Automating the agenda management process reduces paper and time spent on generating photocopies, and it also makes the whole process more efficient. Before implementing an automated solution, it is important to map out the existing process to find redundancies and inefficiencies. Here are five easy steps for mapping your agenda management process.

1. Create a narrative of the current process

Before you do anything else, it is a good idea to write down how your current process works in a narrative format. Interview everyone involved in the agenda management process, from the clerk to the temporary office worker, to uncover their role in the process. Don’t forget to talk with people outside of the clerk’s office as well. Each person will have a different point of view, which is important to consider in constructing the automated process.

2. Translate the narrative into a large-format flowchart

Once the narrative is finalized, you and your IT department can then translate it into a flowchart. This becomes the “As Is” diagram. Here’s an example of a large-format flowchart that Florida League of Cities used as its “As Is” diagram when it redesigned its accounts payable process. It is very similar to something that would be created for agenda management:

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3. Denote the manual steps

Once the “As Is” diagram is created, schedule a meeting with the IT department, project owner and stakeholders to make corrections and identify any manual steps in the agenda management process. The manual steps can be highlighted for easy visibility. Here is the same “As Is” diagram created by Florida League of Cities with the manual steps denoted in gray:

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4. Agree on steps that can be automated and improved

Once manual steps are identified and highlighted, discuss how these steps can be improved with automation. Improving the agenda management process goes beyond taking each manual step and automating it. Sometimes it is necessary to reengineer the whole process by removing unnecessary steps and eliminating duplication of work. Take into account possible integrations of various systems during this step of the mapping process.

5. Create an updated diagram

Once you’ve reimagined your agenda management process, create a brand new diagram. Here is the diagram of the reengineered process created by the Florida League of Cities.  Orange boxes correspond to steps that have been automated. Notice that this process has many automated steps, and is also shorter and more efficient than the original one.

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