When it comes to process mapping, people tend to go into it with a lot of different expectations. It’s not a typical business practice for many, and so you might not be sure what it will look like, how it will work or what it will do. Most of the time these assumptions aren’t a problem, and in fact they can sometimes help us shape the workshops and really get into the detail of processes. But there is one assumption that can be a problem – and that’s the idea that process mapping will be an instant fix for your business. that by mapping out your processes, you will be able to immediately identify and resolve all the issues within your business, without any extra effort. But this simply isn’t the case, and today we’re going to tell you why.
Process Mapping is a Process
First and foremost, process mapping is, in itself, a process. If you’re willing to dedicate the time and resources to it, you can pull apart a process within your business within a day – but you’re unlikely to manage the whole business in a single sitting. There are just too many elements, people and functions involved in even the simplest projects for it to be feasible. You will likely need to repeat the process of mapping multiple times for each process within your business, which can take time. After the actual mapping process is complete, you then need to work out what changes you need to make to your process to make it more efficient and effective, and then put them into place. None of which are overnight things.
You Need to Make Changes
As we’ve touched on already, process mapping itself is really only half the battle. Once you’ve got your processes mapped out, you need to step back and work out where your issues lie, and what you could do to make the process work better. This can be simple, or it can involve some intense planning, testing and trial-and-error implementation before you find the right solution. And once you’ve put a change in place, you need to repeat the process mapping exercise to make sure you haven’t broken anything later in the process, and that your process is the best it can be. Depending on the process you’re working with, this can be a quick or a slow progression.
Change Takes Time
As with anything in business, changing your processes takes time. It’s not just as simple as flicking a switch and moving to a new system. If you have employees in the business, you will need to go through training in the new process, as well as getting buy-in from them to actually make the change. If you need to change your physical systems, then there will be migration and set-up time. There can be a lot of components involved in changing your process, all of which adds up to time. So, if you’re looking for an instant fix to a problem, then process mapping isn’t it. Process mapping is all about making real, lasting change that brings value to the business.
Processes Change all the Time
Finally, businesses are not static things. They change and evolve over time, which means your processes will change too. This means you might need to go through the process mapping process every couple of years to make sure everything is still working well and you haven’t come up against any problems. So rather than being an instant fix, process mapping is a part of your ongoing business planning.
Understanding your processes is an important thing, even though it takes time to do. But it doesn’t have to be difficult, and you don’t have to struggle through it alone either. At Libreea, we work with business owners who want to understand their business processes properly, and use that information to create real change within the business. We regularly run practical process mapping workshops, where you can come along with your team and draw out all of those processes step by step, and optimise them at the same time.
We also run talks and seminars on process mapping. At these talks, we cover the basics of what a process is and how to apply it to your business, right through to helping you identify the ‘right time for process’, the benefits of process mapping and how to implement process tools and software within your business. If you would like to know more just get in touch with us today for your free consultation.