360 Degrees Group Inc.

Creating A Business Operation Blueprint

I want to test & improve by crafting a detailed overview of our operations and resources

What is it & why should I do it?

A Blueprint gives an overview of an organization’s operations, such as key activities, products, services, and points of interaction with the intended audience, stakeholders and beneficiaries. Blueprints help make explicit how existing resources can be repurposed or recycled, and what new resources will be needed. They also give a sense of the overall impact your activities might have. This is highly useful when trying to plan or improve your work. Filling in the worksheet helps break down your work into smaller details. It provides structure to this analysis by showing a ‘line of interaction’. This line represents the distinction between the activities of the intended audience, beneficiaries and other stakeholders, and the activities that take place within your organization.

You can start creating a Blueprint at any point on the worksheet, by filling out key aspects of the interactions between your organization and its audience or other beneficiaries. The stages at the top of the page represent the stages the interaction with your audience may go through over time (engagement, hand over, use period, follow up). The blocks at the left represent both the external activities by the people you interact with and the internal activities of your team. The ‘line of interaction’ marks the distinction between external and internal activities. 

At the bottom of the page, note down which activities are done internally by your team while they are interacting with your audience. Briefly describe who does what and why, and also what instruments or systems they use for this. At the top of the page,note down which activities are done externally by the people your organization interacts with, and describe in a similar way who does what and why, and what instruments they may be using for that. From left to right consider which of these activities, actors and instruments are typical for the various stages. By mapping this out you can generate an overview of your key activities, the resources needed, and how these are related. 

Completing the worksheet forces you to think through the different ingredients involved in creating, communicating and providing your service or product. You can use the worksheet to analyze a current or future situation. In either case, the worksheet helps you highlight key resources and processes that are required, and to link these with the people or organizations involved. Try to produce a blueprint from the perspective of different stakeholders you are working with and anticipate what their activities and responses to your work might be.

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