Arun Somadathan, service delivery manager at Hitachi Vantara, gets people excited about documented processes. And trust us, we are well aware that creating buzz around that particular topic is not an easy thing to do. But on Arun’s team, well-documented processes help the world go round—successfully following a process makes for a happy customer, which in turn makes for an even happier employee.
The necessity of diagramming
Arun is a service delivery manager, and it’s his job to continue helping customers with their digital transformation after product implementation. His team deals with case management, resolving issues that arise with customers post-sale—and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes every time a case comes into the system. Arun tries to make sure it’s a flawless act.
The service team consists of several subteams, each of which has a vital role in the case management process:
- Level 1: Group that takes customer calls and identify issues customer is having
- Level 1.5: Group that finds the right engineer to go to the customer’s location, identify product warranty levels, and determine if parts are needed
- Level 2: Engineers who order necessary parts and go to the customer’s location to resolve issues
- Level 3: Group that answers additional questions that Level 2 may have, helping to come up with action plans and implement solutions until the case is closed
But the overall success of Arun’s team requires complete transparency among each of these groups. Each member needs to understand how their particular set of responsibilities affects the next. That’s where documented processes come in.
Arun maps every process involved in the resolution of a customer’s case. His diagrams ensure that a case goes into the right queue and is assigned to the right team. They outline part requests and follow-up activities.
“This is the transparency we always try to make sure that we bring into the processes so that everyone is not just aware of their own work but also aware of how their work helps the other team members to also keep doing their jobs,” Arun explains.
The right diagramming solution
Arun used to work with a desktop diagramming application. However, as the company expanded to include new products and new geographical locations, he was constantly updating the processes with new instructions and information. Arun was tired of redownloading and redistributing his diagram every time he made a change, even if that change was just a spelling correction. And every download meant another chance that his team was relying on an outdated diagram.
Arun knew that an online solution would solve his problem, and that’s when he discovered Lucidchart. He now builds all his process diagrams with the platform. He has a focal diagram that provides a high-level overview of the entire case management process. This diagram links to 15 other diagrams, each outlining detailed subprocesses for individual teams. All processes link to each other and back to the main diagram. This extensive document gives the executive team a better understanding of the entire process while providing individuals on his team the granular level needed to perform their duties.
“It’s an interactive map with the same functionality that our previous diagramming solution had, but it looks more elegant in Lucidchart. Lucidchart cuts it down to just what you need,” says Arun.
According to Arun, Lucidchart is also easier for employees to navigate. They can more quickly find the right details they need for their specific job function.
Up-to-date and simplified processes documentation
The Lucidchart documents are embedded in Hitachi’s internal portal so they are accessible to everyone, which is crucial since Arun’s team is scattered across the world. Any updates made in Lucidchart are automatically reflected in the embedded diagrams.
“I don’t have to worry about making sure that somebody is viewing the latest updates because they always have these links so they will see the latest version. I never have to inform employees on changes because it embeds the same second I perform the updates,” Arun describes.
Using Lucidchart has made process documentation easier for Arun, as he doesn’t have to click “save” every five minutes or worry about losing his processes if his computer crashes (which happened with his previous diagramming application). Lucidchart also keeps shape libraries up to date. “Lucidchart has all the latest icons, including iPhone icons. These are small things that make a big difference in showing that a company is evolving quickly. I have not seen any other tools that offer the latest small icons in their documentation,” describes Arun.
But most importantly, Lucidchart has helped Arun be successful in his specific job role. “For me, success is when I see my internal teams using these processes and know they are happy that these processes are documented. Everybody is too involved in their daily tasks and everyone has these activities and processes and workflows in their minds, but they don’t have it down somewhere to see. When they see that something is documented and controlled, they’re happy to know that there is something we can always refer to and documentation we can send to others,” Arun describes.
Employees are not only using Arun’s processes but are happy to be doing so—and that is a feat we truly applaud him for.