Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is Author Different From Traditional Business Process Mapping Software?
Business process mapping is the cornerstone of both process improvement and business process management. While primarily focused on human based activities, it is also a component step for process automation. The fundamental task in the CMS approach for BPm is the documentation of the present mode of operations (PMO).
CMS employs innovative Author software as its best-in-class tool for the process mapping. Author is a globally-proven tool with decades of success across various business markets. It has robust document management capabilities and is built on the foundation principles of the RACI model (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed). By virtue of the RACI principles, Author software captures more than what needs to be done, it includes:
• Who does it
• Who needs involved or informed about the process
• Time and dependency constraints and milestones
• Performance and quality levels
• All the supporting resources and tools needed to complete the objective
2. What is the RACI Model?
RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. It is an assignment matrix that describes the participation of various roles or departments in completing tasks or deliverables. The RACI model clearly lays out roles and responsibilities for any activity or group of activities. It is useful in clarifying roles and responsibilities in cross-functional/departmental projects and processes.
3. Why do I need Author and Knowledge Mapping when we have Visio Flowcharts?
Visio flowcharts have long been used to document workflows, but they have several distinct disadvantages, they time-consuming to draw, they require knowledge of specialized symbols and they are not easy to update or modify. Furthermore, they only speak to the steps that need to be done; key factors, such as who needs to do the work and all the other parties involved in the process are not inherently captured in the shapes and arrows of the diagram. Additionally, timelines and KPIs can be added, but only as a footnote or annotation.
Author uses a completely different model to draw the workflow. “Swim lanes” which capture both the task and the roles allow for an easier understanding of the overall project or process. Additionally, Author has robust documentation management that allows for direct linkage to all supporting documentation as well as a details section that supports timeline information, KPIs, and other project notes.
4. What Knowledge and Which Processes Should be Documented?
Honestly, Everything in your organization.
Anything you determine is mission critical for your business should be documented, including, but not limited to:
Anything related to audits/compliance
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Additionally, any area where employee turnover (retirements, seasonal workforce, etc.) or high-volume growth is expected should be mapped. Also, processes that are key contributors to your growth or expansion opportunities or that allow you to maintain a competitive advantage should be mapped in Author.
5. Why don’t we jump straight to process improvement?
At CMS, we believe that documenting what you currently know and what you do is an essential first step. Building from what works well is less stressful for your organization and allows you to maintain your corporate strengths. All too often, companies discard too much during a wholesale process improvements – they throw the baby out with the bath water. Our goal is to help you find, capture and appreciate your strengths and build from there.
6. How does a typical CMS engagement work?
There are 4 components to a Corporate Memory Solution BPm engagement – high level planning, charter creation, software training and follow-up session. We call this flow the desire trail.
High level planning – We discuss your corporate vision, the nature of the BPm opportunity, what to document and who to involve in the initial training.
Charter creation – We cover our product and methodology and discuss the logistic of your approval process. We discuss reporting structures, KPIs, meeting schedules and team responsibilities. The ultimately outcomes are executive-level sponsorship and support as well as the creation of the work teams.
Software training - What are process and why are they important? We discuss the seven steps of process mapping. We also demo Author software and train the users..
Follow-up sessions – Typically 30, 75 and 180 days after initial setup. We use this time to review the on-going work and offer feedback, answer questions and provide refresher training.
8. Why is having an executive charter so important?
As with any project or initiative, sponsorship shows commitment; without a commitment any Knowledge Capture effort is likely to lose momentum. Executive-level support in the form of a charter not only illustrates this commitment but also documents the expectations for the effort.