January 26, 2021

How to capture a business process: Step 3

Now you know what your business process is aiming to achieve (Step 1), and you know where it really starts and ends (Step 2), you’re ready to describe it.

I’ve always found the best way to do this is to literally talk someone through it.  Imagine that you are telling the story of this process to a listener, who is going to make notes.   Ideally your listener would be another person, but if push comes to shove you can play both roles.

The conversation goes something like this:

  • As Storyteller,  you start at the beginning, thinking of how it usually works.   You simply tell the Listener the first thing that happens.
  • As Listener, you write that down, then ask:  “What happens next?” , or “Then what happens?”
  • The Storyteller describes what happens next.
  • The Listener, notes it down, and asks again “What happens next?”
  • Repeat until the Storyteller answers “Nothing, that’s the end.   We’ve got to the outcome.” 

That’s it.  For now.   The next step is to work out the order things really need to happen in.