ISTI's process support services are unique in that they make the effort of process mapping and transformation relatively painless by supporting collaborative web-based conferencing (e.g., through NetMeeting) and remote knowledge acquisition (i.e., acquisition of process knowledge from remote experts) using process templates as email attachments to subject matter experts to complete and return. The former assures that all stakeholders have their concerns heard and dealt with collectively during process mapping, transformation, integration, and workflow automation. The latter circumvents schedule conflicts and saves travel costs. The specific process services are described below.

Process Mapping and Documentation

We map, verify, and document enterprise processes for organizations of all sizes. We use our ProcessEdge™ product for this activity. The end product is an electronic model of an organization's processes, and reports that describe them. Our typical process documentation provides an overview of the process, the key roles and responsibilities, a variety of process views (e.g., process map, swim lane flow views describing the interactions between roles, people, departments, organizations, respectively), and customized reports (e.g, process data report, process verification report, process analysis report). For a typical process of approximately 30 steps, we can elicit knowledge from subject matter experts or extract knowledge from written process descriptions and verify the correctness of the acquired process model in one week of actual work time with one process analyst working full-time on the effort. We deliver the process model with relevant process views and tailored reports requested by our customers. For larger, complex processes, we typically deploy a team of two process analysts.

Process Transformation/Realignment

Working side by side with customer representatives (e.g., process owners, project managers), our process experts help the organization identify deficiencies and misalignments in their processes. We then work with the customer's representatives to prioritize their process problems from a cost-benefit perspective. Thereafter, we work with the customer's representatives to cost-effectively transform their processes whether it be to: a) web-enable them; b) drive out inefficiencies, defects or waste; or c) extend them to include suppliers and partners. Using sound business principles and process design heuristics, we help the organization achieve such transformation in a staged, risk-mitigated fashion. We typically deploy two process specialists on a time and material basis to accomplish this activity.

Process Training

We provide a comprehensive course in process technologies specifically designed for those users who are non-programmers but who have the responsibility for mapping and transforming their business processes. The course allows learners to understand the key elements of a process and how to transform them to achieve a specific business benefit. Along the way, learners are provided with insights into key process modeling practices that cover issues such as: when is process modeling done; how do we know that the process model is correct, consistent, and traceable; what are good process patterns; what precautions should one take when transforming processes; what should a typical process engineering team look like; and how to design a robust process. The course also introduces typical process-related initiatives such as CMMI, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma. The training is done in a participative style with worksheet exercises and process modeling demonstrations given along the way.

Process Integration Training

This course is designed to help learners in how to integrate:

  • Cross-functional processes;
  • Supplier and partner processes with own processes;
  • A collaborative, virtual enterprise; and
  • An acquired organization following a merger or acquisition activity.

The course presents a methodology for identifying mismatches, gaps, and overlaps among the processes of any two organizations that are: a) coming together temporarily to exploit a fast-moving business opportunity; or b) being merged to form a new organization. This course is supported by tool demonstrations that illustrate some of these concepts and provide a basis for discussing potential issues that might arise.

Workflow Automation

For customers interested in automating certain processes, our process automation experts provide guidance and knowhow in determining the right approach to automation, selecting the right commercial products (e.g., workflow engine, persistent storage mechanism), and determining what variables to monitor, how to monitor them, and what metrics to collect for "on-the-fly" process adjustment and offline continuous process improvement. We typically deploy one to two process engineers on a time and material basis to support this activity.