Ben B. Graham
ISBN: 0-471-65394-2
Hardcover
187 pages
July 2004
US $105.00

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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 the change. 

Lon Winton, Chief Information Officer, Chesapeake Energy Corporation (Retired)

 

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 with illustrations.

 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 Incorporated.

 

 


Detail Process Charting:Speaking the Language of Process...
 

PREFACE

 

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.

 


 
 

More reading...
Process Charting Book Promo Sheet
(341K PDF)

Article - Detail Process Charting
more articles...

Process Improvement Booklets - download free

For training and coaching...
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