Business Process

Business Process Mapping Example

The Need: Every year less than half of those who are eligible in Massachusetts actually apply and receive food stamps. In 2001, Project Bread, The Walk for Hunger secured a USDA grant to create a food stamp information website for potential food stamp recipients (and their advocates). The most challenging element of this site was to be an online calculator that would allow an individual to determine their likely eligibility for food stamps.  Though Project Bread had an excellent understanding of the food stamp application process, and were relatively sophisticated with web design (having developed their own, excellent in-house web site), they wanted consultative assistance with this ambitious project.

How we helped: Without clearly defined requirements, many website and application development projects fail. MGA conducted a Business Process Mapping session with those staff and managers who understood food stamp applications and the complex rules for eligibility. MGA then created a series of detailed business process maps that captured these complexities in eight pages of black and white (download the first two pages). The maps included screen by screen descriptions, consistent symbology and detailed descriptions of all application variables and data relations.  While we could have overseen the application development for them, Project Bread had the in-house resources to hire and supervise a web application developer for themselves.

The Results: The project manager and in-house webmaster were able to use these business process maps to define their needs more clearly and completely to the developer they hired. Project Bread got the application they wanted, and the developer was able to work far more efficiently with a clear roadmap in hand. The web site is up and running, and can tell a family (or their caseworker) the size of food stamp grant for which they qualify. Take a look at the online calculator.