Mapping out client processes in Lucidchart has allowed consultants at Credera to better identify optimization opportunities and more clearly communicate those to clients. Using the integration with Microsoft Teams, Credera has created a single source of truth for all employees.
As a full-service management consulting, user experience, and technology solutions firm, Credera’s success rides on its ability to anticipate, recognize, and address the specific needs of its clients. And anticipating and appropriately meeting those needs often requires looking at a client’s situation from a new perspective.
Nathan Shaub is a Senior Consultant at Credera, and he has found a highly effective approach to achieve this objective is through visuals. True client success comes when consultants help their clients visualize opportunities. When they take a client’s current process and map it from end to end, they are able to pinpoint optimization opportunities not apparent when that same process merely existed as a narrative.
Simplifying the storytelling process
As mapping out processes became a key component to drive client success, Credera needed a tool to effectively create these process diagrams from any operating system or device. Lucidchart met the need and more.
Nathan’s team now exclusively uses Lucidchart for process definition and diagramming. Nathan says:
“Lucidchart allows us to show our clients visually what we tell them verbally. It takes a story from words to pictures, which makes it easy for anyone to understand."
According to Nathan, Lucidchart simplifies the storytelling process.
“The value is in the product’s simplicity—it’s easy to use and easy for anyone to understand, regardless of their technical level. Clients can understand a process flow intuitively even if they can’t understand a technical architecture diagram.”
Visuals speak a common language that promotes understanding across teams and departments.
For example, Nathan used the platform to build an end-to-end marketing process flow for one of his clients. The process spans across eight different companies, and the visual maps out each activity, the timing, and the people involved. He uses Lucidchart’s layer feature to make his flows interactive and show different levels or details of the process when appropriate. Layers allow clients to see a specific step’s deliverable by clicking on the shape in the diagram.
Identifying and communicating improvements
Through the new perspective these diagrams provide, consultants receive the clarity needed to improve a client’s processes. When a process map is on paper, they can quickly identify where major gaps are and where inefficiencies may occur. Consultants can then communicate those to the client and help them understand why optimization is necessary.
“Mapping out a process helps us find unnecessary rework. The client might not understand why that rework is a big issue and might not be motivated to fix it. But by putting it on paper, the client can see how much time is actually wasted and realize that it is, in fact, a very big deal,” Nathan explains. Nathan uses different shapes and colors to indicate value add time vs non-value add time, which easily highlights areas of concern.
Streamlining documentation with Microsoft Teams
Credera uses Microsoft Teams for their internal communication, and the tool serves as the company’s single source of truth for all employees—files that used to be scattered throughout the company are now pulled together into a single view. Nathan discovered Lucidchart’s integration with Teams, and now visuals are a key part of this centralized documentation.
Nathan builds his diagrams in Lucidchart and then adds them to specific channels in Teams to offer additional context and a visual story. Nathan describes:
“This integration allows anyone at Credera to quickly look at a diagram and gain understanding. It’s much easier to quickly access a diagram or share it with someone by using Teams. If I send a link to a Lucidchart document, people will just lose it if they aren’t looking at the diagram regularly. When the diagrams are in Teams, casual users can find the diagram just as easily as regular users."
And it’s just as easy for employees to edit these diagrams as it is to access them. Using the embedded Lucidchart editor, anyone can edit or comment on a diagram without leaving the Teams application—users can take advantage of all the Lucidchart features inside of a familiar interface. This ability makes the feedback process a more efficient and streamlined process and simplifies collaboration for the Credera team.
Credera also has generic Lucidchart templates stored in their general channel on Teams. Anyone can access these templates, and they are designed to be starting points for employees wanting to use Lucidchart for a client.
Overall, Credera highly values Lucidchart as a visual workspace for accelerating understanding and driving innovation. “Lucidchart is extremely easy to learn,” says Nathan. “We’re very happy with the platform, and it’s been a great tool for working with clients.”
It’s amazing the difference putting a process to paper can make.