Process Mapping and Your Signature System
Process mapping is a key element in developing your signature system. I’ve talked previously about the importance of business founders and owners writing down their signature system something like the 5, 7, or 9 significant steps that summarise how value flows from you to your customers.
The first three steps in capturing your signature system are:
- Understanding your business model, in a business canvas;
- Writing down the broad processes in pink sheets; and
- Capturing your value flow in green sheets.
The last step is process mapping.
You should be able to identify discrete processes off the model, to map the business processes against the model – again the fundamental emphasis is value.
Mapping is something normally associated with larger businesses and commonly used in business process re-engineering, but you need to think big if you want to grow).
Also, as i’ve said elsewhere “if you don’t write it down, it’s not going to happen.”
So, process mapping:
- Process identification, where you identify objectives, scope, players, and work areas. Draw this from your business model canvas and pink sheets
- Information gathering. Gather process facts (what, who, where, when) from the people who do the work.
- The mapping itself, where you convert facts into a process map. There’s a technique here that i like to tie in with, strategy mapping, where you tie your process map to strategy. More of that another time.
- Analysis. Work through the map, challenging each step (what-why?, who-why?, where-why?, when-why?, how-why?). Similar to the idea of reconstructing your business model canvas, you can use design thinking to do this, but that’s another story for another time. You need to think about developing or installing new methods – eliminate unnecessary work, combine steps, rearrange steps, add new steps where necessary
- Managing the process map – maintaining it in a library, reviewing it routinely, and monitoring process for changes
- For each process you’ll need a procedure that specifies value-add, what, who, where, when, how, inbound dependencies, outbound dependencies, with a flow chart and checklists.
You might be able to do this by yourself, but then again you might go mad…