Designing A Process Architecture

When something grows for a hundred years, it grows big – but if that growth is not managed, it’s easy to end up with something more like an incomprehensible jungle than a productive orchard. Working from the top down with a team at one of Australia’s largest financial institutions, I've been helping define and govern common banking services - synthesising research and insights with service design techniques to bring it all together.

  Poster I drew up for a internal conference to help explain who we are and what we do (Sharpie & Photoshop)

Poster I drew up for a internal conference to help explain who we are and what we do (Sharpie & Photoshop)

Initial Research - Personas, journeys & blueprints

 Research steps - customer personas and journey analysis leading to our blueprint of the service.

Research steps - customer personas and journey analysis leading to our blueprint of the service.

Our first question is which customers we are designing a given process for. I have helped develop a core set of proto-personas which breakdown into the more traditional customer personas informed by existing research we have. This gives us the personal and regulatory challenges driven by any given kind of customers.

After targeting our efforts, we walk the process and get to grips with subject matter experts, trying to understand the relevant staff and customer journeys. We dive into people, policy & systems to build exhaustive blueprints of services and processes.  I used the resulting service blueprints to identify key areas for improvement & management  (for example, where poor experiences occur but we have no means to monitor them).

 

Ideation - Collaborative prototyping

  The bricks during a workshop

The bricks during a workshop

Our output is never just an "ideal" process map - we need to build a governance model of the relevant service across it's varied stakeholders, to allowing projects that improve vast processes end to end. This means building common understanding between them all. To design this governance view I have helped facilitate sessions using giant building blocks to engage executives, allowing them assemble their view of the process, hands on with each other.

This allows us to work out the individual discrepancies that separated people's viewpoints, and to "test" the definition/scope of the process with the people who will live it.

Information architecture for process

 The taxonomy of process I played a central role in creating (via gephi network graph)

The taxonomy of process I played a central role in creating (via gephi network graph)

On top of individual processes, Process Architecture's main goal is to get process owners to understand how their services and processes fit in with the rest of the organisation. 

To do so required me to create a strong taxonomy and meta-data structure for grouping the information about our processes in a way governance owners could navigate. Constantly testing with end users, I helped create an easily navigable library of common banking activities with more than 1000 items, which has then used by the rest of the team as an architecture for every service to slot into.

Taking this library to stakeholders, The wider team use it as a common language to explain how the organisation fits together, and it has grown into a catalogue for risks, experiences and systems across the bank.

Ideation tools, templates & prototypes

  The profile in cartoon form (Sharpie)

My role occaisionally stretches from strategic process analysis to graphic facilitation. The team's constant need to engage the broader business with conferences and workshops has me producing engaging materials to record and communicate our ideas.

This has lead me to get constant involvment in the creation of concept prototypes, workshop templates and brainstorming frameworks.