Formalize as-is key procedures
"As-is" means the processes exist and, even though they all could be improved, you
are happy to put it into the system as-is so the system can improve them later.
Do not impede progress in developing your system by creating lots if little process
improvement subprojects. Improving processes in the context of a system enables
teams to see that usually there is more than one root cause and that out-of-harmony
processes disrupt each other.
Start with the objectives (outcomes) of each process. Find out what they are and
define them for an effective system. Do not be lulled into making benign purpose
statements that describe why the procedure or piece of paper exists.
Use deployment flowcharts (we recommend TeamFlow) to show what process teams do
to meet their objectives. Keep each flowchart to a single page with links to other
flowcharts, textual instructions or forms. Obtain review comments from the process
team answering the question "is this the way it is?" and reconcile all comments.
Design new key processes
New processes are expensive to implement because they require training to become
truly effective. Do not sneak in a new process and attempt to implement it with
a hammer called audit! This damages credibility and morale.
Keep new processes to a minimum to keep the system development project on track
and below budget.
Again, for a new process, start with objectives but this time flowchart the process
without resources (team members) at first. Once the new process is verified, assign
the resources required and available within your organization before validating
the new process.
is the software we recommend.
Why not design new processes in line with process design procedures? Yes, for many,
design or redesign of a process is another key process!
What about when as-is needs some new process?
Some as-is processes need something new to comply with the chosen system standard.
For example, contract documents are reviewed but the result of these reviews is
not recorded. This falls within the very useful two-week rule.
The two-week rule allows this amount of time for the changed process to become the
new reality. In other words, the records from reviewing contract documents would
immediately be kept with the responsibilities, facilities and duration in files
and archives decided upon and put into the updated as-is procedure. This avoids
procrastination in tweaking existing processes so they comply.
Plan for control of management system information
Management System information, including documentation and analyzed data, must be
controlled so it is readily available as and when needed. It is preferably stored
electronically to reduce waste, increase speed and accuracy of retrieval, and facilitate
effective document control. System savvy organizations use software developed around
the process approach to accomplish this because it helps everyone visualize how the management system
works to add value.