All process owners have held workshops with colleagues where they have made at least two process flow charts.
  • Check all process flow charts have the same format.
  • All activities in each process must have work instructions.
  • Plan a test of the first process.

Next chapter

This was chapter six, chapter seven covers how to stabilise your processes. We’ve also included some checklists and examples to better demonstrate how best to approach continuous improvement.

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