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These pages have discussed methods for the detailed documentation of the business process analysis and requirements gathering effort within a larger IT project. Although there are many reasons why an organization might turn to process mapping, the purpose here is to expose its benefits as a tool set in facilitating IT project analysis and design. With the data derived from this collaborative and consensus-driven process, the IT project team is in a much better position to win support for the reengineering of business practices and the investment in information technology required to convert process findings into implementable project plans and system development efforts.
To summarize, the steps in this chapter's business processing mapping methodology include the following:
Process decomposition — captures the detailed workings of the process, information flows, process outcomes, and so forth. This includes process definition and overview, assumptions and operating principles, workflows, inputs, outputs and deliverables, and associated enabling technologies.
Roles and responsibilities matrix — documents individual stakeholder commitments within the process, as well as opportunities for automated information handoffs.
Process rules — define approval rights and access rights within the process and, by implication, the knowledge requirements of stakeholders in decision-making roles.
Performance metrics — include the key measures of process delivery and customer satisfaction that the IT process captures, shares, and leverages as part of its value proposition to the enterprise.
Process templates — include standardized knowledge assets — like templates, models, and tools — that are typically standardized, maintained, and distributed via an IT platform and, in part, through the efforts of the IT project team.
Knowledge library — encompasses nonstandard knowledge assets: either formal artifacts (i.e., explicit knowledge) or services for accessing or exchanging tacit knowledge.
Once completed, an enterprise's process maps will provide the IT project team with ample direction to construct an impactful automated platform for the sponsoring business unit. Success in process mapping calls for special skills that align with the competencies of a business analyst (see Chapter 2). The virtue of a PMO in this regard is that it brings together a core group of analysts who can collaborate on process mapping assignments and share their experiences across the team. Although there is definitely a benefit to embedding analysts within business units so that they can master the ways in which those organizations work, it is of even greater value to retain them as objective third parties. This allows them to bring a certain freshness of perspective to each new project, even as they draw upon the collective experiences of their PMO colleagues and the knowledge assets created and shared among team members.
Chapter 7 explores in more detail how knowledge management, as championed by the PMO, may serve the greater IT organization.
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