Process Mapping

Process Mapping

Process mapping is the task of creating a flowchart diagram to illustrate all the steps and decisions in a particular work process.  It identifies the actual flow or sequence of events in a process that a particular product or service follows.  Completing a process map helps identify opportunities for improvement in the process.




Purpose of Process Mapping

The purpose of process mapping is to gain a clearer understanding of how a process works so an organization can improve efficiency.  


Mapping out business processes is a great way to understand all the steps needed to complete a specific process.  When finished, it will illustrate how a process is carried out, what steps are necessary to move the process to its conclusion, and what decisions need to be made along the way.  This will provide valuable insights into how an organization can improve its processes.  


Process maps are used to:

  • Increase understanding of a process
  • Analyze and manage workflows
  • Identify what steps are involved in a process
  • Analyze how a process could be improved
  • Solve workflow problems
  • Provide documentation for a process
  • Illustrate to others how a process is completed
  • Guide decision making
  • Plan new projects


Process maps illustrate:

  • The flow of materials and information
  • The tasks associated with a process
  • The inputs and outputs of a process
  • The decisions that need to be made throughout the process
  • Who is responsible for a specific task
  • The relationships between the process steps



Benefits of Process Mapping

  • Provides a big picture of a process
  • Identifies all the steps involved in a process
  • Builds understanding of a work process
  • Identifies strengths and weaknesses of an existing process
  • Defines boundaries, ownership, and responsibilities of a process
  • Identities unnecessary steps, bottlenecks, repetition, and delays
  • Provides process documentation




Steps Involved in Process Mapping

  1. Select the process to document
  2. Identify the activities involved
  3. Identify the start and end points of the process
  4. Break the process into distinct tasks and decision points
  5. Organize the steps in a sequential order
  6. Create a basic flowchart with symbols


Components of a Process Map

The major components of a process map include;

  • Start and end points
  • Steps in the process
  • Direction of the process
  • Decision points
  • Inputs
  • Outputs
  • Documents


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