Preparing your workshop - Part 2

The purpose of this section is to have the final checks in place to get started on your process mapping.  You know your objectives, you know the people involved, you know where and when… now it’s the practical aspects of how.

6. The process maps

The process maps follows different stages - for procurement this relates to different steps outlined in the Sourcing Playbook; whilst contract management reflects the various elements required to complete the commissioning lifecycle.

Whilst the stages are at the top of your process map, your swim lanes run vertically based on  the activity, who leads that activity, what decisions need to be made and which documents are relevant:

The post-it notes, in different colours, relate back to the swim lanes.  Post-it notes are useful touse as they can be moved around if you realise your process is out of sync.  If not keen on using post-it notes just use marker pens in different colours.

7. Understand the stages of creating a process map

Understand what questions to ask

This is really key.

As part of the preparation think about the questions you want to ask. As you’re going through the business process mapping, you’ll want to be looking out for inefficiencies, duplications, and realise if there is abetter way to do things. Below is a list of questions that you can use to help challenge your current process. They’re just suggestions, but they’re a great starting point!

  • What processes/activities are happening in sequential order that could be happening concurrently?
  • Does this activity lead to the deliverable? Is the activity necessary?
  • What is the value of the activity?
  • If there is a bottleneck in the process can that be automated or at a different stage (i.e. earlier)?
  • What would stop a loop in the process which causes a time delay?
  • Is planning set out early in the process so time delays do not happen at crucial points?
  • ‍Are all of the right stakeholders involved where necessary?
  • Is it essential that that person is involved in the process?
  • Can there be delegated / assigned responsibility?
  • Is the governance set out at the start of the process so it does not need to be repeated later or conducted at a point that could hold up delivery?
  • Are the requirements proportionate to the scale of the procurement and contract?
  • Is categorisation and tiering used correctly?
  • Is the level of due diligence in this step proportional to its actual impact?
  • Are there tools and templates in place that would help people?
  • Are regular “lessons learnt” reviews carried out to ensure that the process is continuously improving?

Critical success factors checklist

We’re almost ready to get started. Here’s a checklist to make sure you have everything you need to make the most out of this exercise before you begin:

  • ✔️ Do you have a clear purpose for the session?

  • ✔️ Do you have all of your equipment and printed the relevant materials?

  • ✔️ Have you ensured you have a range of stakeholders involved in the process?

  • ✔️ Are you familiar with how business process mapping works and what each shape means?
  • ✔️ Are you and your team familiar with the types of questions you should be asking yourself throughout the business process mapping workshop?

  • ✔️ Have you ensured that if you have more than say 12 participants you have split them into 2 groups?

9. Set your itinerary

Setting and sharing the plan for the sessions in advance is important.  Three hour chunks of process mapping is enough as people’s energies will start to wane, and another top tip is making time for breaks, specially lunch, to regain that energy.

Allow time for talk, but try to keep on subject.  If a burning issue is raised though not really relevant to the task in hand, write it down on a flip chart to record and review later.

The below is a sample itinerary which we will explore in the following stages.

10. Pre-meeting

You are so nearly ready to get going! One final thing, have a pre-meeting with all the participants.  This can be a virtual meeting, but so incredibly useful for everyone to know what to expect from the sessions – some people might not have taken part in business process mapping so give them some visual clues from this toolkit and check out what they want from the session.


Brought to you by:
Local Partnerships