Posted By: Cheryl Rodgers

No successful Transformation can simply step forward to the future without understanding the realities of the present. The work required to do that may be less exciting than planning for the post-Transformation future, but it is a necessary prerequisite. With apologies to Sun Tzu, the business who knows their future vision and their present state will win the battle of successful Transformation. In order to truly understand your present state, you need accurate process maps, data that reflects current performance, and an up to date organizational chart.

Accurate Process Maps

Process maps are a standard tool for operational excellence. Many organizations lack these simple, powerful tools. Even those that have maps often have maps that are out of date. An initial step in understanding your current state is to create accurate maps or update existing maps of your processes. These maps should include annotations that highlight issues in the process. The issues can be shortcomings from the customer's perspective, issues that drive internal waste or frustration, or gaps that are noted as the maps are being built. These maps become the foundation upon which the future processes are created. Time spent getting the details right is time that will more than make up for itself later. The easiest way to build out this library of maps is to designate a core team of mapping facilitators. Once a process is identified for mapping, a facilitator from the mapping team will meet with representatives from across the process. They will guide the team through a draft of the process and capture the issues with the current state. The next step is to have the facilitator and someone who is knowledgeable of the end to end process actually walk the process and update the map accordingly. After completing the validation, the map and associated comment/issues should be shared with the initial mapping team for any final updates. The time required to build out maps across the organization is directly tied to the resources applied to it.


Maps with annotations provide a picture of the current state, but they do not provide an objective view into how those current state processes are performing. To capture this, metrics from the process are required. Most organizations have several financial metrics and a few customer satisfaction metrics but lack process based measures. Finance and customer measures are critical, but they provide an incomplete picture. Process control management systems are a valuable part of the transformed business, but if they do not exist in the current state, it is not necessary to fully deploy them before Transformation. But key outcome metrics for each process should be deployed as part of the Transformation preparation. They provide an upstream indication for the financial and customer satisfaction measures, and they are a helpful early-warning system for unwanted consequences of changes made during the Transformation.

If your business already has process focused measures, congratulations. You certainly appreciate their value. It is helpful to review the current measures with an eye towards the future state vision. Are there changes intended as part of the Transformation that will create new metrics and/or make current ones obsolete? If so, make adjustments to add the new measures as early as possible during the Transformation and to drop the unnecessary ones as well.

Org Chart

The final piece of current state preparation is an updated organizational chart. This is generally the easiest to gather. Make note of both direct and indirect reporting relationships and levels in the organization for each role. Additionally, for each business unit, a brief description of the purpose and core processes to achieve that purpose is helpful.

With a data based understanding of the current state and a clear vision for the desired Transformation outcomes, the organization is now prepared to begin clearly identifying and implementing the transitional changes.