As Is Process
Measures to streamline, harmonize, simplify and automate trade procedures and documents within a region or country can only be identified and carried out once a clear picture of the current processes and procedures has been obtained.
Business processes may be defined in terms of the participants involved in the exchange of information, the information required to enable the process to operate, the outputs generated from the execution of the process, and the rules that govern them.
The main output of this first part of the BPA exercise for trade facilitation contains the following components:
- Process diagrams (see examples and diagrams)
- Process descriptions (see description)
- Time-procedure chart (see below)
- Trade forms and documents (see Trade documents)
- Trade-related laws, rules and regulations (International Agreements and Regulations)
The processes may be illustrated using Use Case diagrams and be described as one or more Use Case descriptions. More detailed diagrams showing the activities undertaken by the various partners and the flows of Information between them may be shown in Activity diagrams. The example based on the arrival of a vessel in port illustrates the As-Is processes.
The Time-Procedure Chart
The time-procedure chart is an illustration of the time required to complete each business process in the business domain of interest. It enables the process analysts to spot possible bottlenecks.
The Time-Procedure Chart of the Frozen Shrimp Export example from UNNEXT BPA-Guide http://www.unescap.org/unnext/tools/business_process.asp
Deliverables and comments regarding the "Document the As-Is processes" phase:
Step: Acquire background information
|A folder of background information on the business processes which may be accompanied by a brief explanatory note of each business activity.||Collect background information from several available sources as far as possible.||Do not jump to any interview session before the interviewers have grasped some good background information and are familiar with the organization and the specific business processes under interview.|
|A list of guiding questions for the interview.|
Step: Conduct interviews, consolidate and document the business processes
A set of business process descriptions including:
* Process diagrams: (Use-Case and Activity Diagrams)
*Process descriptions: Use-Case descriptions
*Trade forms and documents
*Trade-related laws, rules and regulations
|Define and document processes in a way that reflects the current state of practices.||In the first interview, do not give the questions to the interviewees beforehand as this does not lead to an open discussion. However they should be informed of the overall expectations and the specific business processes of interest.|
|When describing and documenting a process, start with the activity diagram. Drawing helps formulate ideas and a logical sequence of activities. Drawing the first diagram will probably be a struggle. When you realize that connecting the two activities in a logical sequence does not make sense, it means that there may be some activities missing in between.|
|Write down questions that arise when drawing and use them for another interview session. Structure the second round of the interview based on these questions.||Do not attempt to create processes that look perfect from the beginning. Perfection does not represent what actually happens in reality and thus cannot serve as a baseline for improvement.|
|Be considerate of interviewees' precious time. Try to use their time efficiently.|
|Hold an experience-sharing session among the team of process analysts from time to time. Experience sharing allows one to observe and depict patterns in processes across a business domain. For example, process analysts responsible for defining processes of different products will discover among themselves that no matter what the products they are, traders have to comply with customs regulations in submitting customs declarations according to similar instructions that the Customs provides.|
|Always reuse patterns (diagram of identical processes) where applicable. Reusing patterns saves time and ensures the consistency of processes across a business domain.|
The next stage of the BPA process is to Identify opportunities for improvement. Refer to the Process Analysis Methodology to learn more about the deliverables and responsibilities of the roles in each phase.