In the article titled "Stalking and Capturing a Business Process" by Dan Woods, Chris responds:
I agree with you that a separate and distinct practice of "process discovery" is essential to ensuring the existing manual processes in your company are documented and understood (from an execution perspective). Without a formal process discovery effort, if the business process is one that is to be eventually automated, you run the risk of automating a business process that does not actually match what is being executed today manually.
While the process discovery effort must be self-contained and its own distinct project, ensuring the information gathered in this effort is reusable (and not contained in a silo application) it's vital to ensure a smooth transition to the other parts of the business process initiative, namely modeling and automation. This is where I see quality BPM systems adding value here. If a BPM system can offer process conceptualization, process documentation, and modeling tools as part of its BPMS, then all of the results of the process discovery effort are recorded in a collaborative and reusable design environment. If that information can then be resourced by "process builders", taking a process from a discovery effort to a modeling effort to an automation effort is fluid and seamless. Additionally, as notes and comments are included in the process definition by the various role players in the process, you will actually be able to see the maturation of the process.
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VP Product Marketing and Management