Blog Posts Process Analysis

Using Proven Sales Tools for Business Process Improvement

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

In many of the Business Process Projects I have been involved in, they have been focused on a specific area of the business. The reason is obvious, in that a potential problem has been identified, and hence the area of investigation is confined to that part of the business where the problem has surfaced.
I not sure how many Business Process analysts have been involved in Sales. But what I would like to do is share with a process that we used in Sales which is based on a premise that “pain flows through the entire organisation”. This consultative approach to selling was used to expand the number of contacts within a business that was directly or indirectly impacted by the issue raised by initial contact. It also provided a means of expanding the number of contacts within an organisation to justify the investment in your services. Likewise this can be used to expand the benefits gained from a business process improvement (business process re-engineering) project. The diagram links the impact of pain on the various organisations with in a company, providing a way of ensuring the process is improved from end to end.
There a few tools used to identify and analyse the impact of pain within an organisation:
Pain Chain

Pain Chain Diagram

The Pain Chain Diagram provides a means of identifying the chain of events within an end to end process that impacts all who are involved in the process. It also highlights the impact on different business units within an organisation who are involved in a process that has problems.
The tools below are used to analyse the problems and recommend solutions that can be implemented with maximising the benefits to the organisation.

Vision Process Model

Vision Process Model

The matrix is used to structure the questions. Across the top are the question categories and down the side are controls used to ensure the questions are responded to in a structure manner
An important factor is in the way questions are asked. Firstly questions are open questions, providing a means for the responder to embellish on the pain. The new move into Control where we are trying to structure the responses and then Confirm our analysis.
We also direct the responder through a process of uncovering the pain, then exploring the impact of pain and present back a visualization of how we are going to help them resolve the problem.

Pain Sheet

The Pain sheet is used to record discussion with the responder.  It also provides a structured approach for identifying solutions to the cause of pain.

Linking Vision Process to Pain Sheet

Linking Vision Process to the Pain Sheet

This diagram shows the relationship between Vision Process Model and the Pain sheet.I have used this method many times to help structure workshops when developing the As-Is and identifying Quick Wins.


One of the hardest problems of implementing a Business Process Project is showing the benefits that can be gained from looking at end to end processes that flow across departments within an organisation. The Pain Chain approach I believe is an excellent way of communicating the impact of process breakdown on other parts of the organisation. It is a good way of documenting your findings and supporting the recommendations on

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