Step Two: Audit the System Using a Lead Auditor, Analyze and Define Key Business Processes

Initial Survey

Identify the gaps between the system standard(s) and your as-is system (which may be undocumented). If talent for doing this were abundant then you’d have done it already! Use a certified lead auditor or at least someone who has successfully completed the accredited lead auditor class.

This person openly prepares for the survey (a softer term than audit for teams new to all this) by agreeing its objective and scope before planning what questions will be asked of whom. By employing her or his training in well-proven techniques and conventions, the lead auditor will obtain and report the pertinent facts with no rancor.

Omit this stage and your system development project may be unmanageable because the scope of work is unknown and will overrun on cost and schedule. Missing the initial survey may also mean procedures are expensive to implement. Start with respect for the way your company currently meets requirements.

Identify key processes

Key processes are those that will benefit the organization by being defined and made part of the management system. Expect more than 30. Some key processes can be identified during the initial survey and others are described in the chosen system standard(s).

The Task Force will review and more or less complete the list of key processes in the kick-off meeting. A few key processes may not emerge (or some may wither or be joined with others) until the system development project is well underway. By assigning another Process Owner the project can still be completed on time.

Each key process can be assigned to a Process Owner. This is an opportunity for middle managers and supervisors to be involved in developing their system. Some systems are developed entirely with processes "owned" by non-supervisory members of the team. Make this appropriate to the culture of your organization.

Analyze and define key processes

A master flowchart of the core process shows the scope of the system on a single sheet of paper. The team across the top of the page (using TeamFlow) will be broadly stated perhaps as "Our Customers, Ourselves and Our Suppliers".

The steps required to add-value to what is supplied such that the goods and/or services meet customer needs are labeled with a few words. These are key processes and each of them can be linked to a flowchart for each of the core key processes.

The support key processes are analyzed and defined separately using a similar approach not linking them to the master flowchart but linking them as necessary to other key processes.

Previous   |    Next