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  • James Howey

Business process mapping to make your life easier

Quality management systems are a part of our daily life, especially in the water and environmental management industry. We operate under Environmental Management Systems (EMS), Water Quality management Plans, Site Based Management Plan, Asset Management Plans, Workplace, Health and Safety Management Plans or an integrated management system. Many of these systems need to be externally approved or audited and there is a requirement to adhere to the system to maintain approval or accreditation.

There is a huge effort in establishing these systems, and once they are completed, it cannot be a case of set and forget. There is significant value in reviewing and refining management systems to make sure the organisation is getting the full benefit of the framework. Often, quality frameworks can feel onerous or ‘just ticking a box’, however they are meant to make processes work more effectively, improve performance and make our lives easier.

Business process mapping is a valuable tool for refining and streamlining quality management systems. By truly understanding how business processes and business units interact, significant improvements can be made to reduce bottlenecks, duplication, reworking, use of resources and compliance issues.

Viridis has undertaken a number of these projects for a range of clients and management systems and we have found that the benefits extend beyond the functional team and across organisations. Our key learnings include:

  • SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers) process is a simple and effective way to map out business processes and to understand the resources that feed into business processes and the outputs and parties that are affected by a business process.

  • Due diligence is an important factor for any type of activity. We found that often the most significant risk was due to reworking and redesigning, project delays and hold ups because environmental and other legislative requirements were not fully identified at the conceptual stage.

  • Including operational staff in business process mapping activities can identify issues and solutions that were not obvious.

  • You will often find that the same issues occur across functional groups and you can solve the issue for a number of groups with one improvement action.

  • If something is not working, change it and re-evaluate.

  • Business process mapping help teams brainstorm ideas for improvement, increase communication, strengthen teamwork and provide process documentation.

  • The outputs from business process mapping can be used to forecast future resources needed, to develop training programs and assist in streamlined procurement.

We pride ourselves on our workshop facilitation and have been doing this for over 10 years. We take a pragmatic approach to workshop facilitation, and know how to keep workshops on track, whilst letting every participant be heard. if you need a hand with refining your management system or facilitation of a business process workshop, give us a call.

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