After switching from Visio to Lucidchart, Aurora has been able to create a single source of truth for process documentation across the entire company.
Aurora is on a mission to create a single point of truth. Their goal is to document the key processes for every role in every department across the company. As they document processes, the company strives to keep different learning styles in mind. Some people prefer written communication, while others understand more clearly through visuals—that’s why Aurora is taking the time to create both. And Lucidchart has been the key to completing the visual aspect.
Identifying process documentation needs
Kevin Khan is the knowledge manager for Aurora and heading up this noble effort. He is currently working on creating the single source of truth for the operations department, after which he will roll out the exercise to the rest of Aurora’s facilities worldwide.
When a process is requested, Kevin figures out what is currently available to determine if a process needs to be created or if they can build off of an existing asset. When he finds a process that needs to be documented or optimized, he passes it along to the business process analysts.
Jayson Chakkalakal is one of the business process analysts tasked with defining and optimizing these internal and external business processes. “I have implemented Lucidchart to be the basis for all of our finalized and approved business process maps across the company,” says Jayson.
There is a wide range of processes for Jayson to work on. For example, one of his largest projects included an intra-facility transfer process map explaining how different departments in different locations access and request raw and finished goods. His map uses swimlanes—his largest has 17—so everyone has a quick overview of who does what when.
Jayson explains, “This process had never been documented before. It was very widely accepted and actually made a lot of people happy because they could see where they were in the chain and who was dependent upon them.”
Jayson also creates process maps for external communication with partners to clearly communicate what has to happen before partners receive the product and what approval processes look like.
As he maps out processes visually, Jayson can identify duplicate work and stop it from wasting the company time and money. With the company growing so quickly, two people can be performing the same task without realizing the redundancy.
A previous Visio user, Jayson has completely converted to Lucidchart, especially after implementing BPMN 2.0 as the company standard for operational documentation.
“I’ve found that Lucidchart is significantly more flexible and easier to use. We can create a process Monday and be changing it Friday, so we need that flexibility. With Visio, if someone without a license wants to view a diagram, it’s a huge hassle. With Lucidchart, we can just send over a document with a link or a simple PDF. And we can use it on several different devices at the same time. Lucidchart just fit the bill,” Jayson explains.
And getting started in Lucidchart was a no-brainer for Jayson. “It was easy for me to get started in Lucidchart. Very low learning curve, especially thanks to the tutorials and videos I found. Lucidchart just made more sense to me than Visio did.”
Collaborating in real time
When necessary, Jayson can get all the subject matter experts into a room so they can flesh out how a cross-departmental process works visually. This activity helps everyone agree on roles and expectations across department—all during the same meeting in the same document.
It’s easy for Jayson to receive feedback on his diagrams since he can have multiple collaborators on a document. If he’s worried about his diagram being altered, he can create a copy of it on a tab within the same document for others to edit.
Jayson has even found that Lucidchart can serve as a meeting replacement. Rather than try to deal with different time zones and availabilities, he can simply have a colleague or partner look at his process and tweak it as necessary.
Lucidchart helps Jayson increase his efficiency. “With Lucidchart, we have achieved a very quick turnaround. A request comes in and I can have an output quickly, and then I can easily update it as needed.”
Creating a single source of truth
Once Jayson has completed a document, he passes it back to Kevin, who puts it in one of the templates he has created in Lucidchart. The visual is then sent to department heads for review and approval. Once it has the green light, he publishes it in the knowledge base that serves as a single point of truth for everyone to view.
“I love that Lucidchart allows us to have all our information in one place. It’s straightforward, which made it easy to get started. I can focus on the content of the processes rather than how to use the product.”
This single source of truth provides a central location for anyone to find the most up-to-date information.
“People can see our current processes. If they need to build a future state, they can find the current state and start from there. Employees know that this single source of truth houses all the latest information.”
It also facilitates the onboarding process, helping new employees come up to speed more quickly as they start their new roles.
Kevin’s knowledge base allows people to take a step back and look at processes across the company as a whole, rather than just at their individual components. These visuals create conversations between people, instead of everyone just working heads down in their siloed roles. This communication becomes even more important as Aurora continues to rapidly grow.
Aurora’s mission is a cross-functional effort that isn’t going to happen overnight, but employees are chipping away, one process at a time. And Kevin wants everyone involved. “I’ll be making a push for Lucidchart,” he says. We’re excited to stay tuned as this initiative is rolled out across the company!