What is Process mapping
A process map is a visual depiction of workfolow/activity including the functions that take place and related inputs and outputs. Process Maps help articulate activity within the business – help organizations understand not only what they do but also help highlight how they can be improved – process mapping is an important element in organization design.
Process mapping is an important activity in improvement projects –it helps understand what activity takes place – and how they can be improved. There are generally two types of process maps “as is” which describes current activity and “to be” or “future state” which describes a possible future refinement of the process.
A process map should show enough detail that’s useful for decision making – but not too much that it over complicates matters. When mapping current processes ensure that processes are not just to tuned to the “perfect process” when everything goes as anticipated – ensure that the map covers routes where errors occur e.g. rework etc.
Steps involved in process mapping
There are a number of best practice steps that can be followed when process mapping
1/ Agree the boundaries – where does the process start and where does it end
2/ List the steps in the process, maintain the flow of the process in a single direction (either vertically or horizontally).
3/ Use standard symbols to describe the process
4/ Number each step in the process and apply version controls to the document
5/ Ensure that the map is complete – work closely with workers close to the process and when the first draft is complete replay the process to stakeholders.