How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Analyze a job by looking at the processes involved.
This can be a top-down analysis, starting from higher-level processes and decomposing the hierarchy of tasks. It can also be a bottom-up approach, identifying actual tasks and building a structure from these (Post-it Notes are useful for this). A combination of top-down and bottom-up may also be effectively used.
For each process consider the outputs created and the inputs that are required. Inputs can fall into several general categories.
Also look at other related processes and the flow of inputs and outputs between the target process and these other customer and supplier processes. Processes may be the source of the various types of input and hence may be classified as supplier, support or control processes.
The process may be visually mapped with methods such as flowcharts, dataflow, state-transition and other tools. Visual maps are particularly useful for seeing overall flow and for communicating detail.
Inputs and outputs are very useful for scoping the task, as inputs and outputs are at the boundaries of all activity.
Within the process, tasks are effectively like smaller processes with inputs and outputs. The process may be broken down as far as is appropriate. In some manufacturing tasks, for example, every small movement of the hand is examined.
Process analysis largely takes people out of the process. This can be useful as it enables focus solely on what needs to be done and is a useful first stage. Following up with a human analysis is then usually essential, for example looking at skills needed.
A danger of process analysis is going into too much detail. As with other methods, knowing when to stop is quite important.