Note: This article was originally published on my previous blog

In my previous post, I talked about mapping customer journeys i.e. as an organization you should understand all the touch points where your customers interact with you, and the resulting processes.

So you understand all customer touch points, what now?

Most organizations unfortunately have not invested in understanding their as-is processes. Things are working, so there is a general lack of urgency. As a process analyst I get to hear following statements a lot.

Why should we spend time and money to model our processes?

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

My answer is rather simple.

Well, how do you know it ain’t broke?

Just because things are working does not mean they are working correctly or more importantly, working optimally. You cannot tell if it’s broke or not unless you can answer following questions:

  • What is their role in the process?
  • What is the impact of their activities on the process and how are they adding value?
  • And most importantly, how are they doing compared to their competitors?

These are the answers you get from a detailed process analysis effort. In this article we are going to look at a few important reasons why process analysis is so important, and why every organization should invest in that effort.

Current State (AS-IS)

The first step is to model your current end-to-end processes (a.k.a. as-is). Regardless of what techniques you use, so many unknowns will come to light that you did not even know were happening or causing issues.

Process Hand-offs

Most processes run across departments. Within an organization you cannot work in departmental silos, yet each department is only familiar with their part in the process. Gaps, redundancies and incorrect expectations can be identified and eliminated when all stakeholders look at the complete process.

Common Language

Process analysis effort helps in eradicating all the homegrown process models that use notations only understandable to the teams that created them. Their meaning is lost in translation when someone from outside the team tries to understand them. Try searching for process models on the internet, and you will see plethora of notations that absolutely do not make sense.

Process Hierarchy

Creating hierarchies, helps model the process with correct level of details. It also helps communicate the right amount of information to different levels of management while talking about process improvement.

Enterprise Repository

Another advantage of this effort at organizational level is that it results in an enterprise repository that is shared and is accessible to anyone. You always have access to all the versions of a process and comments from users who worked on them. Majority of tools now also provide collaborations i.e. multiple users can work on same process model.

Industry Benchmarks

When processes are modeled and various performance indicators are captured, it helps in bench-marking against organizations internal standards and industry standards.

Enterprise Architecture

Mapping processes and all the systems they interact with creates links for Enterprise Architecture. This information is extremely helpful during change management, just a couple of clicks and you can see exactly what processes would be impacted by a system change and vice versa.

Future State (TO-BE)

Modeling of as-is processes is just the first step. Use the outputs from this activity to identify issues, bottlenecks, redundancies and gaps in the process. Look at opportunities to automate various unnecessary and time consuming manual handovers. This will help you come up with the future state where you would like to be and then continuously keep reevaluating (a.k.a. continuous improvement).


Processes are everywhere. Processes manage an organization’s business. So, it is important for organizations to invest in knowing their processes. An important first step is doing a process analysis to understand how is the business being run currently and what can be improved in future. In an organization’s digital transformation journey, understanding of processes also contributes towards prioritizing what improvements need to be made that can improve customer experience.