One of the main point of organizational development is to help develop efficient organizations that are able to adapt to the ever changing world. The OD Consultant goal is to empower organizations and make them independent in their work. Knowing how your organization processes and they interconnect with each others gives you the capacity to identify places where resources and energy are wasted.
In small and big organizations this knowledge is sometimes nonexistent or not structured. One employee knowing only the process of his specific role and maybe the ones linked with it. This may end up in Information loss or even worth secrecy. This absence of transparency slows down the company and can bring it to crash when an other organization is able to provide better, faster and smarter services or products. Relying on few key employees to take care of the whole process can be dangerous for the company. Your company can be paralyzed because the “expert” is not present or not sharing vital information to keep his hold on the power he has. The tendency is to wait that the person is gone or that the company cannot work further to start working on process transparency.
There are advantages to transparent processes:
You are may be thinking: “How long will it take us to identify our processes?” my question to you is “How many hours if not days do you lose because the work process is not known, too slow or simply broken?” “How many unsatisfied clients will never come back because there was no way to get the services they were expected from you?” How many employees stopped caring about their work when they realized nothing really works?” The most important is to become aware of the consequences of nontransparent processes and the ways you can use to clarify them. You have the choices of the detail level. Do you want to know step by step the process with all possible cases (like a tree-choice) or do you want to know who is responsible for what and where does the responsibility change from hands. What makes sense for your organization? The process mapping can be done by the employees themselves or by an external person. You can always ask an organization development consultant to help you figure things out. The consultant can either do the introspective work for you or help mediate discussions and group works.
Here are the different approaches you could try:
- Draw a flowchart
- Make a video explanation
- Make a cartoon
- Use the swim lane method
- Create a forum where questions from employees can be answered by their peer
- Create a wiki with answers to questions regarding the processes
- Use the Big Picture method
- …Be creative in the way you display the process
Once you mapped your processes you may identify issues that you desire to resolve. The main point is then to identify how to improve the current situation. The first step is to diagnose the issue and develop an intervention plan and finally evaluate if the improvement brought the expected success.