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two hands holding a radiant globe of the earth
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Remote process mapping workshop during Level 4 Lockdown

Remote process mapping

With Auckland Level 4 lockdown continuing, most people have been working from home for nearly 5 weeks. We have seen many examples about the way we work from home, the best Zoom calls, how to set up your office in your bedroom, and what to do with the kids.

Lockdown for most organisations has also changed the focus of our work. With reduced customer interactions we have been given a bit of a breather that enabled us to step back and observe our own work from a distance. Why are we working the way we are? Are we following the best method? Is there a better way of working?

This pause that lockdown causes, provides an excellent opportunity to review your organisation’s product flow and practices by conducting a team-wide process mapping exercise. The challenge that then presents itself is: How to conduct a team-wide remote process mapping exercise during a lockdown?

I have one Auckland customer that needed to improve their warranty claims processing and they approached me with exactly this request: remote process mapping. After a bit of thinking, we came up with the following solution. Being in a level 2 area myself, I have access to our large whiteboard, which is an essential tool for process mapping.

I now had to figure out how I could replicate the effective in-person set up where people can interact freely with each other, the board and the post-it notes; how everybody could see each other, and I could make eye contact as the facilitator; how to include the training slides; and where to place my camera so that it captured the whiteboard. I got this to work by placing my camera on a re-positioned bookshelf. When I did a test run, I noticed that with my monitor on my desk and my camera on the bookshelf, I was looking away from the camera and could not easily interact with the team. The resulting solution was to place my monitor on top of the shelf too.

The last change we made is that we clipped a day’s work into four two-hour workshops, as experience has taught us that remote workshops require more energy, and an eight-hour remote workshop will not be productive.

Kia Kaha to our Auckland whanau, we’ll stand by you even if you cannot be with you!

About the author: Dr Liddy Bakker is the Director for Knowledge Management and Founder of Productivity People