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WHERE TO START WITH PROCESS MAPPING?

What is Process Mapping?

Process mapping involves visualising the flow of work within a business. A process map contextualises and details a business’ processes, showing a series of steps, events or actions that lead to a result.

Business process maps are also commonly referred to as process flowcharts or process flow diagrams.

Process mapping involves visualising the flow of work within a business. A process map contextualises and details a business’ processes, showing a series of steps, events or actions that lead to a result.

Business process maps are also commonly referred to as process flowcharts or process flow diagrams.

Process maps are often used by businesses that want to obtain clarity on how they are working to create more consistent, efficient and effective working practices. Organisations that have documented their processes will then have started a journey of continuous improvement (otherwise known as continual improvement). Alternatively, a company that is aware of a problem which needs addressing (for example, an increase in customer complaints) may find that a process can identify where the problem lies.

Often, a business process diagram sheds light on particular processes which are the root cause of these problems, or if the issue lies with associated actions or steps around that process. Process mapping tools and expert advice helps those responsible for these processes identify, isolate, address and solve problems, as well as give insight into how efficient a process model is.

Businesses often don’t know where to begin with process mapping.

If you are not sure how to write a process map, or how to measure process efficiency, then how can you be sure you’re focusing your efforts in the right places? It starts with understanding business process maps a little bit more.

What process mapping is used for?

One of the primary purposes of business process mapping is to understand processes better.

Another main reason businesses turn to process maps is to identify and improve process effectiveness and efficiency. Flow charts and diagrams provide a more in-depth insight into a set of processes within an organisation (or a department within an organisation), and, if done correctly, a process document will identify:

    • Process boundaries.
    • All inputs and outputs of a process.
    • Who holds ownership and responsibility of a process.
    • Bottlenecks and single points of failure.
    • Tasks which are causing continuous repetition or delays.
    • Opportunities to communicate.
    • Areas for improvement.
    • Isolate excessive decision and branching points.
    • Opportunities to educate others on how a process is done.
    • The intrinsic value in each process you have (this is important for continuous process improvement).

If you are looking at reviewing existing practices, or at least mapping your business processes, you need to identify the ones which add value.

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