Drive efficiency and effectiveness within your organisation, by following our agency process mapping guide.
Agency process mapping is a valuable technique for visually representing the steps, activities, inputs, outputs, and interactions involved in a particular business process within an agency. With that in mind, this approach offers a unique opportunity to comprehensively analyse, understand, and strategically structure vital data for long-term business resilience.
Understand the Process
It can seem obvious to ensure that your team understands the processes necessary to utilise management software. However, the truth is that the basics can, and often do, get missed. Concentrating on the more exciting features of the software can mean that the humdrum basics get overlooked. These foundational steps make sure that your team is invested in the process and adopts the right approach.
The Nuts & Bolts of Agency Process Mapping
1. Identify the process
Start at the beginning. Identify the process you want to map, for example, job creation or employee onboarding. Then walkthrough every step of your current process and really dissect it – what works, what doesn’t. Next review the functionality in the system you want to implement. Once you understand what the system can do, map your process to the system functionality, what, who and when. Look for opportunities to reduce manual effort and automate key processes where possible.
2. Define the objectives
To effectively harness the power of agency process mapping, it’s crucial to define your objectives and be clear on what you are trying to achieve. This can encompass pinpointing bottlenecks, optimizing workflows, boosting efficiency, elevating the customer experience, and ensuring adherence to compliance standards. Additionally, it’s essential to incorporate problem-solving into your strategic considerations.
3. Assemble a team
Assembling the right team is critical. You will need a cross-functional team of individuals who are directly involved in or knowledgeable about the process and can make decisions on behalf of the department they are representing. Whatever process you are mapping, there should be representation from teams across the agency, even if not directly related to their area of the business, to ensure all potential impacts are considered. Investing time in discussing and refining key business processes also means that when these changes are implemented across the business, the key decision makers that were involved can really champion the changes across their teams.
4. Create process maps
Use process mapping techniques to visually represent the steps involved in the process. Various methods and tools are available, such as flowcharts, swim lane diagrams, or BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation). Choose a format that best suits your needs and the complexity of the process.
Consistently align your objectives with your team, engaging in meaningful dialogue and ensuring clarity in all documentation and decisions. Follow this up with a thorough review, refinement and ultimate finalisation. Furthermore, be vigilant in identifying and eliminating any redundant steps or potential sources or inefficiency.
5. Clearly communicate change
The aim of business process mapping is to remove unnecessary red tape and reduce all but the necessary administration. Some people love change and will adapt quickly, others not so much. Create an environment that caters for both.
Clearly document revised or new processes, what has changed and, more importantly, why it has changed. IN addition, have a change management and training plan in place to communicate to your teams. The clearer the process, the more likely your team will adopt it. Identify ‘champions of change’ within the business. These are the people who support team members who may be resistant or struggling with new processes. However, change can be hard, so allow your team time to adapt.
6. Implement improvements
Business Processes will evolve over time and may require refinements. Listen to feedback and be open to adjusting and iterating processes that may need improving or may not be working as planned. Develop an action plan to implement necessary improvements and prioritise changes based on their impact and feasibility. Also communicate the changes to the team and provide any necessary training or support.
Business process mapping is an iterative process, and you should revisit it periodically as the organisation evolves or new challenges arise. By utilising this technique, you can better understand your processes, identify areas for improvement, and drive efficiency and effectiveness within your organisation.