It’s been repeated many times over – use the right tool for the job. Whenever I read that statement I hear it in the voice of James Doohan (Montgomery Scott) in his fine Scottish accent.
For process management this certainly is a recurring theme, too. Clearly, there isn’t a lack of tools available – whatever you’re looking for, there is something to fit your needs: be it a drawing tool, simple BPMN modeling, cross-referencing process databases, … you name it, you got it.
You can either drown in options or start out simple and build upon that – that’s at least how it’s worked out for us so far: starting out by bringing all puzzle pieces to the same table (or platform) and linking it up.
The common denominator for a simple tool
While there are many, visible differences between form and quality, there’s a few common properties – as expected, for every process you’ll find
- some input
- some process documentation
- some accompanying documents (templates, work orders, etc.)
- some outputs
- and last but not least a process owner.
That’s a very simple and straightforward schema we’ve started out with and so far it seems to work quite nicely.
As a matter of fact, that’s very close to what the ITIL process spec looks like; the ITIL process layout simply enriches the whole concept with “process enablers”, and “process control” which surrounds the actual process. We might pick that up in a second iteration.
For more complex observations and documentations there are certainly better tools available (which we’ll have a closer look at another time); for bringing everything into one common database, we’ve made the choice to work with a rapid prototype approach and start out with a simple SharePoint site/document architecture first.
So far, it looks quite promising – it won’t remain like this forever, but it’s a pretty good and quick start!