Developing an As-is To-be process mapping
The as-is diagram represents the present state of the organization’s processes, culture, and capabilities. The as-is document captures an accurate visual picture of the organization’s processes, which helps visualize process breakdowns and areas of risk and improvement. The as-is mapping only shows the current state and areas of improvement, but not how to improve the process.
There are several goals or motivations for implementing the as-is process modeling. The first goal is to save money by cutting out process redundancies. Improving existing processes or creating new ones can be done based on the as-is mapping. Improving business processes, in turn, improves the quality of products and customer service.
The advantages of analyzing the as-is process mapping are:
- Creating a solid foundation of the organization’s processes
- Aligning operations with overall business strategy
- Improving operational efficiency, process communication, and training
- Increasing control and consistency across the organization
- Gain competitive edge
The steps of the as-is process analysis are listed below.
Research – full current state analysis of a business is done to get an overview of the company’s main products/services. Start by compiling a list of products and services to understand the business value chain. Identify all the processes that the company uses to generate those products and services and note them down chronologically. The start and end of every process and the teams or individuals involved in each process must be clearly noted. All this information can be gathered via personal interviews, direct observation, group meetings, or surveys.
Documentation – using a process map or an as-is flow chart the data collected through research should be documented. The business process model and notation (BPMN) are the standard process modeling system. There are other visual representations of the process such as DevOps process flows, account maps, and ITIL/ITSM processes. Irrespective of the way you choose to represent the process, at the core is the as-is process analysis.
Identify process gaps, weak areas, and bottlenecks – based on the inputs received from the as-is mapping, the bottlenecks, areas of weakness, and gaps can be identified. Bottlenecks in a process are areas where the process stalls. Too many meetings or nested hierarchy for approvals etc are examples of process bottlenecks. The as-is diagram helps identify these spots. Gaps in a process are steps or areas where the process deviates from expected performance or outcome. Weak areas or areas that can be improved are tasks that are in the right place but need improvement or modifications. For example, improving communication or handoffs are examples of how you can improve weak areas in a process.
The basis for the to-be process – identification of weak areas, gaps, and bottlenecks forms the basis for the to-be analysis or to-be mapping. Once you identify where the existing process is lacking or deviating or can be improved, the planning for the to-be states begins.
The as-is (current) state and to-be (future) state analyses go hand in hand for process improvement. The as-is to-be template for documentation helps businesses identify process areas that are prime for improvement or modification and designs a path to achieve these improvements. The by-products of improving business processes are saving effort and costs, better business collaboration, and improving customer engagement and satisfaction.
Difference between As-is and To-be Process Maps
The current state and future state process analysis go together with business process analyses. The key differences between the as-is to-be process mapping are given in the table below.
|As-Is Process Mapping
||To-Be Process Mapping
|The as-is analysis maps where your processes are.
||to-be analysis maps where you want them to be.
|The as-is phase outlines the current state of your processes and any gaps or issues with your current mode of operation.
||The to-be process mapping documents how you want your processes to be like.
|Use the as-is document to work with stakeholders to develop improvements
||The to-be analysis is used as a guide for implementing changes in the process
Both the as-is and to-be analysis documents can be used by everyone in the organization to maintain process consistency and track progress and outcomes more effectively.
Process Improvement and As-is to-be Process Mapping
How important is the as-is-to-be process mapping for the business? Not every business requires an in-depth analysis of the As-Is and To-Be processes. How does one identify the need for as-is to-be analysis?
Here are a few scenarios where to-be analysis as-is is a must:
- It is known that current state processes have inherent issues. Issues could be reported by employees or customers
- Customers or business users are confused about the correct steps to be taken to complete a business process
- Key stakeholders are looking to automate business processes
- Current processes are not well documented
- Business processes are not streamlined across different departments
- Management looks to create a functioning business model
- Management is trying to move from paper-based operations to mobile process mapping solution
If your business encounters any one of the scenarios mentioned above, then there is a need for as-is to-be analysis. Continuous improvement is important for any business. The as-is to be model is a highly useful tool for making continuous process improvements. How can this model be used in making process improvements?