Process Design
Process Design
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What is Process Design? SiteMap

How does one go abut designing a process?

Remember when we talk about "process design" we art NOT talking just about designing a new product (e.g. new type of food) or a new service (e.g. new type of mortgage). So let's start with a review of "What is A Process?

James Brimson in his book "The Handbook of Process-based Accounting, Leveraging Processes to Predict Results published by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, defines a process as:

  • "A process is a repeatable series of operations that consume resources to alter material, energy, or information into outputs that are provided to customers."

So where do we start when we want to design a process? Obviously we start with the external or internal customer!

We ask our customer what are your performance expectations for:

  • Quality: for example, how many errors will you tolerate in our decision to approve a loan application?
  • Time: what is cycle time you expect? for example, from time a loan application is submitted, how long should it take to review and make a decision on that loan application?
  • Cost: for example, how much should it cost our organization to process a loan application

Now that we understand the requirements of our "loan approval process" we can begin to design the process.

We can start to collect the activities or operations that we will need to perform.

For example in our loan approval, some of the activities or operations we need to perform are:

  • Obtain completed loan application
  • Obtain supporting documentation: payroll stubs, income tax returns, home or car ownership
  • Obtain credit reports
  • Review application and make determination

Although we could break this down into much finer detail of operations, this level of detail will be sufficient for our purposes.

We could:

  • create a flow chart (also called a flow diagram or process map).
  • include type of people needed (clerks, loan administrators, approval committee)
  • include type of computer systems that will be needed (e.g. access to credit reporting agencies)
  • look at what processes could be done automatically (e.g. if documentation not received by a certain date, then automatically send reminder letter or automatically approve all loans where debt to less than 2 times income)
  • assign a process owner

Finally we need to get feedback from:

  • our various process workers
  • our customer
  • vendors to this process (e.g. IT)

Based on this approach we can begin to implement the design of our process.

Call John Antos, Jim Brimson or Pat Dowdle at 972-980-7407 to find out more about Process Control and Process Management.

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