A quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), 1865:

“The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. ‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked. ‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ’and go on till you come to the end: then stop.’”

I am sure I’m not the only one who as asked, “Where does this process begin?” only to find a dozen or so different answers, depending on who is asked. Just how far back do you go into the decision-making that may trigger a process, and the factors that influence the decision, and the issues that led to the factors being important, etc. etc. etc.?

And, where does the process stop? For a product, is it when the customer receives the goods? When they use the item for the first time? When they finish using the item? Or, for a service, when they receive the service, or when they utilize the benefits of the service if that’s at a later time?

This may seem simple, but, in practice I’ve seen a lot of conversations get into a circular mode about just what step should be considered the start or trigger for the process. I’m just wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom, from their experience with process mapping and process analysis – and would you like to share?

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