Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Go with the flow

Today we're talking about process flows. And really, I think it's about time that someone thought about this for a while, don't you?

Who doesn't enjoy thinking about process flows? I know that I do. When I'm standing in line at Starbucks waiting for my third Venti Bold Roast Selection of the Day, I think, "Isn't there a faster way to get this coffee into my system? Why can't they just set up a series of feeder tubes and credit card machines right by the entrance? Better yet, why can't they just pipe it into the office? We already have that special spout for 'filtered' water, so why not another for Starbucks Bold Roast, and another for the Light Notes? And who drinks the Light Roast, anyway? What's the point? I mean, you might as well go to McDonalds and order the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, large fries, and a Diet Coke and tell the cashier, 'I'm trying to lose weight.' You know, I could really use some coffee about now. WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?!?!?"

My point here is that, if Starbucks had used a better approach to process flow modeling instead of their patented Barista Flow (TM) modeling technology, I might have received my coffee before I punched the stockbroker in front of me, thus starting a rumble that drove half of the customers out of the store and sent a caffeine-deprived mob into the Au Bon Pain across the street, where they rioted over the weak brown water that is sold under the label of "coffee" in that establishment, thus causing a whole rack of sticky buns to be flung into the street, interrupting the Patriots Day parade and leaving a whole battalion of kilted bagpipers covered from the thigh down in sticky cinnamon and pecans.

All for lack of a good process flow.

I'm not saying that this kind of chain reaction could happen at your workplace, but why take the chance? Do some research, ask questions, and save yourself from potential catastrophe.

Wikipedia: Business Process Modeling Notation
BPM Institute: BPM: Where do we Start?

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