BA Articles

How important are the edges

When analysing a process it is worth asking the question, how important are the edge cases? The answer could be critically or it may be it depends on what they offer.
During your analysis, you may find 80% of the work is spent creating 5% of the output if this is the case this question may become very pertinent. It is important nevertheless to never take this as a guarantee as that 5% may be what leads to a single organisation’s revenue stream or supports the companies philanthropic credentials.
Alternatively, you may need to build into your new process a cap at which effort outweighs potential returns to ensure effort is not wasted.

BA Articles

Do not finish until you are finished

It is easy to consider the outputs of a process as finished, when that may not be the case.
It is important to confirm it is before designing your outputs.
It would be rather difficult for example if you finish a document and export it as a PDF only for the next process to have to deconstruct this to add details to the same document.
Conversely, if the next process involves sending out a document it may be preferable that your process does save it as a PDF as this may save time, license fees and complexity across the organisation.
This could also apply to any number of things. Packaging an item disproportionately to its journey, saving as an Excel document rather than a CSV or even completing a final check before the final changes are made.

BA Articles

Once you know, you know

One of the main reasons for completing an in-depth analysis of what is required by the company is to ensure any project that is started has a firm foundation not only in need but also what it wants to achieve. The way the decisions made later on in the project can be made with some certainty allowing for fixed-price agreements to be made with external organisations, therefore, reducing the risk of change unduly affecting the cost of a project.

BA Articles

Chase the assets

When working with a complex, wide spread or poorly defined process it is often worth chasing the assets from start to finish.

Those can be done from either end.

Looking at what starts the process whether it be an unpainted vase or a database of survey results, or look at what is produced a painted and packaged vase or a clearly written analysis of why a particular type of tap is preferable for 32 to 43 year old home owners.

When going forwards you will be asking well, how does that become that. When going backwards you will be asking how did this happen. In either scenario it is important to always understand where the tertiary steps originate from. How did the information for that thermal printer get there for this package.

BA Articles

Are we sure about the requirements?

When reviewing a process it is often worth taking a step back and working out what the current process is currently supposed to be doing.

Even if you are just supposed to be streamlining a current process it is often worth identifying what it is supposed to be doing as it may be possible that the current process is either not achieving somthing it is supposed to be or is doing more than it is supposed to be.

Either way it is important to understand what you are supposed to be reviewing before trying to review it.

BA Articles

Ask the staff not the document

When analysing what is happening in the business, it may seem logical to review the documented processes to gain an understanding.

This may prove to be a problem as documented steps may be several steps removed from reality. 

Since they were written:

  • the steps may have changed
  • requirements may have altered
  • capabilities may have changed
  • expectation may have changed

All of these may result in what can be gleaned from the documents being skewed. Even if nothing has changed when the documents were written they may have been:

  • What should happen
  • What happens when everything goes as expected
  • Written by someone who was not directly involved

All of these add up to process documentation that may not show the process as it is now which means any assumptions based on it are not correct.

The answer walk through the process with the staff and match their experience with the documented approach this will enable to you understand if and where the seperation is and gain a clear, functional understanding of what is happening.