Collaborative Business Process Mapping: Spot the whole elephant

Most of you would have heard the story of the blind men and the elephant that they saw. Each of them was born blind and they felt the elephant from different parts of its body and tried to identify how an ‘elephant’ would look like. One person touched the stomach of the elephant and said that the elephant should look like a rock. The second person felt the legs of the elephant and said the elephant should look like a pillar. The third person who touched the tail of the elephant said it should be like a long rope. In no while, a quarrel erupted among them and each man was adamant in his point of view. Who among these is correct here?

Well, the truth is that each of them is correct in their own perception and based on the data that they were provided with. But in truth, none of them were right. The elephant is a whole different big animal. Does this story ring a bell to you about how decisions are made in your organization?
Today’s organizations face the problem of silos more often than not. Each of these silos has a constrained vision and perspective and they are focused on their respective performance indicators more so than the welfare of the organization. When the company faces a little slide in business or an upswing, managing change uniformly within each of the silos becomes harder. At times, the issue gets worse when two silos/ departments have conflicting objectives. Sounds funny, but it does happen in many businesses today. The elephant stands right in front of all of them, but stays invisible as long as they don’t co-ordinate with each other.

Viapsi, a name derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘insight’, provides the vision to spot the whole elephant through a collaborative business process mapping, a 4 step process Collaborate, Assess, Deliver, Innovate CADI) for continuous performance improvement to achieve operational excellence. This is the first step in work activity management and in Vipasi’s business approach with clients. As the name suggests, we simply bring together all the stakeholders of a business together and map the value chain of the business and the dependencies and deadlocks in the presence of all parties involved. With some gentle persuasion and relentlessness, several bottled secrets come out during this process, which are essential to the mission of unifying the company’s activities towards one goal.

It works in four dimensions mainly – Workflow: Rather than focussing on the part of a job that each employee/ department does, it addresses the role played by him/ her/ them towards the whole job which produces a viable output. This brings the bottlenecks, inter-dependencies, dead-ends and meaningful contributions to light. Communication: Obviously, silos get that name because they don’t communicate with each other efficiently. This creates unnecessary friction and misunderstandings. Aligning them all in one common vocabulary, Vipasi makes them talk the same language of business. Resources: Limited resources and unlimited need is a perennial problem that mankind has to face. The organizations are no different in this regard. They need to know how the resources can be optimised for the greater good. Planning: Any business planning without the understanding of the perspectives mentioned above will only be biased and naturally will be ineffective or strongly objected. When all stakeholders feel that they are heard in the planning process, they will put in that extra bit of sweat to make their formula work.

All elephants may be similar but each business is unique. Collaborative business process mapping done for one company may not be replicated to another company. If attempted, it might end hazardously to the organization’s health. We understand this very much and commemorate our service in each organization with the process to identify and understand the business thoroughly. By the testimonials of several companies, such a process will definitely be an eye-opener for even the company’s departments.

The elephant is always there to be seen. We only clear the fog around it for you to see. To know more about the process, write to us at What happens after the mapping? Stay tuned!

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