Structuring Implementations around Business Processes

Project Scope

Process diagrams can clearly illustrate project scope from a business process perspective. They communicate critical process organization, key integration points and information flows, and the business groups involved in the project. The major process definitions also become a handy way to organize the project-keeping focus on process perspective over technically-biased ways of thinking.

High level process diagram to communicate implementation project scope from an activity and department perspective (swimlanes)

Current State

When an Oracle implementation will result in significant changes to existing business processes, it is usually worthwhile to document current state processes in addition to future state.

Current state process diagram with callouts for key metrics and improvement targets

Process details support the process diagrams to create a business process baselines document (similar to AIM’s BP-040) to communicate a complete picture of the process how, what, and why; along with key issues that are to be addressed by the implementation project.

Process detail document showing details of process to backup diagram

Future State

When developing future process flows, I often include the Oracle system as a swim lane. This serves to highlight interfaces between users and the system and to identify what is automated versus what will remain manual steps outside the system. Here is an example of a future design for a lead management process baselined earlier in the project:

Future Lead Mgmt Process Diagram

In addition to serving as a standard visualization of the future process and activity flow, the future state process provides the structure for user testing scripts, user documentation, and training.