Objective: Understand how to decompose a business process.
- Decompose a process into subprocesses
- Identify process boundaries (inputs and outputs)
- Understand under what situations changes to the process affect the larger organization
Scenario: Sandwich Sales at Wawa
Consider the process of ordering and paying for a sandwich at Wawa using their touch screen ordering system. The process is:
- The customer places their order at the deli area using the touch screen.
- An order slip is printed.
- The customer pays using the slip at the register.
- The customer returns to the deli area with proof of payment to pick up the sandwich.
Step 1: Define the basic process (5 minutes)
- In your groups, create a diagram of the top-level process described in the scenario. You can use a simple process flow diagram, like this:
- What are the inputs into this process? What are the outputs?
- Categorize each input and output as either physical (things) or informational (data).
Step 2: Analyze the process (15 minutes)
NOTE: When you analyze this process, you won’t know exactly how it works since we don’t have detailed information about the company. So feel free to make your best guess based on the case and how you think the process should work.
- Take each step in the top-level process and, where possible, break it down into sub-processes. Create a separate diagram for each sub-process.
- For example, what more detailed steps are involved while a customer places the order?
- Now take another look at your process inputs and outputs from Step 1.
- What other processes at Wawa feed into the ordering process?
- What other processes at Wawa are fed by the ordering process?
Step 3: Influencing the System (10 minutes)
Analyze the diagrams you’ve created.
- What are the consequences of bad or missing information coming into the process?
- What are the consequences of bad or missing information produced by the process?
- How sensitive is the larger system to the successful execution of the individual steps in the process?
Step 4: Class Debrief and Discussion (15 minutes)
Questions for discussion:
- Why do you think it is important to make the distinction between physical and informational inputs and outputs, especially in the context of the touch-screen ordering system?
- How does the ordering process at Wawa interact with the other processes across Wawa?
- Are there any potential feedback loops? In other words, how might the processes that follow provide input back into those processes?