William Sparks Pens Book on Process Mapping

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October 11, 2016

William Sparks Pens Book on Process Mapping

William Sparks leads a session on process mapping at the 2012 InsideNGO Annual Conference.

By Elizabeth Walsh

Director, Communications and Marketing

Congratulations to InsideNGO member William Sparks of ACDI/VOCA, who has published a new book, Process Mapping Road Trip: Improve Organizational Workflow in 5 Steps. The book is written to make process mapping more approachable for everyone.

"Few of us have the time to become a process expert," says Sparks. "No problem. With Process Mapping Road Trip, you can follow the five steps towards mapping a process and improving workflow efficiency. This book uses the analogy of a road trip to follow a process through its various stops to a final destination."

Sparks has been working at ACDI/VOCA for almost 12 years, serving as senior vice president of strategic initiatives. He has worked on initiatives that have run the gamut from creating technical field tools, to revamping information and performance management systems, and enhancing staff development. His passion for process comes through as he describes his work at ACDI/VOCA.

"There really is no day-to-day that looks the same from one week to the next! However, there is a similar overall process that I follow," Sparks says. "First, it is defining an organizational priority. This might be communicated by the CEO, or discovered through dialogue with staff. Next, I work with staff to identify underlying issues and potential solutions. From there, we collaborate together to create the solution and communicate it widely to staff. I’m thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many great staff and partners around the world."

Click to download an excerpt of William Sparks' book, Process Mapping Road Trip: Improve Organizational Workflow in 5 Steps.

Click to download an excerpt of William Sparks' book, Process Mapping Road Trip: Improve Organizational Workflow in 5 Steps.

He isn’t joking when he says around the world. Sparks has been taking his process improvement methodology on the road for ACDI/VOCA regularly, most recently at workshops in Senegal, Kenya, and South Africa. Many in the wider NGO community have heard him at the InsideNGO Annual Conference in Washington, DC. For several years now, he has presented a popular session on the topic. In fact, he came up with the road trip analogy to demystify the basic principles of process mapping for the InsideNGO event. It worked, he says, noting, "I received a lot of positive feedback and encouragement to put these thoughts into a book. So I did!"

A former management professional who turned to development after more than a decade in the private sector, Sparks has some previous writing experience. He’s written several articles on business and won a few short story fiction writing contests, but this is his first book. He notes that it was his fiction-writing experience that helped him bring a lighter tone when he first began exploring the topic of process mapping.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle versions at Amazon.com. You can read an excerpt here.

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