Here are three charts that I have stolen from Paul Harmon’s blog at BP Trends. Paul I have not asked permission, but if you object, I will take them out and just refer people to your site. So please go to Paul’s site to find out more. In fact you need to go to Paul’s site to see the charts properly because they are a bit blurred here.
The first chart is about the levels of processes that exist in an organisation. It is such a simple chart, but powerful for its simplicity.
As Paul points out, process work often starts at level 4 or level 5 (you may not be able to see, but level 6 is activities within level 5 processes). Starting at this level makes it hard to see the connection to higher levels. “The key thing is that we begin with a top-level overview, not a specific, low level process. Starting at the bottom can work if you are trying to improve or automate a specific set of low level activities, but if you start there, its very hard to work upwards to tie the specific low-level process to the goals and KPIs of the organization.” So Paul likes to start with the high level picture and work down.
This brings us to Chart 2: the high level picture that Paul might use with a senior executive. For me, this is a high level operating model.
What I then like is Chart 3. Paul likes to take each value chain and do an operating model sketch of this value chain with the stakeholders on the chart. I am particularly keen about the benefit of listing all the stakeholders. I am slightly less enthusiastic about the specifics of Paul’s chart, but the idea is right. It would be more useful if he had kept the same example going throughout all three charts. But they are still good charts. As Paul explains “For each major stakeholder-value chain relationship we define, we go on to define the process that supports that stakeholder. We also define what the stakeholder expects from the value chain. These expectations, in tern, translate into measures that we will use to evaluate the value chain, and to later evaluate the effectiveness of any changes we make. Management values ROI on capital. Customers value quality of product and good service, while employees value career opportunities, and so forth.”