Business Process Mapping
Transportation agencies operate in dynamic environments. Policies, procedures and business processes can shift due to leadership changes, reorganization, new regulations, and technology upgrades. Such shifts can create a situation in which complete and accurate documentation of current processes does not exist. The organization may become reliant on key veteran employees to navigate the steps required to get things done. Several different variants of a process may be in place, creating inconsistencies, confusion and inevitably, delays.
A Business Process Map (BPM) clearly identifies each step of a process, and provides links to more detailed documentation specifying roles and responsibilities, procedures, forms, and (as appropriate) guidance for automated components of the process. The BPM is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. BPMs may be developed for a few key processes, or a more comprehensive approach can be taken to cover all of the core business processes within the organization.
Developing a Process Map involves the following steps:
- Information Gathering and Analysis – A team of knowledgeable stakeholders is brought together and asked to walk through the their understanding of the current process. Existing documentation of the process is obtained. Any forms, user manuals, and policy documents are identified and reviewed. Based on the interviews and review of documents, an initial sketch of the “as is” process is developed, and points of intersection with existing process maps are identified.
- Negotiation of Process Improvements – In some cases, a BPM effort is initiated with the objective of both streamlining and documenting a process. Where process improvements are being sought, current bottlenecks and inefficiencies are identified. Relevant stakeholders are brought to the table to collaboratively identify streamlining opportunities. These opportunities are presented to agency decision makers and agreed-upon process changes are documented.
- Process Map Development – The detailed process map is developed through an iterative process of stakeholder review and revision. Each process step is diagrammed, and detailed guidance and resource materials relevant to each step are assembled (or drafted as needed.)
- Process Map Deployment- The BPM is deployed on the agency’s internal (or external) web site. The launch of the process map may be accompanied by training sessions that acquaint staff with the BPM, walk them through the process, and request feedback. This feedback can then be used to make further enhancements to the BPM.