For any process other than linear, straight-through processes, here are some tips for successful mapping of As-Is processes.
Engage a small group of stakeholders in a series of brief, real-time process mapping/modelling sessions.
One hour sessions are about right – anything beyond and some of the players will gloss over.
Steer clear of “buggy whip” approaches – you will quickly get to where you have a process that needs additions in the middle of it and unless you have e-mapping capabilities you will be redrawing and redrawing and redrawing.
Profile your stakeholders and recognize that for the most part these are short attention span, easily distracted, sometimes foot-dragging participants who want/expect instant gratification. No need to tell them this.
Instead of imposing your agenda on your stakeholders, accommodate their agendas.
Get up to speed with the mapping software so that you can map as fast as the stakeholders say ” . . and then we do this”.
And, inventory in advance, images of ALL of the forms the organization has been using so you can drag these out of a “bucket” and attach these to process steps as you drag and drop steps on the e-mapping canvas.
Then, immediately compile and piano-play the process and let the stakeholders duke it out regarding the sequencing/ routing / forms.
Update and re-deploy until everyone is happy.
If you cannot get to version 1.0 of a proposed process map in one hour, you have taken on too much scope – 20-30 steps is about right to take on for an hour’s web session.
Doing all of this center stage, on site, with a large projection screen, is, of course, best, but consider the logistics of simultaneously facilitating one group of stakeholders in London, another in NY and a third in Melbourne over a two-week period and you will see the advantage of web sessions.