Day 1 (morning)

Part 1


Prepare the space, confirm roles and sketch out the skeleton of the process map, followed by introductions when the whole team arrive


30 minutes

Part 2


Process map of your procurement function


3 hours

Part 1 - Preparation and Introductions

It is important to prepare the room.  This includes drafting the process map with the different stages and swim lanes – you don’t really know how long or detailed your process will be so make sure you have enough paper to be prepared for a long process!

Remember the stages running horizontally of:

  • Starting event – useful to know what triggers a procurement
  • Pre-publication –everything you need to get prepared before you publish
  • Publication – all your activity to publish your tender
  • Selection and evaluation – the stages to choose your supplier
  • Award – steps needed to award a contract

And the swim lanes running vertically of: Activity, decisions, people and documents.  

Hopefully most people know each other and attended the pre-meeting so know the plan for the 2 days.  However, if you have an independent facilitator introductions might be in order, and you might want to have an ice-breaker. Maybe people could say what they like about their process and important to keep, compared to what they dislike.  These could be written on post-it notes to check later if the dislikes have been addressed at review stage.

Part 2: Creating the process map for procurement

Work together to capture every step of your current procurement process.  You have two choices here – you can map your current end-to-end process to review later to see where improvements can be made. Or you can document changes as you go along as lots of improvements will be suggested.

On a separate flip chart paper you can record these in more detail along with immediate actions and issues:

Gaps in documentation
Gaps in governance
Time risks
Risks in the current process

You will end up with a first draft of your process map. It’s going to get messy, so don’t expect it to be a work of art.

Here’s an example of what that might look like:  

Whilst you’re conducting this activity, remember to use the following symbols to spot gaps in documentation and governance, time risks, risks in the current process:

Gaps in documentation
If there are documents or templates that are missing or need updating.
Gaps in governance
Where a decision needs to be made but there seems to be a gap or not sure who makes the decision.
Time risk
If a delay in the process creates a risk or an activity that hampers meeting time scales.
Risk in the current process
Could lead to the process going wrong, creating a risk of challenge, opportunity for fraudulent behaviour, etc.

Remember that the purpose of business process mapping is not just to map out your process, but also optimise and improve it. When you’re going through the process, remember to ask yourself the questions listed Stage 3 of the toolkit.

Be forthright in challenging assumptions - often processes accumulate over a long time period and sometimes aren’t fit for purpose anymore. This is your chance to identify and replace them!

One way you might want to question the utility of activities and processes is encouraging your team to give a “tick” or “cross” to vote on how valuable something is:

You are not quite off the hook over lunch, think about how people are participating – are there any voices not being heard, is someone dominating the conversation or redirecting the process map?  You might need a reset after lunch – this is not just the role of the facilitator but everyone’s job to make sure this is a team effort!

Once you've done this, go and eat! It's lunch time


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