Small sample process from the design stage with a client, in which suppliers are directly embedded into a workflow and with which the usual documents such as order, specification, certificate of delivery, invoice etc. can be omitted and the whole process ultimately runs in a leaner and more transparent way.
Tools and technologies are worthless if they are not used optimally. Therefore, consulting and implementation are integral parts of our work, and of our implementation partners.
In process analysis, we look at existing work processes from an external point of view to identify, describe and weight inefficiencies:
- Administration and production processes
- Local and global
- Internal and overarching
- Human and technical processes
Besides the theoretical knowledge of scientific articles, the practical experience of already implemented solutions on which one can build is important.
In all processes, the commercial aspects are usually implicitly considered, such as time management, Internal Cost Accounting etc., to allow clear financial reports at the process and product level.
The analysis of the existing processes and the possibilities for improvement are therefore extremely important because all the subsequent steps build on this analysis. Correct analysis is required to assure correct conclusions in order that correct decisions are taken for change (or omission). The applied methods include:
- Data collection
- Document Review
If possible, this happens with the customer so they are in position, even after a successful implementation, to constantly analyze their own processes.
The result of the analysis is a comprehensible and verifiable document, which reveals problems and opportunities, suggesting specific, appropriate solutions and improvements. On this basis, the customer can make further decisions.
You should also read the Introduction to Workflows.
Complete Process Modeling
Complete modeled process of a media post-production in which every work step is coordinated by a workflow. This workflow model, created together with the client, is a part of the specification from which real workflows are generated later. In operation, this process changes over time and is adapted to new requirements.
Next, a specific solution will be defined dependent on recommendations in the process analysis. It is determined exactly which changes to the current process must be implemented and how well they are supported by software. The improvement of business processes happens through:
- Formalization (Description),
- Standardization (Unification),
- Optimization (Structure Change) and
- Automation (Workflow Management).
This Work Order Form (WOF for short) is modeled in collaboration with the people who will be using it later on the basis of the current work documents. Excel will be used here to enable each user to make his ideal form a reality. The variable names will be uniquely defined so that they can be displayed again or edited in other WOFs of the same process.
The specification, as part of the requirements document, in which the following are defined based on use cases:
- Rules and dependencies
- Forms and templates
- Times and deadlines
- Rights and roles
- Documentation etc.
ensures the success of the implementation phase.
The design is not an abstract non-reusable process diagram that ends up in a desk drawer as documentation, rather it is a practical specification that can be utilized directly in the implementation without any change.
In this case, a number of things are important:
- A Step by step process
so as not to overextend the organization (no 'big bang'), but it is not a 1:1 replica of the old manual process
- Early involvement of users
with simple tools so that the results are supported and in the end are accepted
- Inclusion of IT-people
so that the integrations are technically feasible
- Inclusion of a process manager
who has a general overview
- Assertive project management
and clear statements from management so that everybody is pulling together.
The maintenance of processes and workflow also has to be taken into consideration, because these change more often than might be assumed and from the outset, one should place emphasis on flexibility and adaptability in the design.
However, not only modification but also continuous optimization is important in order to keep business processes systematically competitive since the world is constantly changing. In ISO9000, for example, a continuous improvement process (CIP) is required.
Only when a company regularly maintains its own processes (with or without external assistance) will it remain effective and efficient.