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5 key benefits to process mapping workforce solutions

07 Mar 2017
Mike Koper

Maximizing Outsourcing Results and Workforce Performance

Look out…. oncoming changes can challenge morale, alter quality, hamper delivery, and have cost implications—the opposite is also true.

That is precisely why processes have a significant impact on your workforce, product quality, and profitability. They are the foundation for your operating and quality systems and the baseline for continuous improvement.

Now that we know that, why—according to the Harvard Business Review, a McKinsey study, and supported by renowned change management experts—do nearly 70 percent of all transformation efforts fail? Building robust cross-functional process mapping tools help define the guardrails and provide protocols. Value stream maps highlight the anticipated benefits, but operational workforce cohesion many times is the linchpin between success and failure.

Effective and efficient processes

Effective processes clearly identify the expected result or output, contain actionable tasks that lead to the expected result, and provide standards that define successful completion. Efficient processes contain no waste (redundancies or unnecessary actions), gaps, bottlenecks, or barriers.

Processes that were effective and efficient last year may no longer support your changing business needs, quality standards, and technology advances.

Do you have effective and efficient processes?

The workforce solution approach that I have a prominently practiced uses a formal methodology to improve business results, beginning with an assessment of your current processes to ensure they are current, effective, and efficient. Secondary steps include a process mapping technique to create a simple visual representa­tion of your workflow, including tasks, interactions, standards, and process deliverables. Results of a workflow process mapping activity will surface with clear, actionable tasks, visual timelines, clear interdependencies between tasks, and standardized process integration points between functional groups. With your processes documented, level-one gaps such as redundancies, bottlenecks, and barriers can be identified and removed.

Once your processes are mapped, they can be used as the founda­tion for many other improvement opportunities, including:

Human performance improvement — Using the process maps to assess current workforce performance, identify performance gaps, determine the cause of the gap, and develop appropriate solutions

Workflow management and continuous improvement —Using the process maps to forecast and monitor resources, timing, and costs

Several process mapping approaches exist, however all should be geared to develop or assess your business process and ultimately drive:

  • Enterprise-wide process alignment
  • Cost savings through the elimination of waste and improved workforce efficiency
  • Improved product quality and timeliness
  • Workforce empowerment and improved morale
  • Reduced time-to-competency for new employees

Suppose you have well-defined procedures and robust processes and the results are lacking. It’s time to gauge accuracy and team cohesion. Even though a procedure can be well-defined and scripted, it may not be accurate as the latest and greatest. Such an event can result in efficient performance of a misguided task.

Team cohesion can be characterized by the daily habits of the participants and the respect each has for other contributions.

In the 2014 McKinsey study, team cohesion was most cited as a major factor in experiencing a real shift in behavior. Such a shift doesn’t occur by chance; it tends to be apparent in managed workforce solutions that have four influential factors: role modeling, understanding and conviction, developing talent, and system alignment.

When implementing workforce change, it’s imperative that stakeholders understand the necessity for multiple influential mechanisms to be moving simultaneously in order to advance within a transforming and advancing managed workforce model.  

At the doorstep of change, evidence has shown that by using a cross-functional team approach, coupled with accurate process mapping methodology, a workable strategy can be achieved to address the challenges inherently experienced with workforce transformations. 

Are you at the doorstep of change? Would you like to discuss more about the challenges of workforce transformations within a managed workforce solutions?


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