Business Processes

With reference to Chapter 4- Business Processes, consider a process map you are familiar with.   See the example on page 80 figure 3.5 of the bluebird café.

Please provide a process mapping of a business process you have experience with on a day to day basis.  Examples can include a store you visit, a restaurant, a place of employment, ect.

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Perform a write up which maps the process with the customer as the focal point.  Feel free to reference Figure 4.5 on page 80 as a guide.  No requirement to actually map this, as the format is a discussion.

Please ensure a minimum of 500 words with two cited sources.



Chapter 4

Because of the level of detail required, process flowcharts can quickly become overly complex or wander off the track unless a conscious effort is made to maintain focus. Some useful rules for maintaining this focus include:

1.Identify the entity that will serve as the focal point. This may be a customer, an order, a raw material, or the like. The mapping effort should focus on the activities and flows associated with the movement of that entity through the process.

2.Identify clear boundaries and starting and ending points. Consider a manufacturer who wants to better understand how it processes customer orders. To develop the process map, the manufacturer must decide on the starting and ending points. Will the starting point be when the customer places the order or when the manufacturer receives it? Similarly, will the flowchart end when the order is shipped out of the plant or when the order is actually delivered to the customer? The manufacturer might also decide to focus only on the physical and information flows associated with the order and not the monetary flows.

3.Keep it simple. Most people developing process maps for the first time tend to put in too much detail. They develop overly complex maps, often subdividing major activities into several smaller ones that don’t provide any additional insight or include logical branches to deal with every conceivable occurrence, even ones that very rarely occur. There are no simple rules of thumb for avoiding this trap, other than to ask whether the additional detail is important to understanding the process and whether it is worth the added complexity.

Let’s illustrate these ideas with an example we are all familiar with: a customer visiting a restaurant. The customer is greeted by a host, who then seats the customer. A server takes the customer’s order, delivers the drinks and food, and writes up and delivers the check. Finally, a cashier takes the customer’s money.

Figure 4.5 shows a simplified map of the Bluebird Café, which we first discussed in Chapter 3. In this example, the focal point is the customer: The process begins when the customer enters the Bluebird Café and ends when he or she leaves. Notice, too, that there are many activities that occur in the restaurant that are not included in this particular map—scheduling employee work hours, planning deliveries from suppliers, prepping food, etc. This is because our current focus is on the customer’s interactions with the restaurant. Even so, our “simplified” map still has 11 distinct steps.


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