Business Process Mapping
Working with the people involved in the process or processes within a business - business process mapping is the translation of verbal or written user specifications into pictorial, easy-to-follow diagrams and flowcharts. These can be used to map out and define the progression of a customer or client from initial entry into a service through to completion of a service or project (the customer journey) or to refine or add on new services.
It is also a way for businesses looking to procure a CRM system, for example, to visualise their business processes as well as what data are collected and when they are collected. Drawings and flow-charts can walk people through processes and check understanding more quickly than individually ploughing through written descriptions.
When would business process mapping be helpful?
- when setting up a new service
- when bidding for a contract and looking to align the service offer with the programme or project contract requirements or specification
- when looking to transfer existing business data (eg customer information, sales processes, payment processes) into a new CRM system
Benefits of business process mapping
- quickly enables a team to visualise and 'walk-through' business processes
- develops common understanding or processes and business interactions
- assumptions can be challenged. For example, are interactions with clients single entities (eg one sale = one interaction) or are multiple interactions grouped within specific service components or projects?
Better understanding of how the business operates can help with:
- articulating requirements to a supplier when looking to implement a CRM system
- incorporating new service lines into existing business processes and CRM systems, and
- can reduce potentially costly post-implementation CRM re-engineering
Sounds very time consuming
Not necessarily - wipe boards, flip-charts, and re-positional sticky notes are popular ways of replicating this information, that can be followed up with formal documents if required.
Company C was planning to move their existing customer contact and purchasing information to a new CRM system. Business had taken off but the customer services team was finding it increasingly difficult to enter sales activity into the central Excel-based customer management system when needed.