I was just copied on this post, which was in answer to the question; “My client needs to map their processes – any ideas”

“Post-it notes, brown paper and a digital camera together with Visio work well for my work. Post it notes and brown paper for the process workshops, digital camera to capture the maps and allow them to be quickly circulated (especially when interested parties may be in another country) followed up by Visio to produce the finalised maps.”

Can anyone see the problem with this?  Rather than post a reply on the LinkedIn group, or email him, I thought I’d write a reply on a small piece of paper and attach it to the leg of a homing pigeon. Should do the trick?

Probably appropriate as the person works for the Civil Aviation Authority.

Why are people fighting with one arm tied behind their back where there are so many capable solutions out there?

The other replies in the group were all suggestions for their favorite product (or employer).  But no-one took a step back and asked the fundamental question; “Why are you mapping your processes?”

If it is
– to capture processes for an individual to analyze  – then Visio probably works
– to define the requirements for a BPMS (automation) or application, then use something which supports BPMN or the modelling tool associated with the BPMS
– if you want to deploy it so 10,000s users can access it and understand it, then you have fewer options
– if you also need governance (ie keep the auditors happy) then the list gets even smaller.

But don’t just go for ‘cheap tool’ because it will cost you in effort long term. Or worse, planes could fall out of the sky.


4 thoughts on “Fighting for a better yesterday? #bpm #scary

    1. Now you can combine technology with history. An iPad app which replicated yellow stickies, Business Model ToolBox. Which then you can produce as an image I guess and then email to people. A great idea for strategy and business planning, but if it is used ofr process workshops it has to be a step in the wrong direction. The good news is it is $30 which is too expensive.

  1. If your individual would like to avoid using email, they could have the photos developed at Wal-Mart (in matte finish, of course, so the pen and ink notations stand out).

    Reality: People believe they have these choices because they haven’t been shown a better way. In fact, they’re proud of their no-tech solutions because part of a hero culture is do something with nothing. Great companies, however, do amazing things with a reasonable budget :-).

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