The Business Process Management program provides a wide range of support for workgroups to improve or begin documenting day-to-day work procedures. 

The BPM program is designed to improve the agency’s effort to document sequential work activities, so they are accurate, repeatable, efficient and retain core knowledge. 

Michael Gardiner, the BPM program manager.

Managing BPA’s mail is no easy task. The process involves picking up mail from the post office, inspecting parcels for threats, sorting, digitizing, then finally – delivering.

Each piece of mail has its own purpose. It is vital that Mail Services staff complete each step with accuracy to ensure mail quickly reaches its final destination. Recognizing the importance of capturing critical components of their procedures, Mail Services turned to the CAO’s Business Process Management (BPM) workgroup. This workgroup is responsible for providing BPM support across the CAO organization.

Thanks to close coordination with the BPM program, Mail Services is one step closer to having detailed desk procedures so that new mailroom staff can perform the duties with ease. These procedures help staff perform their duties safely and accurately, and are the culmination of weeks of meetings, process documentation and quality testing.

“The BPM program is designed to improve the agency’s effort to document sequential work activities, so they are accurate, repeatable, efficient and retain core knowledge,” says Michael Gardiner, the BPM program manager.

Each department within BPA has a dedicated BPM representative who can guide the group through the procedure writing process, offering expertise and tools.

The BPM program provides a range of support for organizational workgroups to begin or improve documentation for day-to-day work procedures. The program helps employees through the entire procedure drafting process recognizing that while staff may possess the technical expertise to carry out their tasks, translating that knowledge into clear, comprehensive procedures can be a challenge.

Poorly written procedures not only hinder efficiency but also impede the onboarding process for new employees, leading to delays and stakeholder dissatisfaction.

“Well-developed procedures help streamline operations, reduce risk and empower staff to perform their work effectively, said Lori Nice, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. “Documenting work procedures is essential for consistency, efficiency, compliance and continuous improvement within BPA.”

The BPM program steps in to bridge this gap, offering guidance and support to ensure each procedure meets the needs of the team, the organization and the agency. BPM representatives assist employees at each stage of the process, from scoping and identifying key players, to drafting and testing.

Mail Services embraced the support provided by the BPM program as well as the CAO Compliance Monitoring program. These programs helped the mailroom navigate the sometimes complex nature of creating a set of step-by-step instructions. BPM representative Mark Wilczewski worked closely with Mark Mattila, the support services specialist in Mail Services.

“The support of the BPM program and the Mail Services team helped me take a strategic and detailed approach at documenting the diverse steps required for our team to perform mail services duties,” said Matilla.

After the BPM team provided support to create the procedure, CAO Compliance Monitoring Program manager Gracie Smith put the written procedure to the test.

In early April, Smith shadowed staff throughout the day to compare how precisely the actions taken by the mail handler matched with the recently drafted procedure. Any deviations from the procedure could be problematic for future mail handlers who have little to no experience performing certain tasks.

Looking for accuracy and compliance, Smith found areas where the document needed improvement and provided the team a detailed list of recommendations after completing the quality assessment. For example, she recommended including detailed locations and pictures of all Portland and Vancouver mail stops to allow a new entrant to locate the mailstops with ease.

She recommended adding additional procedures regarding tasks performed, which were missing from the current draft. Smith also reviewed the regulations and guidance to ensure compliance among procedures.

Mail Services is using these recommendations to make updates, ensuring that current and future mail handlers are equipped with clear, comprehensive instructions to carry out their duties safely and seamlessly.

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