From Solopreneur to Team Leader: Using Process Storytelling to Delegate Effectively | Sam Chin | Skillshare

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From Solopreneur to Team Leader: Using Process Storytelling to Delegate Effectively

teacher avatar Sam Chin, Process Scientist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome video


    • 2.

      What is a process?


    • 3.

      The power of process transparency


    • 4.

      Introduction to process capture and visualization


    • 5.

      The physical view vs. the system view


    • 6.

      The 5 W's -- a storytelling framework


    • 7.

      Visualizing the process story


    • 8.

      [EXAMPLE] Live visualization walkthrough


    • 9.

      Applications for solopreneurs


    • 10.

      Wrapping up and next steps


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About This Class

As business owners, one of the challenges we face is how to effectively communicate how we do things. This becomes even more crucial as we make the shift from solopreneur to building a team, and need to delegate efficiently. What seems obvious or even instinctive at our level of expertise may not make sense to a more junior hire, and consistency in a process is crucial to reducing unnecessary steps and avoiding increasing cost.

In this class, you will learn the fundamentals of “Process Storytelling”, a framework for effectively understanding, visualizing and communicating business processes in a way that enables anyone to understand and execute the process effectively.  We’ll cover:

  • why it is necessary to start from a physical frame of reference when documenting a process;
  • how to use the 5 ‘W’ framework (an approach also used by journalists in crafting news articles) in order to identify the information you need to include; and
  • how to visualize process steps in a simple, easy-to-understand way using just 3 shapes.  

By the end of this class, you will be able to identify and document the key processes and process steps in your business (things like onboarding clients, invoicing and bookkeeping, scoping projects etc) in a way which will enable you to both delegate work more successfully and better understand how your business actually works.

This class is most relevant to business owners, particularly solopreneurs looking to scale up. However, it would be helpful to anyone whose role requires them to understand and document business processes.

No specific software is required, however for the purposes of the project access to a tool which allows you to create free-form charts is helpful (i.e. Microsoft Visio, Lucidchart, etc).

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Sam Chin

Process Scientist


Sam is a process scientist, published author and recognized expert in the process improvement space. 

Sam co-founded Cavi Consulting, a process science consultancy that specializes in helping businesses automate, scale and grow sustainably. Sam is certified in Lean, Six Sigma, Change Management and Project Management, and holds an MBA from the University of Richmond.

The process mapping language developed by Sam (Cavi Mapping Language) has been adopted as the global standard for multiple large enterprises. His work, particularly as expressed in his recent book, "Becoming A Conscious Business: Expand Your Life and Work Through the Science of Energy Flow" has also drawn greater attention to the relationship between nature conservation and business process... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome video: Hey everyone. Welcome to process storytelling, how to map out your business and delegate effectively. I'm Sam Chin, and I'm going to be the instructor for today's course and I'd like to introduce myself a little bit more before we get started. I work at a company called Cavi consulting. I'm actually the founder and the chief process scientist. Cavi consulting is a process consulting agency and what we primarily do, is help companies with their business process management holistically. We help improve energy flow through companies so they can create more value for their marketplace. Primarily, we help clients with automation, scaling, and sustaining profitable growth using our business process science strategies. Personally, I've been in the business process management space, process consulting, and now I've created process science for about 10 years. I've been helping clients in various industries from legal, financial services, resources, media, digital agencies, non-profits, anything you can really think of. Process science is a universal process management methodology and it spans all companies because all companies have processes and all companies need process management. A lot of our strategies help manage your processes more confidently and more profitably. Today's course, is on process storytelling. Process storytelling is one of my favorite topics and it's the core of the Cavi methodology around process capture and process visualization, which talks about how do you structure a process information accurately, consistently, so you can use it for process management? Then the visualization part is how do you map processes? How do you draw processes or create process assets for your business, so that you can communicate process to other people. This is the foundation of any process work, and it's extremely important for solar printers, small businesses all the way through enterprise businesses. Today's course, we're mostly going to focus on how this is going to help solopreneurs. Process capture, process visualization and more broadly, process storytelling is extremely important to solopreneurs because a lot of the businesses in your head, a lot of the processes that are happening, you don't have the documents. You don't have an easy way to communicate your knowledge to other people. If you ever plan to grow your business or manager processes, train other people, delegate work, let's say hire a virtual assistant, anything you need, you need to be able to communicate your process knowledge. That's why process storytelling is so critical and why this course today is going to help you understand what that even means. We're going to talk more about process capturing visualization. We're going to bring a lot of the methodologies that I use in my own life and my own company and my own expertise into the conversation, and you're going to have the most cutting edge process science techniques to understand how to structure your knowledge into process visualizations, and then further use those visualizations so you can help grow your business. After the course today, there's also an exercise where we're going to get to practice using the process knowledge that we're going to go over today, to visualize your own process or in practical terms, you're going to start mapping. What we're going to do for you in this course is we're going to give you not only the academic background, we're going to give you the tools you need in terms of the mapping language, the techniques, the way to think about the information is structured properly, and then you're going to practice. You can practice mapping any process. We're going to talk about more about what processes are and which ones are probably better than others to practice with, but generally, this technique is a universal process storytelling language. You can start using it in the exercise or the project to get your thoughts on paper or in an organized way so you can start managing your own processes. 2. What is a process?: We're going to talk about process storytelling today but the first thing you should know before you process storytelling or process mapping is, what is a process? Actually we hear this word all the time, but this is a very confusing and ambiguous topic. It's always good to start here to make sure you know what you're working with when you're actually trying to work with processes. Particularly, we're not going to be able to get into all the definitions today of to what a process is, but you want to know enough what a process is, so you know what you're capturing, what you're visualizing and what you're actually going to be speaking to. In this first slide you're going to see the simple definition of process, which is you have inputs that go into process, which then transforms them into outputs. This is the standard definition, but I'm going to give you another definition today that's more from the process science methodology. Again, process science is proprietary to Kathy consulting, but it's something that we're sharing in this course, and I want to get out to share with everyone so that everyone has a better sense of what process is. Process is actually going to look more like this, which is energy is the universal input. Energy goes into process which then creates value. What is the difference and why is this difference so important when we're talking about what is a process? Well, in the first definition, you could say based on our diagram that the definition of process is anything that transforms inputs into outputs, but the issue here is what happens if the outputs are not good or nobody wants the outputs even? If nobody wants the outputs of a process, the question is does the process continue to exist over time? The answer is no, just to make the conversation a little bit shorter, the answer is it can't define process because processes that create unqualified outputs or outputs that don't exist or nobody wants they don't exist very long so it's not actually something you observe in the business environment or in nature or in anywhere where you can actually observe processes. You have to have a qualified aspect to how you define process. In what you're looking at in front of you on the current slide, energy of any kind, that could be human energy, it could be capital in the business sense, it could be mechanical energy, kinetic energy, those are usually subsets of human labor energy, but it's what you would intuit. It's anything, any energy that would drive emotion, or drive forward momentum, that goes into series of activities, sequences, and transformative physical things that happened in a real environment, and that's the process pace. But what comes out of stable processes is not just outputs it's value. This is what you really want to focus on in your business, which is value creation for the client. If you have a process that's going to be sustained over time, it must create value, it must create benefits in excess of its costs, and that's the definition of value. Anything where a process is taking something, some energy and forming a benefit in excess of the energy and costs to make it, and that's how processes sustain themselves over time. What you're getting here is the actual definition of process is, process is the mechanism that change energy into value. In this course we're going to talk about how to capture your processes, how to capture your value creation so that you can communicate it and it can benefit you in your business. Here it's just a list of processes, and what you're going to see here is they go all over the place, preparing your breakfast, brushing your teeth, putting gas in the car, cleaning your room, these are personal processes, but I could also challenge you to name a few business ones. The trick is you can say anything, because in reality, anything in motion is a process, anything that takes any energy and transforms it into some value that you do every day is a process. If you actually want to know what process is process is everything, which seems like maybe I made the definition more ambiguous but in reality, it tells you that there is no one way to say this type of thing is a process, this type of thing is not a process. Anything happening in the physical world is a process because if it's happening around you and you can observe it, and it's not just transitioning out of existence, it's adding value and it's a stable process. Just think about brushing your teeth, why do you brush your teeth every day? Why do you put the energy into doing that? There's a value there to your energy. The same thing with making breakfast, developing a budget, some of the things on this list. The idea here is that you should start to internalize that everything you touch, everything you do is a process and it can be captured, there can be a storytelling aspect to it, it can be communicated through that, it can be managed and it can be improved, and that's the idea about defining what a process is. What is a business process particularly? What we just went over that everything is a process, a business process is one that comprises your business. It is specifically the activities and the mechanisms that transform business energy that you're putting in, which in the business world we call mostly labor and capital because capital is a form of energy that drives processes and then human labor is the other major aspect that drives processes. If you're thinking about what is a business process, it's the mechanisms that transform that energy that you've allocated for business activities into customer value creation, and the customers being the consumers of whatever your business is or whatever it's trying to produce. Here the next slide, you see some examples of business processes so you get a better flavor of what we're talking about. Sending invoices, creating client reports, logging payments, but ideally anything. Anything under the umbrella of your actual business activity is going to be considered a business process. That brings us to one of the last important points I want to make in this section that I get all the time is, do I have a process if it's is not written down anywhere? What does it mean to have a process or have created a process? This is a huge confusion point, one of the dimensions I mentioned around the definition of process. I'm going to tell you right now that if you have a business or even if you're planning a business and there's activities there, you have a process because a processes everything in motion, whether you've documented it or not, is completely irrelevant. You don't have to write down something, you don't have to write down your plan steps or your training guides or any documentation to have a process in place, anything that you're taking your energy and creating something for the business, you already have business processes, they're just waiting to be discovered, they're waiting to be captured, they're waiting to be visualized, they're waiting to be managed. You don't want to get in the habit of saying to people, I don't have any processes because nothing's written down, nothing is standard, I get up and do different things every day, everything you touch, everything you do is a process. If it's different all the time, it's a very complex process but what you'll find is when you start writing it down, telling stories about it, communicating to other people, you'll see underlying value chain or underlying value activity that you are doing probably more stably, more consistently than you think. Don't be fooled to think that because you haven't put in the work that you don't have any processes, and that's really how we're going to define process for this course. 3. The power of process transparency: Now we know what a process is. Let's bring it back to why is the storytelling aspect so important? Why especially to You need for delegation. Why is it so important for small businesses? The answer in a broad level is process transparency. I'm going to explain in brief what that term means, and why it's important to you and why it's important to business owners and general. Process transparency refers to the degree to which each person involved in a process understands two things. This is just straight reading from the slide what activities make up the whole process and what value that process creates? Think about that for a second, and why this would be important in terms of improving your processes and becoming more efficient as a business, and a bigger business setting. Let's go over the first point, understanding the whole process or the entire process or having what we call process vision. You can see what's happening before it hits your desk and will happening after it hits your desk. Means that you know why your piece matters. You know what part you are, of a greater whole or HerlockerOsi model. If you want to look that up, everything, our whole on s is part of a bigger whole essentially. The idea is, If you don't know what happens outside of your desk or your narrow window of vision. You don't know if you're really contributing positively or negatively to the overall value that the entire process or the entire company is trying to create. Which is why even for solopreneurs, this is something you need to absorb. Let's say you're a freelancer, you're a graphic designer or you're managing social media company and you're thinking about growing to another employee. Right now you know the entire universe as a solopreneur. You can see the entire process from end to end, so your transparency is very high. It's crazy how quickly if you start hiring one person or asking for help, depending on what pieces you give them, how you delegate, how you communicate your process. The transparency goes down tremendously, unless they know the entire picture or unless the way you communicate your process to them gives them that vision to make sure that they're creating value, in accordance to or in cooperation with what you're doing. You start to get dragging, wasting or processes because there starts to be misalignment. Again, the second point of what the value is that's being created by processes. They should know that, you should know that. Being transparent with yourself, being transparent with others, with your processes, it's going to increase the strength of your processes more. That's always going to be a general principle that's always going to be true. In this slide we talk about what is the inverse if you have poor transparency. Again, this could be, you don't even know your own value creation is, you don't even know your own processes are meant to be making. The cost for poor transparency are very high in organizations and that cost scales up the more you try to delegate even one or two extra people. If you look here at the slide there pretty much listed, and I'll go through them both. Do this list very briefly. But if you have poor transparency, the cost of changing information, massaging it, making sure that people understand information, even in simple conversations, writing emails. This starts to become more cumbersome. Unnecessary waste builds in the process and so many different ways. We could give a whole entire course, on the type of waste that happens on poor transparency. You can just assume that waste in the form of lost time, lost money directly, higher costs of stuff, people getting disenchanted, actually leaving the organization. For a lot of solopreneur and small businesses that we work with. A lot of times what they struggle with is they hire a virtual assistant. They expect them to be able to do everything, with very little instruction, and there's a lot of turnover and that's a huge cost to the organization, because people get frustrated. You think they're supposed to make your job easier, but it actually makes your job harder, because translating and communicating the process is not super intuitive, it can be very difficult. Again, with low transparency, you're less adaptable and there's general confusion. There's just a lot of different things going on. If you can't communicate your processes or your knowledge effectively, it's going to make it really tough for you as a business owner to grow your business. Why again, this manners for a solopreneur directly, and we focused on this through the presentation so far. Essentially, if you even have just one person, you need to better understand your own business. You need to communicate your own process with yourself. I want to touch on this because this can seem counter intuitive. You do stuff every day. This could be your whole life's worth of experience. Some of it's automated. You don't even think about the task you're doing, so it's very habitual. You'll be surprised when you actually start capturing and visualizing and writing down and telling your story to people. How nuanced, and how detailed what you actually know how to do is. That's when you really find out, when you have to get help or when you have the start delegating to other people to scale your business, this is going to be a very big challenge. That's why it's always better to start early and using what I'm going to give you in this course to start writing down and structuring your process information. Some of the other activities on here depending on what kind of business you have and where you're at in your career or your solopreneur path, you're going to have to get to this eventually, which is outsourcing part of your staff. Identifying which activities are actually lower value adding versus higher value-added is prioritize or start to sort them by who can do what based on experience level, and delegating your work, which is the topic of this course. Essentially that means taking tasks that you do today and moving to other people. Which tasks? How frequently? What resources do they need? Is it being bought at an effective cost, being in their time. Does it actually make sense to delegate? These are all process decisions and you have to have high processed transparency with yourself and the way you communicate process in order to make these things work. That's why process transparency is very important and very important for you to understand that concept as we go into process communication. Because ultimately, that's what you're doing process storytelling, increasing processes transparency. 4. Introduction to process capture and visualization: We've already talked about increasing crosses transparency, and why that's so important for a business. Now we are talking about how we do that in more detail, and that's introducing process capturing visualization. I've already talked about it several times in the course, but now we're going to talk about what that means specifically, and we're going to start to talk about the visualization aspect in a little more detail. Process capturing visualization is gathering all the process information which is processed, capture, and then visualizing it into a document, and this is typically a process map. There's a lot of different ways you can visualize process information just to be clear. So you have a little bit more on the point. You can actually visualize processes information in a long form Word document. You can do it in Excel with different steps, you can do it in a video. There's lots of different process assets that can visualize to a reader process information. But what we're going to teach you is how to visualize the process maps, which a candid consulting we believe is the most rich type of process asset, it gives the most information about a process, in the shortest type of document. That's given though it follows the language, or the mapping language that we suggest because there are a lot different mapping languages that can actually make process mapping more confusing. Then one more point on the slide about the capture part. Capture is typically done in practice through structured interview. Interviewing people, trying to elicit the correct information that you need to actually holistically capture what the process is, so you can move forward to visualizing it. Now for solar printers or people who are just working on their own, this interview is with yourself. This is really sitting down and structuring the information, pulling out of your brain in a very logical order in sequence so that can be visualized and we'll talk about that. When we talk about making process visualizations and increasing process transparency, the point is communication, and that's something you can never forget. You're not going to make a process document to start and it's going to just give you some crazy lift on your business, all the metrics are going to go up and you're going to become more profitable. You have to use that process documentation to execute projects, communicate with vendors, probably train new staff if you're scaling, there's lot of different things, but the start is getting the processes visualize the right way because it's a communication exercise, the goal is communication, and like all forms of communication, this slide really tells you the punchline of why visualization with a strategy is important because it has to be universal, the language, it has to be understandable. If you make a process visualization, that no one can read, or you have to sit there and explain to them box by box, there's no value because it can't send it anywhere, no one can read it, no one can use it. So the goal of clear communication is the most important part of this exercise, and how do we actually reach universal standardization or communication principles within process mapping? Well, it's reaching a common ground, and the common ground is the physical workflow layer. That's the language that everyone speaks. Think about this for a second. Human beings are tactile. We can feel, we can touch, we interact with the world around us, and what's common to us all in terms of communicating information is, we're all human, and we all understand these senses. So when you're talking about process visualizations and strategy, I'm going to share with you in this course, is talking about visualizing processes that speak to the physical elements, speak to the physical workflow or the activities you actually do in the environment that can be seen and tracked and measured. This is going to be really important because, as the world gets increasingly digitized, communication can be confusing. So in this course, we're going to talk about process capture and visualization, using the common ground of communication, which is focusing on the physical workflow. 5. The physical view vs. the system view: In continuing our conversation, about focusing on physical workflow, to reach a communication common ground, we're going to talk about how this works in practice. Because, as everyone knows, more and more is happening behind computers, more of our workflow and our business processes is becoming digitized. A lot of it's happening by querying tables, creating views, from data structures, algorithms running in the background. It's happening after you hit "Submit," after you hit "Send." So one would, think intuitively, "How can we visualize processes without talking about all the system behavior?" That's what we're going talk about next, we're going to talk about, "How do we do that? How do we actually handle, the invisible information, the invisible process steps that are happening as you go through?" The way we're going to do that is, focusing on the business processes that are touched by humans first. We can always add the system information later, and you may again think, "Well, we're going to be missing a ton of information," but actually focus on your day. You can't physically interact with anything that's happening, beyond the human world, beyond the physical world. So if you're telling your process story, and again, we're coming back to storytelling here. Storytelling basics. You don't need to talk about all the other things, that people can't relate to or relate with. This is extremely important, if you want your process assets, your process visualizations to tell a cohesive story. Because nobody needs to see, all the calculations, all the transformations, all things happening beyond the physical world. Which is why, it's very important to focus on what are the humans touching? What are you physically touching, managing, doing, seeing, where's your energy being spent? That's the perspective we're going to tell the process story from. When we talk about, "Where do we start?" Because now we're going to start getting into more of the practical aspects of this, for a solopreneur, particularly, if you haven't documented anything, let me start with that's common for solopreneurs. So don't feel like, "Oh boy, I'm in the mud or something." Most people, haven't written down anything. If you're starting this journey, of capturing, and visualizing your processes, it can be a daunting one, because, where do you start? Well, at [inaudible] especially, or in good process science techniques, you're going be tracing the majority of your energy flow. For healthy businesses, that's going to be starting with, where is all your revenue coming from? What are the activities that directly contribute to revenue growth? That's where a lot of businesses spend a lot of their time too, either in generating sales, doing business development, or actually pulling in, and activating the processes that produce the value-adding goods or services that the customers are asking for. Then the other thing here, that's listed is, processes that support revenue generation, and you probably are, familiar, with a lot of these, which are your finance, your HR, your auxiliary internal marketing. The thing is that, you need to stay afloat, your IT processes. When you actually think about, Okay, I have revenue-generating activities, your core operation, and then I've got all the activities I need to do as a small business, or even a solopreneur to support those activities," focus on them. Focus on, where's the energy, and revenue being generated. That's where you're going to focus, and you're only going to focus on the physical or the humans steps of it. So that way, it should make it less complicated and more intuitive. 6. The 5 W's -- a storytelling framework: We just finished talking about making sure you focus on the physical properties of the process because that's what's going to make your storytelling cohesive. Now we're going to actually talk about more details of the strategy you're going to use to capture and structure that information in that format. It should be fairly intuitive view it's the five Ws framework. This is actually something you might have even seen in grammar school. It's the basics of good journalism. The same basics that make good journalism and good storytelling in that domain are going to apply here to process. We're not really trying to reinvent the wheel in that sense. The first part is, before we go into the five Ws, before you think about which processes again, you want to focus on your revenue generating activities predominantly, this is a list of basic info for you to refer to. You can see stuff on here like the size of the business, the number of employees, seasonal business patterns, are you snow shovel company, do you have dips in your revenue? This is establishing the forest first before you tackle a specific process. It's always best practice when giving this tools you for reference. To think about organizing your entire process ecosystem with some of these questions. Now here you see the five Ws of storytelling. We're going to refresh them here and then we'll talk about how they apply to actual process capturing visualization in a moment. It's what, who, where, when, and why. These are the things that as you're going through the process capture, you're going to see the logic of if I'm having a conversation or an interview with another employee or with myself and I'm structuring the information, it's going to be just repeating over and over again the same five W steps. On this slide you actually see the process story using the five Ws, and we're going to start seeing how it is visualized. You can start seeing the beginning of a basic process map here in this slide. When you structure process according to the five Ws, you can see very easily what's happening in the process. I'll point through here where the five Ws are. We're going to go for the shapes to be more specifically in a moment so you can do exercise. The what, number one is usually inside of boxes or you call them square shapes, and you're also in the same shape you're going to have the where it happens and we're going to talk about this in a second. Then you can see the role on the left-hand side is the who and the when is how the shapes are sequenced, how they're ordered, and how they're connected. Then the why is contexts that you can add basically as required in terms of, it can be in the document and give me the supplementary documentation, but the why we'll talk about in a moment, and that's going to be very helpful for the communication in terms of what your objective is. On this slide, this is the real process oriented five Ws. I'm going to take a moment to go through this in a little more detail. The what, happened, again, this is more of a nod to journalism. The what, is the action, what action or step in the process are we focusing on? It's either what's happening or what you're observing, if you're an observer and you're listening this information from an employee or a vendor, or maybe a supplier. The who, was involved is always going to be in business process mapping, which job role or title? You don't want your maps and say, it's Bob or it's Mary or it's me. You want to say, is it the CEO? Is it the marketing director? Is it the sales director? What is the actual functional role? Because this will be very important later for scaling type work. If you don't have the role labeled, it's going to be difficult for you to understand when go back to your notes. What did Mary do besides looking at the map? Stick with job role for the who. The where, this is where it gets a little bit less intuitive. It's not where it happened in the building or happened in the bathroom, or it happened in the study with the candlestick. It's really the where is the action taking place. What system tool or space did the process step happen? This could be, I'm writing a document. The where could be Microsoft Word. It could be Google Docs. It's what is the actual physical continuity that's going to link the story together in your mind, because a lot of people miss this part. They can say I did this step, but if you don't know where it was done, you're not going to construct the physical story in your mind. That's how you read a good story. You should be able to get the details and build it as you go. The when, in process mapping is always linearly sequence because, can humans do things simultaneously in physical time? They can't. What we're talking about here is everything in process happens in linear time. This step happens, which leads to this step, et cetera. When you're sequencing your process information visualizing it, this has to happen in one box, leads to another boxes, or sometimes it forks across two roles or different alternative paths based on decisions, but it cannot be happening simultaneously. You are literally the when is, when does it happen in relation to other process activities. Then lastly, the why, which a lot of times is you get to capture something, and then as the solopreneur particularly, you get to ask yourself, why is the process this way? You will be shocked. I guarantee if you actually write down your processes and you can actually see them in front of you, you will be asking yourself, why do I do these this way? A lot more than you might think. This is the basis of managing your processes. That's the five Ws. Then in the next section we'll talk about how we put those together with more detail to visualize it into the actual process story. 7. Visualizing the process story: In the last section, we talked about the five Ws, which is basically the logic we use to capture the information and structure it. Now I'm moving on to visualizing and a little bit more detail. We've already started to introduce some of the visualization constructs in the five Ws section, but let's just cement it here. On this first slide you see again the visual we started to introduce, and this is really The Cavi Mapping Language, and if it seems to you that it seems simple, that's good because that's the point. It should be very simple. A lot of times people are afraid of mapping processes or drawing them because there's 500 shapes and they have different conventions and they have different colors. The Cavi Mapping Language or the CML for short, is just this. It's using the five W's and it's putting them in a structured sequence on the page so they can be consistent and you can actually communicate it very well. The three shapes and a little more detail that you're seeing here. You've got squares, which is an uninterrupted action or step in the workflow. So that might be a little confusing. What we're talking about here is it doesn't always have to be, I click this button. It could be a number of things like, click this and send to user or whatever you want to do, or draw this and put it in an envelope. You could separate, draw this and put it in an envelope. But if they never separated in reality, it can be one interrupted action step in the workflow. A lot of this is going to be depending on how you feel most best communicating your process. There's no hard and fast rules, but as long as you stick to these shapes and the five Ws, you're going to have an understandable document. The second shape that we use as diamonds, which represent decisions. There should always be a question in the decision, but essentially you have an action and action may lead to a variety of options or actions depending on what the previous action produced. Which is, is it green or blue? If it's a green unit, it could go into a different path than the blue unit. So those decisions are so you can draw where the process might fork or have alternate pattern. Then ovals represent process start and stop or start endpoints. They actually function the exact same way as the square. There is visually a bit different, so you can quickly look at a page and see where things are starting and stopping. But that's it. The CML I just taught you all the shapes and the entire mapping language. I can tell you from the last decade of doing this work, I've never ever run into a process no matter how complicated or how many times the client tells me, "Oh, there's a lot of detail here." I've always been on a mapping with these three shapes, and with the five W's, because we're focusing on the physical process World. So in visualizing just a few other things you should see here, lines with arrows, which you saw, these are called connectors and those are what helped you sequence the shapes in the Cavi mapping language also encourage people to use commentary. That's where you can add your y if you think it really helps tell the process story. Comments are usually made with what we call line call outs there like, here's a box, it's like a little line with an arrow and then you can write comments in it. Then the swim language, you see the swim lane is in the left hand side, which has the who. So you assume that anything, any box inside of a swim lane is done by that actor, and that puts the whole five Ws story together. On this slide you actually see what this looks like in practice. So here you see a sample of a map where you actually read. You can see the five Ws at work and you can see also some comments here about how the shapes are used properly in a irregular process sequence. This is what all process maps will look like in the Cavi mapping language. One last point on actually starting to do your own maps because we're leading into some sample demos and some exercises. Is Detail Layers process is an infinitely complex thing. You can take one step and break it into a million boxes of new ones. What separates the complexity versus the simple representations is the level of detail you want. So what we always tell people is, be consistent and use your intuition for level of detail you want to map the process. Technically, it ends up being about the same level because we're all human and we all have the same senses. I'm not going to spend a lot of time here, but on this, you can take a look at on your own and see that one step at a higher level can be broken down into multiple steps that have lower detail level or more granular detail level and etc. You can break it down to as much extent as you need to get your communication across your process story across. That's really visualization in brief. Once we practice, I think It will get better under your fingers a little bit better. 8. [EXAMPLE] Live visualization walkthrough: For this next module, we're actually going to get into a drawing tool, Microsoft Visio, and we're going to practice some of the visualization we're talking about. The one thing before I even get into the tool I would say about process capture and visualization, is that you always want to start with handwritten notes. This may seem clunky and manual, but generally, this is an example and the base of what we're going to start with today for this live screencasts or what you might normally start with. The reason I usually recommend, especially if you're just starting out with process mapping, process capturing visualization, is because the tools can be very difficult to get used to. There can be a learning curve to these tools. You don't want to conflate the frustration of getting your head around the process information, and learning how to use the tool at the same time. Because Microsoft Visio included a lot of the tools out there are drawing tools. They're not really opinionated process mapping tools. That difference, it means that you have to put a lot of your own structure and mapping language into it. Which is why so far in this course, we've been talking about the 5Ws, and try and prep you guys to have a structure so you can actually get in and do this stuff yourself. With that being said, I wrote down like a process sample here in the curvy mapping language that we've been sharing. You see terminals, you see boxes or squares, with activities in them, and then you see rows actually in the shorthand version in little circles. Because it's hard to draw swimlanes on paper and keep everything organized. You also see in the brackets, I wrote E-M for email. E-mail here is written out phone. There's a bunch of shorthand things here, and this is how when you're thinking about process, you can just get in your own grove about taking the notes. But think about using the language that we've been talking about with, you've got three shapes, you've got ovals, or terminals, you've got squares and you've got diamonds, and that's all you need. Just try to think about what you do in your day-to-day activity in this language. You can see here, this is a pretty small business example where you have a solopreneur, or a single person running business development sales and your qualifying leads, your scheduling calls, you're following up to do things. You've got different types of things going on, decisions. Let's see what this looks like now, these raw notes, if I start to map them. I'm going to slide this onto a screen, that's audio vision so I can refer to it, and then I'm going to pull up Microsoft Visio. Again, Visio is Microsoft tool, but I would recommend anything that you'd like. There's web-based applications such as Lucidcharts,, and IGraphics, I think is another one, but there's really a ton of them. If you want to draw processed diagrams, then you really just got to find what fits your work style. What you see here is, I've loaded up the cabbie template, the process mapping template, but you can do this on the base template, you don't need a template. You can also just do it on a blank sheet of paper. It's like some of the rules we summarized, and then you've got a blank page with some swimlanes on it. Let's just start to look at how this might look like to map a little bit, because I know this can be intimidating. In this module, we only have a few minutes, and I'm going to show you how I get started. If you have notes like this, or you've just written on paper and you've got a paper at your desk, the biggest thing is just start pulling shapes and just writing in them. You can see the way this interface and a lot of drawing interfaces work is, I've got the steps here loaded up, but you can find these shapes in most applications. But you would just drag things onto the screen. You've got your ovals, you've got your squares, and you've got your diamonds. Usually you just left-click drag and start drawing. In this case, there's one role, there's founder. I'm going to go ahead and put that in the swimlane. Again, you can make your own swimlanes depending on the application you're using. For clarity, I'm going to go ahead and delete some of these other swimlanes. Let's spread this out. The first step in my rough notes are qualified lead. In our language, we put that's the what, and the who is the founder over here, and the where is, this is usually an e-mail, so I'm going to start there. Boom, I've just written the first step in my process map. Again, I'm dragging a new square and it's asking me in my template for the work I do. It's asking me for the system as a reminder, this next step is also e-mail. I'm just really transcribing my notes, I'm not even worrying too much about spacing right now. Let's say, "Try to schedule call and send service introduction deck." Again, this can be in your own language. Then in Microsoft Visio, I've got a quick shortcut to connect these two, so step 1, step 2. I can also come up here and use the connector function and draw out different connectors. But that's pretty much it, whether from your notes or whether you want to play around in the tool. There's different tools that do different things, but you're just connecting steps. You're adding decisions, and it's simple drawing, and this is how you start to really tie your process story together. What you're going to realize is if you're keeping it in this language, the 5W language, there's a bunch of things that have to be present information to make this story make sense. Each box connect the right way and tell the right story. You just plug away and then you can think about different formatting, how you want to fit all the shapes on the page, if you want to use multiple detail levels that we talked about. But the biggest thing is just given here in the exercise in this course, and really find a drawing application and start structuring process information, that's it. If I had another 30 minutes, I could draw all the shapes on my hand-drawn notes. For this hand-drawn note, it ends up looking like this in the end. Then you basically have a process map where you can structure different notes, you can write different detailed manuals associated with the steps. There's a lot of things you can do with processed maps, and that's what the whole training is about. First thing you'd tell your process story, and then you can better manage the process. As we finish towards the course or get through the end of the course, we're going to talk about maybe an exercise, and then we're going to talk about where this goes from here, especially for solopreneurs. 9. Applications for solopreneurs: As we get to the end of this course, we've talked about process capture and process [inaudible] , process storytelling, why it's important, increasing transparency. We've talked about a lot at a pretty high level. I'm going to summarize by focusing again on why this is important for solopreneurs. Why as a solopreneur that you want to use process visualization? Why do you want to engage in process storytelling and what's the value to you? In this slide, you get to see a few points. I'm going to speak to them briefly because they're quite broad, but definitely something that you should internalize if you're starting your business or you're going from a freelancer to maybe a bigger agency, or you want to go from an entrepreneur to a CEO and generally free up some of your time. These are all things that require automation, scaling, and sustainable and profitable growth strategies. That's really at the core of what process management is. The first point here is optimizing how you spend your time. For a solopreneur. How does process storytelling help you? Well, if I told you, tell me how you could better spend your time and you can't really tell me how you're spending your time now, we already have a pretty big gap, don't we? That's the tricky thing. If you as a solopreneur, and I've been there because when I started the agency myself, if you think that you could tell everyone on a dime what you do at your company, or what your processes are, or what the steps are, just because you do them every day, you must not be talking to people enough. Because it's actually very difficult. If you can't do that conversation, if you can't have that process somewhere documented where you can say where your time's going, you're never going to be able to manage or optimize it. Then the next big point is we've referenced it several times through the presentation, it's about outsourcing, it's about delegating, and that's the nature of scaling. How do you take what you do today? Maybe you spend 60 hours a week doing stuff and you need to free up 20 hours so you can do more creative things, or you can start doing business strategy. Well, you need to take those 20 hours of activities that are being done today and move it to somebody else or move it to a machine, which would be automating your process in some way, moving what you do to a lower cost resource, whether it be a robot or be a virtual assistant, or be a junior person who you want to shadow or apprentice you. But either way, you cannot pull apart pieces of your own process and move it to somebody else. If you don't know how that's going to impact your process system, if you don't know your process story. Again, process storytelling is critical first step, if you're going to start moving in that direction, and reducing costs and increasing profits. This obviously is a very general and it's a catch all. But again, if you don't know what changes to make because you don't know your baseline, it is going to be impossible to do these activities. This all falls under the process management umbrella. Without process communication, without process storytelling, there can be no process management. This last piece then we're going to talk about a little tips to follow up on what I was just talking about. How do you engage in process storytelling activities of a solopreneur. If you're going to take this and you're going to start doing the class project after this, you got to think first of what we talked about, which processes the most relevant to me? Which processes do you intuit or generating your revenue? Which activities are helping with revenue creation? Then also you're going to have to start writing it down. Here, you'd have to start writing it down somehow or capturing it into a process asset. This is the path you're taking. These tips are for you to start knowing how it's going to feel as a solopreneur specifically. Which is, write out questions, speak the answers out loud, maybe record them and hear yourself speaking. This is going to help you understand that this is an interview with yourself. A lot of times if you don't go through the interview techniques that have been given to you in this training to say, here's the [inaudible]. What is the information? What is the order? What is in the sequence? It's going to be tough for you, or it might be intimidating to get started on this. Definitely we encourage you to do that and get external feedback. The point of process storytelling, again, is that it's a universal language that is clear to understand and it's a clear reference guide. Get external feedback. Get your mum to help, get your brother to help, get anyone off the street, anyone you feel comfortable sharing your business information with, have them read your process visualizations, have them read your process maps and say, does this make sense? Does this hold together? Does this process story seem like a real story? That's how you're going to know that you're getting the hang of it. Then you can start sharing that with not just strangers, but people you're delegating task to, or you're starting to have you help manage your processes. That's it. That's the tips that apply directly to solopreneurs, and that ends the conversation on how you go through process storytelling end to end. 10. Wrapping up and next steps: We're at the end of our process storytelling training course and we packed in a lot at a pretty high level so it's going to be important that you do the class exercise, which I'll talk to in a moment, but that will help you get that live practice to integrate some of the learnings. You'll also learn probably some more details as you get your hands dirty with the work. But in this class, we talked about process storytelling, how you effectively delegate, and especially with the focus on solopreneurs and small businesses and why this is still important. But generally as you enter the course, we introduce what is a process and the process science definition and that's everything. Everything you could possibly look at, observe, manage could be described as a process. Then we talked about the importance of increasing process transparency in your business. We introduced some of the costs, about why changing or not changing rather, but why reducing process transparency or low transparency is going to give you problems and it's going to be the opposite of improving a business. Then we went into the meat of process storytelling, which is establishing a common ground, which is the physical or the tactile perspective and we talked about the Cavi Mapping Language from a capture and visualization perspective and again process capture meaning the five W's Strategy of eliciting information from people, structuring that information so that you have all the right stuff you need to tell a good process story. Then we talked about visualization techniques using the Cavi Mapping Language, using the three shaped model and that construction with how the five W's fit into a picture and there's some samples and we went over some of that stuff. We ended the presentation with how this applies for solopreneurs. How you start to practice interviewing yourself, capturing, visualizing information, and we talked about some of the ways this can start serving your business. As an overall summary point, I can't under emphasize how important it is to capture, to visualize, and to tell process stories to other people including yourself. If you're going to want to have anything positive the around scaling, automation, sustainable growth, this is the base. If you're a small business owner of any size, shape, kind, quality, this is where you have to start. If you're going to work with a consultant or you're going to work with anybody that's not yourself, you have to be able to draw a process picture, you have to be able to explain. If you do it the hard way you're going to find out like many entrepreneurs have in the past or and are still doing currently, that if you think you're just going to have people come into the organization and you're just going to tell them what to do without documentation, without having thought through your processes, you're going to be in for a rough time. Some of you may have already experienced that and you know that why this is so important. That's the class. Now I want to talk about what the class project is just for a minute. The class project is building a process map, telling your process story. The thing I would say for next steps is comment or start a conversation here in Skillshare about what processes that you think might be good targets, remember to focus on your revenue generating processes first and then maybe some of your share service processes that are giving you problems like your HR, your IT, your finance. But generally, you're going to do that, you're going to download the template we provide you, which is going to remind you about some of the steps and the conventions and then you're going to start asking yourself the questions. Start capturing information and the five W format, and then draw up your maps. Send in your process maps. If you comment here or you post, or you ask questions, or have concerns, share your one-page maps and we'll get back to you. Let's start a dialogue so we can help you understand how to improve your process storytelling. That is pretty much it so thank you so much for watching this course. Again, I'm Sam Chin. I love process, it's the passion of my life so happy to answer your questions and hope you check out some of our other courses on other process-related business topics. Also if you enjoyed this course, please share, follow our Skillshare page, follow me as a teacher and make sure that you comment and bring this out there as much as you can because the more people talk process, the better for you and the better for everyone. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.