Identifying Process Patterns
- December 1, 2017
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Ted: Sure. To me a process pattern is a set of steps, or actions, that happen with an organization, that involve the people, the technology, bringing that all together, in a sequence of events, for some particular business outcome.
Speaker 1: And so, what are some steps that our viewers can use to identify process patterns?
Ted: Sure. Well, that’s one of the really fun things that we get to do at BP3. For me, process discovery is really about pattern matching. And so, I guess I’ll start by saying what doesn’t define a process pattern. To me, it’s industry. And a lot of times, that’s a pitfall you can fall into say, “Well, what did we do in the same industry, for somebody else?” When you take something simple, one of the process patterns that I enjoy spending a lot of time with, which is new construction, that process pattern could be a new rail yard, it could be a new oil well, it could be a new retail store, or a cellphone tower.
Ted: So that’s the new construction pattern, across multiple different industries, but the other side of it is, okay, what are the common things, then? So within a process pattern, I look to what are the people involved, what are the systems involved, what are the steps, what are the decision points. And through asking those questions, the pattern generally emerges.
Speaker 1: And so, what are you looking for to say that this is a pattern across industries, or a pattern within just one business?
Ted: Yeah. Well, I’ll answer that with the other part, which is the benefit of having a pattern. So the benefit of having a pattern is you’ve got a tool set, or a knowledge base, that you can pull from on what is the best path forward, what is the happy path, what are the deviations that are planned, what are the deviations that aren’t planned. And so if you have all these assets and a process pattern, you can start with a problem and almost a predefined answer. At least, halfway predefined answer, that you build your value on top of. So you’re not starting with a scratch piece of paper, you’re taking what really works best, in some things, some other process pattern, and applying it to this new challenge you have in front of you.
Speaker 1: And are you seeing this process patterns emerging and saving people time, for example?
Ted: It’s an incredible benefit to some of the tooling that we use, is to start with a story. Start with a story that’s worked in a similar vein, in another process pattern like that. That can be as much as 75% of the work load, to lay out all the pieces. That last 25% is the art of, what’s the end state we’re trying to get to, and what’s unique about this particular challenge. But having all the blocks there, even the basic benefit of getting you the checklist of talking through, who’s the people involved, what are the systems involved, nine times out of 10, you’ve got a big building block to build on.
Speaker 1: That’s great. Well, thank you for joining us, Ted, to talk about process patterns. And we look forward to having you again soon.
Ted: Thank you, very much.