The processes identified in the system or organization model can be regarded as Level 0 implying there are further levels in a hierarchy as shown above. Here we also show the connectivity between levels using both a top down approach and a bottom up approach.
It is important to remember that the purpose of any process is to achieve an objective and therefore whether the objective is strategic such as a vision or mission, or is related to the completion of task such as crossing the road, there is still a process to achieve it. However, if the decomposition reaches a level where to go any further in the hierarchy you would be in danger of noting arm movements, you have gone a level too far.
To identify the processes, sub-process or activities you need to know what objectives need to be achieved or what outputs are required. Objectives are simply outputs expressed differently. For example, if the output is growth in the number of enquires the process objective is to grow the number of enquiries. You can then ask a number of questions to determine the processes, sub-process or activities:
- Ask what processes deliver these outputs or achieve these objectives
- Ask what activities produce these outputs
- Ask what factors affect our ability to deliver these outputs or achieve these objectives. E.g if innovation is critical there ought be an innovation process.
If you do it the other way around you would identify a sequence of activities and then:
- Ask “what is the output or objective of this activity” and thereby identify a Stage Output
- Ask “where does this output go to” and thereby identify the next Stage in the process.
- Follow the trail until you reach the end of the chain of stages with a number of outputs
- Collect the answers from group to group, department to department and then
- Ask “what do these groups of outputs have in common” and thereby identify a series of Activity Groups and then
- Ask “what contribution do these activity groups make to the business” and thereby identify the Business Processes? E.g. advertising creates a demand therefore it is part of the Demand Creation Process