Enhancing Conventional Process Improvement with Systems Mapping

World Conference on Quality and Improvement vol. 51 - May 1997

Abstract: The system template is a tool for enhancing process management and improvement. It is the product of a systems mapping session that typically lasts several hours. At the session a representative team identifies the major high-level systems or branches in the organization. Then smaller teams brainstorm the systems and subsystems within each branch. The whole team reviews this analysis and identifies system owners. After the session, a draft system template is created and distributed for feedback to those who did not attend the mapping session. This mapping process continues until owners have been established for all important systems. However, some higher-level systems might not need owners. If some systems appear more than once each on the template, these redundancies should be resolved. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that systems are interdependent. The system template supports: multiple views of the organization; strategic improvement planning; and the implementation of systems management. The systems management philosophy uses the standardize-do-study-act process to enable system documentation and standardization. It uses the plan-do-study-act or continuous improvement process to bring about improvement. This paper provides examples of system templates for four types of organizations.

Keywords: Continuous improvement (CI) - Documentation - Process management - Process improvement - Process analysis

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I like the approach that systems mapping incorporates all the elements of SIPOC. The use of several examples is helfpul to compare different organizations. I also like the emphasis on the criticality of both documentation/standardization as well as PDCA for every system. 4 stars.
--Karen Phillips, 01-03-2011

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