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Document & Analyze Phase - Process Improvement

The Document & Analyze phase involves conducting a process discovery in order to accurately capture current state.

Uncovering pertinent process information leads to understanding why a process exists and what customers and needs it serves. As process models are developed:

  • Areas of obvious waste emerge as improvement opportunities
  • Roles and organizations involved are identified
  • Baseline measures are set for the process

The phase concludes with a presentation of findings.  

Process Flow

Click image to see process flow more closely

Presentation: The Document & Analyze Phase Explained (~7 min)
Watch this brief presentation to learn more about the Document & Analyze phase.



  • Kickoff Meeting Agenda (use Project Management Methodology M111)
    Use this template to prepare for the process analysis effort kickoff meeting.

  • RACI Matrix
    A RACI matrix is a representation of the key activities and decision making authorities occurring in a process, set against all the people or key roles performing the process. Identify the key activities that are being performed. Determine for each activity who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed. Much of the information for the RACI matrix can be gathered during the modeling sessions.

  • Process Models
    Process Improvement Consultants create various types of models to visualize and document a process. Modeling provides a way to communicate a process to both business and IT professionals and provides insight into process improvement opportunities. Process models are used and updated throughout a process improvement project, as well as duirng periodic reviews throughout the lifecycle of a process.

The ITS Process Improvement Methodology recommends specific models as appropriate to your particular project. See the Process Discovery Progression Quick Reference to understand the logical, hierarchical flow of the following model diagrams for purposes of process discovery and to see examples.

Note: Microsoft Office® Visio ® is the recommended application for creating process models.

    A powerful, high-level tool used to identify elements of a process that are relevant to an improvement project (Supplier, Inputs, Process, Output, and Customer). The SIPOC is a valuable mapping instrument for initially scoping what needs to be analyzed and can sometimes be used to identify quick improvements. It is also an effective and time-efficient tool for communicating about a process when it is unnecessary for an audience (such as high-level stakeholders) to know in-depth details about process activities and tasks.
  • Swimlane Diagram
    This common style of flow chart contains lanes to illustrate who or what is working on a particular subset of a process. It primarily maps the hand-off points and illustrates hand-off waste. It provides a high-level understanding of process lead time.

    Note: For the document above, please follow these Visio Stencil Installation instructions.

  • Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
    BPMN tools are used to document processes in detail and are often used for Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Business Architecture purposes. The Process Improvement Methodology points to the Process Modeler 5 for Microsoft Office® Visio ®. A free version of the modeler is available for download.

    The following companion resources are recommended as guides in understanding and creating BPMN models:

  • Value Stream Mapping (VSM)
    A VSM diagram helps analyze the flow of materials and information involved in providing a product or service to a customer. It dissects a process and rebuilds it in a way that visually illustrates the process flow as seen through a lens of Lean concepts. It uses particular icons and measures to reveal where process value does and does not exist in ultimately serving the customer.

    The VSM provides insight into identifying problems and a baseline for prioritizing improvements. It is updated later during the Review & Evaluate phase.
  • Note: For the document above, please follow these Visio Stencil Installation instructions.

  • Current State Process Analysis Report
    Use this document to summarize the process discovery and analysis findings. These findings are a starting point for identifying improvement opportunities and making recommendations


  • Existing Process Documentation
    Any existing materials related to a process - organization charts, flow diagrams, procedure manuals, training materials, vendor documentation, metrics and measurement reports, and so on - contain valuable information that contribute to an analyst's understanding of a process.


  • Interviews and Shadowing Sessions with SMEs, Process Performers, Customers
    These meetings are recommended for more thorough process discovery.

  • Current State Review with SMEs
    Meet with SMEs to verify that a correct understanding and full capture of the current process has been obtained.

  • Presentation of Current-State Findings
    Present findings as appropriate to discuss how the existing process really operates, the business costs of conducting the as-is process, and whether the current state is in line with the original goals and objectives of the process.


  • Working with SMEs
    This is a quick reference containing best practices for working with subject matter experts.

  • Process Improvement Interview Questions
    This document contains specific questions that you can ask to get to the root of process issues and obtain information to target for further analysis.

  • Process Maturity Assessment
    This document describes process maturity levels. Each process analysis effort requires decisions about the measures, process, storage, analysis, reporting and feedback. Record the assessment results and rationale for the rating in the current-state report.

  • Continuous Improvement Roadmap
    This tool indicates a process evolution. It recommends a logical, progressive application of select Lean or Six Sigma tools at different points on the map. Use this reference as a tool for process discovery to help diagnose problems and ways in which they can be addressed. Use this to develop awareness in the leadership team.

  • Process Improvement Calculations & Tools
    There are many tools and calculations that you can use to analyze, redesign, and implement a process. Many of these originated from Lean or Six Sigma disciplines.

  • Process Improvement Methodology Overview

  • Process Improvement Glossary