The ability of people to perform effectively in the workplace depends heavily on the underlying business processes that are in place to drive the work, and we have found in many cases that business processes are taken for granted and are not subject to the rigor of analysis and design that is applied to other aspects of the business. However, we have also found that a focus on process can deliver many potential performance benefits, and we help clients realize those benefits with a proprietary methodology that we call Process Visibility.

Process Visibility is a methodology that simplifies and makes visible all of the key process elements – the phases, activities, tasks, and steps – that are essential for business success. It serves as a top level “process architecture” that helps you organize and present valuable content to multiple stakeholders at multiple levels of detail. It establishes a method and view to see the entire organization at a high level (40,000 ft.), group or functional level (10,000 ft.), team process level (1,000 ft.), and worker task level (ground zero). Once the business processes at these different levels are made visible, then important redesign decisions can be made that result in greater efficiency, greater consistency, productivity, and profitability.

Determine the Need for Process Visibility

The next time you are in a group meeting focused on solving an important business problem, ask your team the following questions in order to determine the degree to which the team has a common understanding of the current process:

  1. For this problem, what is the end-to-end business process?
  2. Where does this process start? Where does it end?
  3. What are the most important phases and activities of this process?
  4. What is working? What is not working?

Process Visibility has the effect of “draining the lake” and seeing all that lies beneath the surface of your business. This common sightline of business by all fosters the use of a common language of process. This in turn opens the door for collaboration and innovation.

Performance Benefits of Process Visibility

From the “people perspective,” Process Visibility applications provide the following key benefits:

  • The approach creates a common communication protocol to help capture and share institutional knowledge and to improve crosstraining capabilities for greater flexibility and leverage.
  • It increases speed to competency across the company by using a common language to clarify how things work.
  • It creates a forum for future innovation and instills an atmosphere of continuous improvement and sustainability.