Just like you would not remodel your house without a blueprint, you should not implement new technology without a business blueprint either. Documented business processes describe who will do what, when and how – much like an architectural blueprint. When implementing new technology, document the future state business process, which shows all stakeholders and users how everything will work when the new technology is up-and-running.
If we implement technology, but only think about what we want the technology to do but not design everything that goes hand-in-hand with it, we can end up worse off. Perhaps you have experienced this type of pain before. In our examples, work was done on one part of the house, thinking the other part of the house would be unaffected. In the business process world, when we make a change in one area of the business, a documented process would show us links to impacted upstream and downstream processes. In our other examples, we didn’t think through details (e.g. which way the bathroom door needs to open, how much space we had for pre-built cabinets, that we can’t have a water drain into an outlet) and we are left with workarounds that simply don’t work. We can also end up with current state process steps that no longer add value, but we keep them anyway (e.g. the door we no longer have still has steps and an awning). Creating a process blueprint by documenting the future state business process, ensures we have thought through the details, end-to-end.
There are a number of reasons that companies have not taken the time to document their business processes in the past – they feel it’s too much work, too tedious, don’t have the resources, the responsibility has not been assigned to anyone, they believe they lack the tools or they simply don’t know how.
We can all agree that implementing new technology without a business blueprint is not a wise idea; it can result in a technology implementation that does not maximize the company’s potential return on investment or even worse – there is a much higher change that all of the flaws of the current state end up in the future state. Documenting your business process has many benefits, everyone should be doing it and it’s easy.
This complimentary guide is a high-level how-to, making it easy for staffing companies to get started documenting business process and includes staffing industry examples.
Benefits of Documenting Your Process
Process documentation acts as a blueprint that:
- Clarifies what you are automating
- Ensures everything needed to enable your business has been thought through and accounted for in the future state
- Sets expectations for who, what, when and how activities are to be accomplished
- Articulates how it all fits together into the big picture so that everyone is on the same page, including your technology vendor
- Helps you to spot weaknesses and opportunities so that you may further improve your process before implementing it
- Helps stakeholders and users see and understand the change by being able to visually compare the current and future state
- Is easily augmented (e.g. add screenshots, small details) to become process-driven training, which is more digestible for end users
Sara Moss is the Vice President of Staffing Best Practices for Erecruit. Sara is responsible for helping staffing firms evaluating, implementing and running Erecruit to increase operational efficiency, improve service levels and maximize their return on technology investment. Join her in conversation on Twitter, LinkedIn and firstname.lastname@example.org.