Why do companies around the world put time and effort in to process mapping? And is this work being done for the right cause? I believe there are two main reasons for a process discovery initiative.
First and foremost there are legislation, certifications like ISO and FDA-regulations that force companies to act.
Second, some companies are process aware and understand that everything in a business spells P-R-O-C-E-S-S. Therefore you need to control your process in order to control your business, and furthermore to work with continuous improvement.
In the first case, when the process discovery initiative has been pushed down by the management, the commitment from the employees is often low. Processes are often believed as something they “have to do” but very few understand why and for what reason. It is just another work task to be done without getting extra time and salary. And does it really increase the customer experience? They don’t know, they have just been instructed to map processes, follow new routines and do even more documentation (bureaucracy).
In the second case, the company understands that the underlying idea behind ISO etc. is to maintain high quality and corporate performance through standardisation. It wasn’t meant to be a burden! Process orientation is the answer to quality management, but also to popular buzzwords such as Kaizen, 6-Sigma, PDCA, Lean and Organisation Learning.
By adapting processes deeply into your organisation you can acquire wonderful results. Just look at Google, Apple and Virigin!
What is your opinion? Why do you map processes?