Process Exceptions – Are they exceptional?

Rarely, when crafting a process flow diagram, can a business process be easily defined as a series of linear activities.  Oftentimes, the answer to the question ‘what happens next?’ is… it depends.  Was there an inspection failure?  Is there a system outage?  Did the vendor deliver the necessary materials on schedule? 

When determining what should be included in a process flowchart, it can be difficult to determine which process exceptions are necessarily included and which may be left out.

As a simple rule of thumb, one should ask, ‘how often does the exception occur’, and, if the answer is 1% or less, this exception activity may be safely omitted.  Consider that, if an exception occurs less than 1% of the time, it must be more than 100 times more expensive (in terms of time or cost) to have a significant impact on the overall, average performance.  Consider, too, that additional detail can always be incorporated into a process model.  If model analysis reveals that the bottleneck lies within an activity that sometimes requires an exception process, for instance, it would be worthwhile to incorporate this detail. 

In general, when building a process model to quantify performance in terms of time and cost, it is best to start at a high level and use the analysis output to determine when and where greater detail is necessary.

To see how Bluespring can help you with your business process modeling and process improvement efforts, contact us for a demonstration.  To obtain a free trial of ProcessView, Bluespring’s business process analysis solution, click here.

About Bluespring

Bluespring is a software development arm of Ascendum Solutions with a singular focus on helping organizations make work flow in Microsoft SharePoint.  We provide software and services that boost an organizations use of SharePoint to get critical information to the right people at the right time ... Read More

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