Technology | Business Process Mapping

Mapping Business Processes Intelligently with Atlas Play

Words by Alex Matheson
Mapping Business Processes Intelligently with Atlas Play

Mapping business processes

Businesses too often have offline systems that fail to reflect what really happens in their company. By mapping intelligent business processes you can demonstrate how new approaches can produce new results. You can help stakeholders understand how success can be aimed for, measured and achieved.

iBPM tools allow you to map out problems, find root causes and plan forward thinking resolutions. You can start implementation and improvement for well defined solutions that management within any business can understand, action and be involved in developing.

Defining the problem

Step one in overcoming a problem is always going to be defining the problem. Create a problem statement that neatly describes the change you want to make by mapping out this process. This will be the central idea when you go to create a new business process map in Atlas Play.

  • Set a criteria for defining the scope of the exercise. For example: what will have the biggest impact globally, or what is the risk if this doesn’t happen?
  • Ask yourself the 5 wh- questions: what, when, why, where, who?
  • Create a 2×2 matrix to help prioritize ideas and identify strategic opportunities and problems.
  • Vote in your team on potential directions you can pursue.

All of these activities will help to identify the initial business processes you will need to map. You can start mapping out a documented process, with notes on who needs to do what, where, when, and why.

Defining the use case

Create a user persona, define their jobs to do and what their pains and gains might be. Walk through an issue you’re trying to solve from the point of view of someone who’s trying to solve it. The jobs to do will give you ideas on the business process that you might want to improve.

Here you can go in deeper, fleshing out your problem and further understanding the reason it needs to be solved. In defining a use case, you need to define several elements associated with it:

The Process Owner: Who is going to take ownership of this process? In other words, who is in the best position to take charge of solving the problem you’ve defined. This won’t necessarily be a lone wolf, but will be the pivotal person or persons who can define the rest of the pieces of this puzzle.

Stakeholders: Everyone who might benefit from the solution or have a hand in carrying it out. You should create a stakeholder map to help you visualise and develop this step.

User Journey Map: What does the user’s journey look like? Where do they start and finish? Where do they loop back and repeat parts of the journey?

User Jobs to do: These will be the tasks that make up the bulk of your process. What needs to be done? Are these whole tasks or tasks within tasks? Single steps or journeys of their own?

Developing the solution

By this point you should have the information you need to begin mapping your minimum viable process (MVP).

Turning mapped tasks into user tasks, assigning roles and responsibilities to different elements within a process and forming a process that can be shared and run within Atlas Play.

With an MVP, you set up a basecamp from which you can explore. By simply running the process, you begin to see how it can be improved. You can expand your information base, categorising and prioritising ideas, or identifying strategic opportunities and patterns.

By sharing the process with super users you can get expert feedback on where to proceed. By integrating your process into your business systems, you can see where they need to be improved and adapted or changed out completely.

With all this new information, is the problem you defined at the beginning being solved? Do you need to redefine your plan? Whether you do or you don’t, you know your next steps.

Deliver a solution

In traditional development this would be the final step of the process. Where you take all of your concepts, designs, research, development and more, and you deliver it. It could be a moment of triumph or a moment of supreme stress.

But that’s not how we should look at things. This is the delivery of this version of your solution. Test the process. Share the process. Run the process.

It’s important to adjust your view of the creative journey and understand that this will never be perfect and it’s best for it not to be. Now you have a fully mapped and integrated process that should, in some form, solve the problem you defined up at the top. But it won’t be the final version.

Does it do its job well? Where could it do it better? How can you make it more efficient? These are all exciting questions! If you ask the question ‘does it work at all?’ and the answer is ‘no’, don’t be dismayed.

As Thomas Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.