While working as a client, I needed to understand and document our internal business processes in order to effectively communicate with outside ERP consultants. I would spend a lot of time with different personnel throughout the organization trying to understand their processes. This included a lot of asking “Why?” in order to truly understand what the business needed. I would then write up flow charts in Visio detailing the business process. I found these to be much more effective than long text documents as people could much more easily follow the flow.
After a couple years of this, I switched to the opposite side of the same coin. I am now on the consultant side working with businesses. The toolset is exactly the same and there is still a lot of asking “Why?”. The only difference is that my area of expertise has shifted from trying to completely understand a single business to understanding a piece of ERP software. I have to work with internal business analyst to help understand their business as quickly as possible. The object is to seamlessly blend the software with the business processes.
As a closing note I would say, after working with many different businesses on both sides, most companies overestimate their complexities and differentiation. It’s just that most companies are mostly the same with mostly the same processes.
Written by: Will Lavery of eBECS , Atlanta, GA