Seven deadly sins of BPM — 6) Making it hard to understand

The following is a continuation of Seven deadly sins of BPM — 5) Failing to keep it up to date

Yea, do not confuse thine followers with strange tongues.

Attention process and IT techies:  If you have to dumb down your process content or keep it from managers and end users lest it be misunderstood, you have a problem of making it hard to understand.

Process diagrams must have context to give meaning to their symbols and lines. For process to be understood by the end users, it needs to be expressed in symbols that are intuitive and easy to follow. The documents, forms, links and other information that supports those symbols and lines needs to be available at the time the diagram is viewed. What’s more, the documentation needs to be owned and managed by its owner to be relevant and trustworthy. My favorite example of why this matters is the “Interview Candidate” activity.

Keep it simple

The figure shows how the owner and executor of a process step are often different.  And yet they must share a consistent and up-to-date understanding of the approved process.  That information will often need to be localized, (according to regional regulations and company practices,) at the time the activity is executed.

Local and global

Another example is the procurement process, which is often owned by the global supply chain manager at a macro level and executed by someone elsewhere in the value chain using the services of a procurement resource. To get these disparate functions to operate in a coherent fashion requires that the process is not just centrally managed but delivered with localized documentation that is targeted to the specific process consumer.

Does your company have a governance structure that is ‘corporate’ and a delivery structure that is ‘local’? This is common in engineering, consulting, manufacturing and many other areas where the way a company is run in a centralized way differs greatly from the way value is created for customers. This can be reconciled and managed intelligently if you have the technology in place to resolve these layers without making things too complicated for managers and end users.

Up next: Seven deadly sins of BPM — 7) Failing to drive adoption

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Categories: The 7 Deadly Sins, Workplace Reality

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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  1. Seven deadly sins of BPM — 7) Failing to drive adoption | BPM For Real - November 17, 2011

    […] BPM For Real A site about the realities of business process management Skip to content HomeAbout BPM for RealLatest posts ← Seven deadly sins of BPM — 6) Making it hard to understand […]

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