Business process analysis is a fundamental activity supporting critical change efforts, whether you are defining changes to existing business systems, improving your business processes, or acquiring, merging, or splitting business units. Every business is searching for better ways of getting work done. Improving efficiency, decreasing costs, increasing productivity and customer service are universal goals. Innovation and faster time to market is critical in today’s environment. Doing things the way they’ve always been done is comfortable, but may hamper operational agility in the future. Successful business process improvement efforts must:
- study the current procedures
- find the core or essential work being done and,
- define how this essential work will be accomplished.
Creating AS IS and TO BE workflows gives business analysts a strategic view of business architecture. This is essential in Agile, SOA, BPM, COTS, and any type of process improvement project. Workflows and Value Stream Maps are also the foundation for documenting Six Sigma and Lean improvement efforts.
Business Process Analysis Training Classroom Experience
This course provides students with techniques to examine how things are currently being done and create solution options that improve business processes. It provides business analysts a tool for understanding core business processes so they can provide alternative solutions that meet key business needs and consider IT impacts. Management can then evaluate each alternative for its potential return on investment. Analyzing business processes may result in changes to software, policies, procedures, organizational structure, personnel, and more. This course teaches a proven approach which gives business analysts the confidence and credibility to recommend the right solution to address a business problem or opportunity.
- Practice a Framework for Process Improvement
- Initiate a process analysis effort with clear objectives and an agreed-upon goal.
- Identify and define complex business process steps using various modeling techniques such as ANSI, Swim Lane, Business Process Diagrams, UML, SIPOC, and Value Stream Maps
- Evaluate and prioritize potential improvements
- Identify the most important business component: Essential Processes
- Decompose complex processes into lower level tasks and sub-processes using a decomposition diagram.
- Identify changes, detail the impacts of each change, and develop a transition plan and backlog.
- Evaluate solution effectiveness
Select the Process for Improvement
- Why is business process analysis important
- Discuss a Framework for Process Improvement
- Workshop: Choose a process to improve and establish its context for the class case study
- Solidify strong project objectives and goals
- Workshop: Develop improvement goals for the class case study
Understand the Process
- Create an Elicitation Plan
- Review workflow diagramming techniques or types of diagrams such as ANSI, Swim Lane, Business Process Diagrams, UML, SIPOC, and Value Stream Maps
- Develop a visual representation of a process utilizing various workflow analysis techniques to understand the current business process (AS IS).
- Discuss the reasons for creating AS IS diagrams and models.
- Discuss the appropriate level of detail for the model
- Review guidelines for visual process representation to improve communication and understanding
- Learn to listen for business rules when eliciting business process requirements.
- Overview of the Decision Model.
- Use decision tables and decision trees to represent complex business rules.
- Use data artifacts to analyze information currently used by the business
- Collect metrics or measurements to establish the business process baseline.
- Workshop: Create an AS IS Business Process Model and decision tree for the course case study and present it to the class
- Validate the business process model
Challenge the Process
- Identify essential business processes to highlight process problems
- Use Root Cause Analysis to identify essential business processes
- Decompose business processes into sub-processes and tasks using a process list or process decomposition diagram
- Compare several techniques to define business processes: top-down, bottom-up, and event driven
- Workshop: Practice identifying essential processes using top-down, bottom-up, and event driven approaches
- Workshop: Create a process decomposition diagram and supporting process text templates for the class case study
- Identify potential problem areas by challenging your AS-IS model
- Review AS-IS process models potential issues
- Review Lean’s 7 forms of waste
- Review Six Sigma techniques for identifying process issues including the “5 Whys” and Cause and Effect/Fishbone Diagram
- Discuss other potential areas of concern
- Review AS-IS process models potential issues
- Workshop: Review the case study process model and utilize the Process Challenge Checklist to identify process problems
Improve the Process
- Brainstorm on TO BE alternatives by evaluating 9 alternative options for change to a process
- Workshop: Utilize the Process Improvement Strategy Worksheet to identify potential improvements for the class case study
- Evaluate and Prioritize potential improvements
- Test process improvements for potential pitfalls or negative side effects
- Create TO BE models with a re-design of the business procedures supporting the essential processes
- Workshop: Propose and document an improved process for the case study
Implement the Process
- Identify transition needs by performing gap analysis to identify gaps between the AS IS Process and the recommended TO BE Process
- Utilize a Change and Impact Worksheet to identify risks and impacts to the organization
- Develop a plan to manage impacts and the transition
- Workshop: Compare your solution to the existing process for the course case study. Identify changes, detail the impacts of each change, and develop a transition plan and backlog.
- Evaluate the solution effectiveness
Develop Your Action Plan/Course Summary
- Develop an Action Plan with next steps on the student's current project.
- Student questions/discussion topics.
Appendix – Job Aids
- Diagramming Notations
- ANSI Flowcharts
- BPMN Process Models
- SIPOC Diagrams
- UML Activity Diagrams
- Value Stream Mapping
- Job Aids
- Process Context Worksheet
- Responsibility and Authority Checklist
- Elicitation Plan Worksheet
- Quick Tips for Process Measure
- Process Metrics Worksheet
- Guidelines for Workflow Diagrams
- Process Challenge Checklist
- Process Improvement Strategy Worksheet
- Change and Impact Worksheet