Understanding the Basics of Process Maps

There are many challenges involved in managing a team of employees. Each person will have his own way of seeing things. Personalities do come into play when managing a team of individuals. In order to address this and make sure that each team member sees the process in the same unified way, process maps come into play. Process maps are a visual representation or framework of a process. When the process is viewed uniformly, team members will perform the tasks in the same way.

Business process mapping is a visual representation of an existing process and how it is done. It is a detailed relationship of each team leading to the end goal. In a manufacturing company, for example, a business process map details each step involved in the production as presently performed. Looking at how things are done will allow the identification of weak points that need improvement.

Types of Process Maps

There are different types of process maps. These maps have various ranges of details. Here are some examples of map types used for process mapping.

  1. Flowcharts. This is the most popular type of visual representation used in process maps.

  2. Swimlane diagrams. These are also called cross-functional maps and are used to detail the sub-process responsibilities in a process.

  3. Data flow diagram. This is similar to a flowchart and focuses solely on the data that flows through a system.

  4. Value stream mapping. This is used to demonstrate the current state and future state of a process.

There are many reasons why companies choose to map processes. Business process mapping enables each employee to see the process in the same way. There will be no difference in ideas or ways things are done. Errors in each procedure can also be prevented or decreased. Also, there is better communication and understanding between cross-functional areas. Lastly, it helps everyone to see the current state of the process and prepares them for possible improvements and changes.

There are many options available these days when it comes to business process mapping software. Using a software solution saves time and increases the quality of output. When opting to use a software for process mapping, you must always consider the needs of the organisation and the scale to which it will be used. Always remember that each organisation is unique and has unique requirements.

Focus on the goals and vision of the company. Collaborate with all who are involved in the process. See the big picture and be realistic about the intended outcome. You may not see the intended results right away but by systematically analysing the processes and implementing changes when necessary, process maps can be a valuable tool in the overall success of your organisation.

Image: Pixabay.com

You must be logged in to post a comment