Introduction

Most of the core activities of a business happen based on some specific process. Most of the time, unfortunately, they are only communicated orally or in scribbled presentations. The staff or manager then failed to catch up with the correct schedule and procedures as a consequence.

How to get through this mess? The process mapping, as a type of flowchart, assists big corporations’ activities will be the only solution. If it sounds new to you, let our article pave the way!

What Is Process Mapping?

This mapping technique belongs to business management, which is conceptualized as the blueprint that visually describes a company's procedures.

In particular, this tool works as an inside or top-down review of the procedure. According to the top-down procedure review, the setter outlines the relevant events in the way they happened from start to finish.

process mapping
The process map is a continuous connection of minor steps

A correct map should answer the following questions:

  • What events/tasks does the current process include?
  • Who is responsible for them?
  • When to conduct that event/task?

Its common goal is to provide an overview of the organization’s operation process, creating value that assists in the organizational vision, mission, and strategy. With this tool, employees can access planning more effectively and maintain workforce productivity.

A transparent workflow aid in operational streamlining, cost and time optimization, as well as several other competitive advantages regarding long-term benefits.

Basic Types of Process Map

Flowchart

This is the simplest form of a map consisting of inputs, basic steps involved, and outputs. In detail, this type of map performs at the highest effect when visualizing process models, developing future projects, improving communication, and solving problems.

High-Level Map

Suggested through its name, it provides a high-level view of core operations and some essential details. 

This option can help you define your business with key process elements or introduce it to a third party.

Detailed Process Map

Going beyond the latter in terms of granularity, this option focuses on completeness and coverage of the entire procedure. It covers the main components of each step (decision points, the inputs, and outputs).

This map has the greatest impact when used for team performance measurement and boundary determination.

Swimlane Map

Also known as a cross-functional or deployment flowchart, Swimlane represents the relationships between the parties in the operation into "swimming lanes". It analyzes the activities/responsibility of each component.

If you want to learn the scope of responsibility in detail, go for this type. It also shows you redundancies or delays that cross company boundaries.

Value Stream Map

This map represents the flow of raw material/product/service. Recording time, period, quantity, etc., identifying redundancy, and guiding business owners to allocate resources properly.

SIPOC (Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) Diagram

From its name, you can already see the key elements of the map. It provides a complete premise for the most effective process map, which is why some people find it useful in finding out the range of a flow.

The Benefits of Process Mapping

It is not by chance that this tool became famous. You can count on the benefits below and give it a try.

Better Understanding Of Processes

No further assertions are made about this aspect of process mapping. Regardless of which method you use, they all dig into the details of each step or key elements. Hence, even employees can better understand how the business run.

Project Management

process mapping
Project management becomes easier.

The detail and logic of this tool facilitate new projects regarding planning and monitoring. For example, the simplest option - flowchart, verifies each step's accuracy as you participate in a series of compliance activities.

Process Improvement

Some maps straightforwardly point out the hole and suggest changes that benefit the business. For the rest, your team can make predictions through visualized information and take the necessary steps later. These actions result in significant optimizations.

Time- Saving

Process maps properly display basic details or resources. Information is presented visually in a sequence of steps or relationships. Given this logical arrangement, it quickly points to problems and decisions. Thus, it saves time in business management.

Training Tool

Nothing can beat this tool in educating due to its completeness and detail. It provides great support for new employees who do not know about the organization.

How To Create Process Mapping?

Creating a process mapping has never been a piece of cake. Most non-experts inevitably face many obstacles to stay on track. 

Nothing is impossible! Refer to the simple steps below, which draw you to the right path.

Step 1: Identify the Process

Get off to a good start by giving your procedure a name. Excitement and haste can lead to disruption in the procedure later on.

Instead of compiling and working with everything, define the base points to build smaller details. Clear designations form a solid basis for further projects.

So, first and foremost, choose the critical operation to run your business. It is best if the involved factors have quantitative value. You can consider the following ways:

  • Reactive: Go with projects with poor performance due to internal reasons. A map can identify the problem and suggest a way to fix it.
  • Strategic: Select a central workflow in the business objective that must undergo due diligence and innovation to achieve better results.
  • Customer-focused: Customer satisfaction is an indicator of service health. If your company lacks this area, that's where a process map comes into play.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Information

Once the specific operation has been identified, go further with any relevant information. For example:

  • Team tasks and implementations (steps) 
  • The members that perform and manage it
  • Specific responsibilities of each person
  • Effective time (when it comes into use)
  • Triggers and the entire flow

These details make your procedure more transparent, giving you a comprehensive and complete view. The more information, the better the output. Remember to remove erroneous or confounding data to get as close to accuracy as possible.

Step 3: Establish A Right Team

In fact, a detailed process mapping requires the effort of a team, not an individual.

process mapping
Good teammates support your work greatly. 

Step 4: Sequence The Steps

Arrange the steps found in step 2 in order from start to finish. Flowchart should be a helpful tool here. Learn more about how to create a flowchart in our guide.

Step 5: Make The Baseline Map

A baseline map plots your current procedure, showing errors and changes when compared. It must contain all of the following:

  • Overall workflow
  • Process related tasks
  • The connection between activities 
  • The act of starting, ending, or redirecting a workflow
  • Key participants

Step 6: Identify The Gaps

Now, you have enough resources to identify the changes. The visual presentation shows how individual activities contribute to a common goal.

There will always be bottlenecks or redundant steps in your procedure (otherwise, you would not lean on process mapping). Some areas even require restructuring. 

Point them out and then make small-scale changes. When they are perfect, apply the same method to the remaining aspects.

Step 7: Launch and Monitor

Never let innovation do its job without supervision. Strict controls assist you in managing business risk and identifying several other issues. Constant improvement always takes your business up the ladder of success.

Tips For Effective Process Mapping

  • Seek advice from experienced people. 
  • If you are a newbie without any expertise in Six Sigma, it is best to consult the experts. It gives a smooth and optimal output for future operations.
  • Clearly define the scale of importance, allowing your data to be represented on the map.
  • Personal interviews provide better results. A large group of people often have trouble expressing their opinions. 
process mapping
It is best to conduct one-on-one interviews.
  • When doing the interview, try to dig into the main issues. Ask some small questions for clarification - How? Where? Why? 
  • Direct assumptions about assertions with certainty.
  • Compare the map with relevant people and data to check its accuracy. 

Conclusion

Many large companies have proved the great benefits of detailed process mapping. It brings significant opportunities for improvement to the business, leading to great success. 

We hope that our detailed guides can help you go on the right path without expert help.