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Corporate Challenges - Part I (Lack Of Internal Customer Service Adds Inefficiency To The Process)

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

INSTANT MESSAGING (IM) BLUES You have some colleagues who ping you IM (instant messenger) any says, “Hi Kevin” without any other verbiage so you don't know what to think. If you don’t answer right away, the dialogue may remain blank and you wonder if they'll write anymore or wait until you respond before asking a question. Sometimes the request requires some digging or thinking before responding so having that information upfront can be a win-win for both parties. If you're asking someone for a favor or to get your question answered, at least provide some initial background information to make it as easy and seamless as possible.


You are asked by a colleague to review a 25 page policy or procedure so you proceed to edit accordingly as a favor to them. You will not only provide an edited version, but also send the original back to the requester and include the page numbers in email that your edits show need changing or clarifying. Once they receive your suggestions, often they will return the document and say in the email, "Please see my comments in the document.”

Wait, you are assisting them with the edits and then they return the document to you for clarification but don't make it easy for you to understand why a certain section is included in the document or why some sentences or comments should be removed. To help me help you (and be more user friendly), the initial requester needs to summarize the comments within the email making it easier for the editor. It shows you respect their time and are trying to make this review process as efficient as possible.


You’re a processing mapping SME (Subject Matter Expert) and the task at hand is to map Scenario Analysis. It's essentially taking certain key operational risk segments to determine what would happen if any of these segments occurred and if so, to what degree would it adversely impact the company's bottom line. You are working directly with the Scenario Analysis SME and you explain your process mapping approach to them. First, we will screen share and using Word (white boarding) and list the individual maps/sections needed to complete this exercise. Once completed, we'll review all sections to ensure all the necessary steps are in the right order for each of these maps. Once we have this completed in Word, we'll review this document one or two more times so that the Scenario Analysis SME is comfortable that all the steps of the process are in the right order for all applicable maps.

History has taught me that this process works best. In other words, if you try to map before things have been completely thought-out, you spend so much more time moving the process map icons around the various pages and slides.

Back to process mapping, once everything is captured on in Word, the process mapper will take these steps and sections and begin to map them out graphically accordingly to what SA segment they belong to.

Once complete, you then meet with your SA colleague who then looks at the process maps and begins to ask you to edit some of the steps and move objects around. In fact, each of the process maps may need significant editing and changes in what step of the process they belong to. However, this is missing the point of the Microsoft Word exercise which was to capture the steps in Word so very little editing is needed once they were mapped. In this example, spending too much time editing the maps in Microsoft Visio can easily add up to 50% more work.

The example here included Scenario Analysis, however, there have been multiple examples this occurring in corporate American on other processes that needed mapping.


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