Processes

7 tips to keep your business process flowcharts alive

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As a preparatory step towards an ERP implementation, you decided to map your organization’s current and/or future business processes. However, you want to avoid that your efforts end up as dusty documents in the corner of a cupboard...

Below we present 7 best practices on how to keep business process flowcharts alive before, during and after an ERP implementation.

Keep it simple

There is no benefit in making overcomplicated flowcharts. Less is more. Employees do not consult the process flowcharts if they are too hard to understand. Moreover, make sure that a clear process architecture is in place. Such architecture aids your employees in finding and consulting the flowcharts.

Leverage the knowledge of your employees 

Do not develop and model business processes out of a figurative “ivory tower”. Involve your employees. They operate in the business processes on a daily basis. Therefore, they can bring valuable insights and improvement ideas to the table, which results in more efficient business processes.

Train your employees 

Employees will not make use of the flowcharts if they do not understand them. There are two ways to improve the readability of your flowcharts. On the one hand, keep them simple, as stated in the first practice. On the other hand, train your employees in reading the used modelling language.

How and why

Make sure to give sufficient attention to change management both during and after the ERP implementation. Explain to your employees why certain process design principles have been made. Do not only explain the new way of working but also clarify why you changed the way of working.

Measure and communicate positive results

Chances are that new or improved business processes are put in place with the implementation of a new ERP system. Therefore, make sure to measure and communicate positive results from this new way of working. This will increase the buy-in and enthusiasm of your employees towards further changes.

Make employees responsible for business processes

Flowcharts present an opportunity for continuous improvement. Because of the visual aspect of flowcharts, employees have tangible tools to work with. Empower employees to continuously question the business processes and delegate responsibility to maintain the flowcharts. Encourage them to proactively search for improvements within their business processes, even after the ERP implementation.

Encourage employees to suggest business process improvements

Make it easy for employees to come up with improvement ideas regarding the business processes. Ensure to always provide them with feedback, regardless of the outcome.  

Where to start?

Are you starting an ERP implementation or do you already have dusty flowcharts? We are happy to come and visit you! Email us at info@horsum.be or call us on +32 9 378 38 28 for more information.

Cédric Verfaillie - August 24th, 2017

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