Business process mapping

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.

CASE STUDY:

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.

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