Ten Steps to Business Process Review

Ten Steps to Business Process Review

I have been recently asked for the ISM Ten Steps for Business Process Review.  Here are the recommended ISM Ten Steps:

The following is a brief description of my firm’s 10-step business process review procedure. These steps provide general guidelines for the activities that need to take place for a better understanding of the current and desired business processes related to CRM.

Step 1: Meet with the Client to Plan an Initial Schedule    

Meet with key client representatives to determine strategy, direction, and list of possible participants in the business process project and outline a tentative schedule for engagement with the client staff.

Step 2: Research Background Materials    

Review client background material for “as-is” business processes including existing process flow documents and start researching the possible relevant industry best practices.

Step 3: Interview Client Representatives About Current State Processes    

Set up interviews/meetings with process knowledgeable client personnel to determine “as-is” or current processes and note any potential quick wins and other ideas that could impact the “to-be” process work. 

Step 4: Draft ‘As-Is’ Processes and Make Best-in-Class Comparison    

Based on the data collected in Step 3, map the as-is process flows. If best-in-class has been determined, compare client “as-is” processes to industry benchmarks.

Step 5: Collect Feedback on ‘As-Is’ Process Flows    

Send process flows and documentation to participants with a list of ideas that may have been culled from the research conducted on their behalf. Participants provide feedback and relevant updates are based on the feedback.

Step 6: Hold Workshop to Review Feedback    

Meet with client participants to discuss “ah-ha” moments and other insights from the core team’s review of the “as-is” workflows; incorporate other feedback from the participants. Missing elements or clarifications should be collected and discussed.

Step 7: Hold a Business Process Improvement Workshop    

Set up a workshop to develop ideas for process improvement and develop preliminary “to-be” process flows. Outcomes of this workshop typically include the following:

  • Process goals and objectives
  • Process assumptions
  • Proposed process metrics
  • Other process issues and considerations
  • Activities and efforts involved in the work flow

Step 8: Draft ‘To-Be’ Process Flows    

Develop Level 1 and Level 2 process flows: Level 1 represents the highest level of the process steps and notes additional processes that are called from the key process; Level 2 provides process details for each key activity/step in the first level’s process flow. Process flows document high-level activities, decisions, and flow of information including the interfaces to functions, individuals, and systems (CRM system). Consider the sample flows that follow.

This workshop, which can last from two-and-a-half to four hours, , will provide a time to vett, change, or modify ideas and suggestions that have alternative impacts. The result will be an agreed upon set of “to-be” process flows and a list of key actions needed to produce the final set of recommendations and projects to fulfill the vision.

Step 9: Provide Process Flows to Client for Vetting    

Send the process flows and supporting documentation to the project leader for distribution to business process improvement participants. Participants will provide feedback on the process flows and make them available to make relevant changes.

Step 10: Provide Recommendations    

Present observations and recommendations for process improvement projects and chart out the next steps. The recommended projects are prioritized, based on relevant criteria that might include the following:

  • Urgency (what is needed for Phase 1 of implementation)
  • Potential impact (revenue enhancement, cost reduction, efficiency improvement)
  • Available resources (personnel identified for additional process work)

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