Steps to Mapping, Testing, and Implementing a Process

Steps to Mapping, Testing, and Implementing a Process

Business Process Management (BPM)

This is an overview of what is involved when it comes to documenting how to automate your processes. Of course, the devil’s in the details, and certainly, this is not the only way, but after listening to and learning from hundreds of our industry’s best consultants and analysts (the benefit of producing so many webinars – I listen to them all), I think this is one approach for you to consider.

  1. Identify a current process you feel could be improved and begin to map it
  2. Identify the task you want to perform – what’s the start, and what’s the intended finish (or next) state
  3. Gather the right stakeholders together – the right thinkers and the right do-ers – and don’t forget someone from leadership, from legal, from your records management department, from IT, maybe folks from HR or Finance, and certainly the front-line people who actually perform or oversee these tasks currently – your line-of-business (LoB) power-user champions are crucial here
  4. Map/workflow the selected process
  5. Let the LoB people who currently perform this task map/workflow their actual process
  6. Let your LoBs have a good laugh at their perceived reality of a process map – over the river and through the woods, then spin three times on the merry-go-round while doing the Macarena
  7. Seriously, you can stop laughing now
  8. But admit it, you may be spinning on the merry-go-round two times in your actual process – but would one spin be sufficient?
  9. Now, get to work mapping a more efficient – and practical – set of processes to complete this task
  10. Practice this in the real world for a bit, knowing this still won’t be perfect (really, what’s perfect anyhow?!)
  11. Identify the delays and exceptions, and how frequently each type occurs
  12. For the most frequently occurring exceptions, document how to automate that part, or otherwise turn it into a standard task
  13. Where there are bottlenecks, look for ways to break them into parallel actions and add this into your workflow documentation by adding another branch in the process map
  14. Continue to chip away at the delays and exceptions until what’s left are true exceptions that would need human intervention to resolve
  15. Update the documentation; train and remind your workers on these additional, now regular steps into the process
  16. Revisit after this has been in practice for awhile
  17. Keep refining as needed

Want to consider a more detailed approach? Check out AIIM’s training program, Business Process Management: Digitize Core Business Processes. This course provides practical guidance to map, standardize, automate, and manage operational processes with the right strategies, tools, and technologies. You’ll learn how to implement new ways of working while maximizing ROI.


Free Guide: How to Unclog Your Business By Automating Content-Intensive Processes

About Theresa M. Resek, CIP

Theresa has worked in Information Management for 20 years, has her MBA, CIP, and is well versed in ECM, ERM, and BPM. As a project and program director at AIIM, Theresa has held positions as editor, writer, host and producer. Working with the supplier community and subject matter experts, she has produced over 350 educational webinars for AIIM’s international audience.