Have you ever realized that you and a colleague were both simultaneously working on the same task? Or that some of the information being processed was not used? Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens. And in most cases, it is due to something more than just a simple failure in communication.
If you can identify with any of the above mentioned examples, it might be advisable to “x-ray” the processes in your company as a way to have a global view of how the processes in your organization relate to each other.
Lacking a global view over processes and priorities leads to producing inconclusive information which will not have any practical use. Teams will focus on improving tasks that aren’t of vital importance. Both are reason enough to invest in x-raying the operation of your organization. This is where the process landscape, a tool that will be able to identify the main processes that guide the company’s activity, comes in.
Process landscaping is a method used in the form of a diagram – which can be printed out and put up on a wall. It will help understand the main processes of the work accomplished inside a company, considering how suppliers and clients relate to each other and establishing which departments and roles are receiving inputs and supplying outputs. It has 5 key elements:
- Suppliers: showing which entities and people supply the organization, both externally and internally;
- Input: everything an organization receives that can be transformed into products, services and/or documents;
- Process: the workflow that transforms inputs into outputs;
- Output: what the organization produces – products, services and documents;
- Clients: defining who the internal and external clients are, considering the organization as a whole or teams that are a part of them.
In this visual design, anyone can clearly see and understand what the company is producing. This means the objective display of its outputs, clients, inputs, which suppliers it has and which processes guide the transformation of inputs into outputs (exactly how the work flows internally).
The process landscape should be designed by the company’s management team in partnership with the employees working at the front of operations. It is meant to be the first approach to identifying and prioritizing the main processes that should be the target of improvement interventions.
It is a visual support that offers a panoramic, 360 vision of every process guiding the organization’s activity, in order to transmit a clear understanding of what is needed for each input and output; which are the apparent disconnections that arise on a day-to-day basis; what is being produced to no specific use and which are the most critical connections and interfaces.
Reflect upon: “What is being uselessly produced? What is greatly failing?”