A process map visually shows the steps of a work activity and the people who are involved in carrying out each step.
Process mapping is the graphical representation with illustrative descriptions of how things get done. It helps to visualise the details of the process closely and guides decision making. One can identify the major areas of strengths and weaknesses in the existing process, such that the contribution of individual steps in the process are recognised. Further, it helps to reduce the cycle times and defects in the process and enhances its productivity.
Process Mapping Enables
- Establish what is currently happening, how predictably and why
- Measure how efficiently the process is working
- Gather information to understand where waste and inefficiency exist and their impact on the customer or partners
- Develop new improved processes to reduce or eliminate inefficiency
- Process maps help you deliver to expectations
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of organisation can use Process Mapping?
Any organisation with reasonably complex processes can benefit from process mapping because a process map captures an existing process and when a process is captured, improvement opportunities can be clarified. Certain industries such as engineering, traditionally think in process terms and therefore are more likely to map their processes than other industries.
Why Map processes?
One of the most common drivers for organisations to start process improvement is to achieve a standards accreditation, often both general quality standards, for example ISO and TickIT, and also industry specific accreditations such as AS9100 (aerospace management).
Who Should Map Processes?
The mapping of business processes is usually undertaken by a centralised team, responsible for the entirety of describing all processes. They work with the subject matter experts from around the business and capture their knowledge of the process and document it as a process map.
What language should I use in my process map?
We recommend avoiding ambiguous language by which we mean language that can be either interpreted as an activity or as a deliverable. What does complete agenda mean to you? How could your colleagues or customers interpret it? Do you “show the complete agenda” or is it something you are tasked with doing? Wherever possible, encourage others in your organisation to avoid using acronyms. You may be surprised how many people outside the immediate scope of your process are unfamiliar with this form of short hand.