Process Mapping

Business process mapping refers to activities involved in defining what a business entity does, who is responsible, to what standard a business process should be completed, and how the success of a business process can be determined. The main purpose behind business process mapping is to assist organizations in becoming more effective. A clear and detailed business process map or diagram allows outside firms to come in and look at whether or not improvements can be made to the current process. Business process mapping takes a specific objective and helps to measure and compare that objective alongside the entire organization's objectives to make sure that all processes are aligned with the company's values and capabilities. (Wikipedia)

What is Process Mapping (LucidChart)

A process map is a planning and management tool that visually describes the flow of work. Using process mapping software, process maps show a series of events that produce an end result. A process map is also called a flowchart, process flowchart, process chart, functional process chart, functional flowchart, process model, workflow diagram, business flow diagram or process flow diagram. It shows who and what is involved in a process and can be used in any business or organization and can reveal areas where a process should be improved.

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Purpose of process mapping

The purpose of process mapping is for organizations and businesses to improve efficiency. Process maps provide insight into a process, help teams brainstorm ideas for process improvement, increase communication and provide process documentation. Process mapping will identify bottlenecks, repetition and delays. They help to define process boundaries, process ownership, process responsibilities and effectiveness measures or process metrics.

 

Understanding processes

One of the purposes of process mapping is to gain better understanding of a process. The flowchart below is a good example of using process mapping to understand and improve a process. In this chart, the process is making pasta. Even though this is a very simplified process map example, many parts of business use similar diagrams to understand processes and improve process efficiency, such as operations, finance, supply chain, sales, marketing and accounting.

 

Benefits of process mapping

Process mapping spotlights waste, streamlines work processes and builds understanding. Process mapping allows you to visually communicate the important details of a process rather than writing extensive directions.

 

Flowcharts and process maps are used to:

  • Increase understanding of a process

  • Analyze how a process could be improved

  • Show others how a process is done

  • Improve communication between individuals engaged in the same process

  • Provide process documentation

  • Plan projects

 

Process maps can save time and simplify projects because they:

  • Create and speed up the project design

  • Provide effective visual communication of ideas, information and data

  • Help with problem solving and decision making

  • Identify problems and possible solutions

  • Can be built quickly and economically

  • Show processes broken down into steps and use symbols that are easy to follow

  • Show detailed connections and sequences

  • Show an entire process from the beginning to the end

 

Process maps help you to understand the important characteristics of a process, allowing you to produce helpful data to use in problem solving. Process maps let you strategically ask important questions that help you improve any process.