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While I consider Detail Process Charting by Ben B. Graham an
important addition to my reference library, it is more important to
experience what can be achieved when the techniques described in the
text are actually applied by an open, honest project team committed to
improving their process. The result is a visual that enables the team
to redesign the process in a collaborative fashion, significantly
enhancing productivity while gaining buy-in from those most affected by
Lon Winton, Chief Information Officer, Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Finally, a book has arrived that
teaches us how to draw meaningful business process flowcharts and draw
them quickly. Such a book has been sorely needed for many years. It
provides clear and concise reasoning on the value of process charting
and process mapping, demonstrated with real working examples. Through
detailed methodology - an actual "how-to" guide - well over half the
book is devoted to demonstrating how to draw detail process charts. The
narrative is straight-forward, easy to understand and well supported
If you are looking for solid
methodology designed to display business processes so they can be easily
understood, here is a book you will wish had been around years ago.
Harry J. Gwinnell,
Vice President, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Cargill
Charting:Speaking the Language of Process...
Any process, however convoluted, disorganized, and complicated, can
be broken down and interpreted with a process chart. The method for
accomplishing this isn’t new. In fact, the method has been producing
outstanding results with manufacturing processes for nearly a century and
with information processes for more than 50 years!
This book is written for people in all levels in all organizations who wish
to gain stronger control of their work environment. It revisits the work
simplification approach to process improvement that dominated the work
improvement arena for a good part of the twentieth century, with particular
attention to the principal tool for information process improvement—the
detail process chart. The method described in these pages offers the reader
a trained set of eyes, a different (not new) way to look at work.
It is not intended that the methods of work simplification be applied by
individuals at their workstations, but rather by workgroups, teams of people
involved in different parts of the work processes working together to
improve the work they share. In fact, the more people that get involved in
work simplification, the more opportunities for improvement will arise.
Typically, the more documents change hands, the more opportunities for
improvement there will be.
There are many arguments as to who should be involved in improvement work
and what kind of solutions to look for—whether to use outside help or
internal resources, whether to apply radical solutions or incremental
solutions, whether improvement efforts should be top-down or bottom-up. The
methodology described in these pages suggests that when these “either–or”
arguments force a choice between one option or the other, they are futile.
All of those options have their place, and the key is to know when. The work
simplification approach first and foremost taps into the process-specific
experiences of the people who do the work but also calls upon external
resources for technology-specific expertise and alternative perspectives.
The process itself determines the potential scope of the solution. Although
solutions can be radical, there is no place for a “clean-slate” approach
that ignores the current process and the experience of the people who do the
work! Finally, it organizes both top-down and bottom-up participation!
The vision must come from the top. Executives must make it clear what they
expect to achieve. They must provide direction and show that they are
committed. Direction encourages the working people to work together with
shared objectives as they apply their best judgment in improving the work
that they do. It solidly places the responsibility for the completion and
improvement of the work with the people who do it. Commitment comes two
ways—with an assurance that there will be no loss of employment as a result
of process improvement and with a promise to support the recommendations
made by the improvement teams. This doesn’t necessarily mean 100 percent
acceptance (although upfront approval is a great goal to shoot for as
employee teams demonstrate their effectiveness and earn the confidence of
management), but it does mean approval of all recommendations that
management is not strongly (and validly) opposed to.
Improvements come from the people closest to the work, the ones who live it
and breathe it day in and day out—the people who do the work. When the
operating people are given the opportunity to participate in an improvement
process, their ingenuity is transformed from simply doing the work to
improving the way they do it. Benefits include reduced resistance, improved
morale, and better solutions! Instead of using creativity to thwart changes
that are thrust upon them, they develop creative solutions that they are
pleased with and proud to live with.
The methodology presented in these pages is not offered as a panacea. It is
simply a powerful, straightforward, proven tool designed specifically for
displaying facts about process and taking advantage of the insights that
these displays provide. It has been used for more than half a century in
organizations large and small, in government and industry. Its roots go back
to the earliest tools devoted to the study of information processes
(paperwork simplification); it evolved directly from the tools of work
simplification that had, by that time, been used and proven in manufacturing
for nearly half a century.
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Read more about the detail process charting method that has helped
organizations save millions of dollars.
The Amazing Oversight is a collection of classic essays by the
pioneers of work improvement...AND it's available through Amazon for just
a few dollars!