Monday, August 21, 2006

Process Management Information Flows - Function, Measures & Responsibility


This post is not about "How" to construct Process Management Flows. It is about "Information" Flows that can be used to explain a system/process in a timely and meaningful fashion so that everyone can understand what it means to have an end-to-end flow of information.

The flows are NOT intended to be detailed or have a fancy name like "swim lanes" to impress your customers, internal customers or bosses (they have no time for detail or silly quality consultant names). I have used the flows below many times to explain process responsibilities and measures to executives who end up carrying these one page flows with them or having them on their desks for reference. They are also useful in PowerPoint presentations.

I would like to share the following three models that serve as information flows:

The Functional Flow Process portrays and end-to-end high level process flow that provides the names and functions of the departments involved in the process. In addition it lists the major work taskes and how the departments work with each other to get the job done.

The Measurement Flow identifies the Process and Quality (Results) measures established to monitor the process flow (Process Measures) to make sure it remains stable or indicates when noise (excessive variation) enters the process for investigation. The Quality Result Measures should not be the main focus nor should they be the measures by which the process is measured. They are result measures and if you wait until they go bad you have already lost control of your process and are in for a costly price tag to find and resolve the problem (especially if you have to set up external teams like six sigma and lean teams to do the work).

Beware of self promoting leaders and finacial bean counters who only want to concentrate on the bottom line. Why do you think so many processes are in a mess. The process workers usually remain the same and know the job, leaders come and go and do little to add value, in fact they ass non-value when they want to change a process by only using bottom line results. I call it "Tampering to the Big Dog."

The Responsibility Flow basically identifies the major process owners of the end-to-end process. For those VPs (sales/marketing) who say they are not involved this process lays it out nicely. For those VPs (finance) who think they are involved should be left out of the process and customer decisions and go back to creating budgets and paying taxes.

My hope is these will serve as a starting point for your own Process Management Information Flows. Notice they all start and end with the customer.

Please Click on PICS to Enlarge: If for some reason you can not make out the information please send me an Email and I will be happy to send you a copy.

Functional Flow - Example Internal Service Order


Measurement Flow - Example Provisioning Flow


Responsibility Flow - Example Provisioning


J-Man said...

Thanks qg. It's amazing how something so simple and fundamental as process flows gets overlooked by so many companies. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

These are really good examples for explaining a process to a boss who has no idea what is going on.



Anonymous said...

The flows are very useful,