Breaking the Complex Down to Simple

Updated: Apr 5, 2020


Photo Credit: PixelsAway

When you study martial arts there are many precise movements that work together to produce a powerful motion to protect one’s self. In order to understand that powerful motion you must first understand the parts the motion is made up of. There are many different punches, strikes, kicks, angles, pressure points, and more that play into that powerful motion. In order to understand the effect, you have to understand how that effect is built. This concept is no different to approaching identifying processes in your organization.

I have had the opportunity for 15 years to be a part of organizations where process modeling is a tool leveraged to explain the complex, and break it down to simple. However, process modeling/mapping/flowing, can be an art, and science, based on the maturity of the organization, knowledge of those doing this work in the organization, and many other factors. What I have found can be challenging is identifying the actual processes to model/map/flow. The fight identification may not occur on the first attempt as this work can be quite iterative, however, there are some concepts that can help make the identification a little easier:

1. Organizational Set Up: Take time to understand how the organization is organized and how the different pieces of the organization it together. You can determine this information by analyzing an organizational chart, or other organization information. You may not uncover every single department. During process modeling a role/organization may be discovered, as you don’t know what you don’t know in some instances. This may sound crazy, but I’ve experienced some unconventional things in my career to say the least. At least if you take the time upfront to understand the organizational set up you will have some great knowledge. We all know knowledge is power and can really unlock some keys in understanding, and piecing the puzzle together.


2. Clear terminology: Everyone in the organization has to agree on common terminology. You may say, “That’s common sense Paula!!!” One would think so, but it’s amazing to me when you just simply ask, “what is the definition of a process?” you get many different answers depending on who you are talking to. For example, some real life answers I have received are as follows: