I have just finished watching a demonstration of Hercules X from the Bennu Group, it is a very different approach to Process Improvement. Basically it’s a communication tool to help illustrate processes that need improving and quickly visualising the results of doing it.

Normally when doing process analysis it is extremely difficult not to get bogged down in the detail, this is reflected in the tools and reporting systems. Hercules-X seems to be a good way of removing that level of clutter, the tools can still be used at the detailed process level but that’s where they are kept.

Things such as KPI’s, success measures, action lists are kept at a text based summary where it is much easier to discuss them, it is definitely worth investigating this as a tool to help discussions in workshops. Workflows do not work at all in workshops, they are the perfect way to switch off everyone’s attention while they disappear into following the details, plans for the weekend, their next cup of coffee etc.

The tool pays attention to action phrases rather than process detail forcing people to think in a similar way to the key action points. This is similar to main actions in an Aris flow (for example) , without getting stuck in all the other details that process flows throw at you. I would like a way to specify ‘key’ inputs / outputs though, without them it can be difficult to isolate the ‘right level’ of process decomposition to pay attention to. I guess you would use something similar to SIPOC diagrams as a separate exercise to work that out.