Process Mapping and How To Get The Most Out Of It

Process mapping, as the term indicates is a work flow diagram which is adopted to bring forward a clearer understanding of a process or a series of processes. It refers to the strategic act of defining every single action of production. This can be very helpful in understanding the systems and procedures that are already in place. It also helps in understanding the existing short comings in order to make improvements to them. It would be appropriate that all persons involved in the business of production also be involved in Process Mapping.

If the intentions are to make an improvement in the work place, one should first of all know the system; what works and what needs improvement. One should be familiar with the ‘as is’ condition prior to making any changes. Process maps are more than just knowing how a system works. Before attempting to improve the work area one should be thorough with the system itself.

These are a potent set of tools that in the right and competent hands can unlock opportunities to do the following things:-

Eliminate non-value added activities

Increase efficiency

Expand service capabilities

Reduce cycle time

Minimize dependencies

Gain buy-in and organizational support for change

Simplify work flow.

Earlier ‘Process Mapping’ was also known as ‘flow charting’. However, this term was routinely used for software development. When organizational work is flowcharted, a broader set of tools appropriate for business workflow can illuminate the multiple views of process performance. These set of tools comprise Process Mapping.

To acquire the maximum benefit from process mapping, one has to use the right set of tools. The oft quoted saying, ‘If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail’ applies to Process Mapping too. If one always makes the use of block diagrams to indicate how work flows, one might miss the other opportunities of business performance (who, where and why). Successful process mapping begins with choosing the right tool from your multi-faceted tool kit. Each tool has its own pros and cons, and should be used appropriately. Each technique involves certain aspects of a process, and it’s only by a trial and error method that the right tool can be found for the problem. The following are the methods to illustrate your process:-

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System maps-formal and informal

Top down chart

Block diagram-logic flow-left to right

Block diagram-responsibility matrix

Block diagram-cycle vs. process

Flow process chart

Work flow diagram(Basic flow chart)

Swim lane or development chart(deployment maps or cross functional flow charts)

State change chart

These system charts are very handy and useful when evaluating Learn About Tech Industry the systemic interplay between the various processes.

Each tool is better or worse to illustrate parts of your process, and to find gaps that you have found in your process analysis. There are seven critical dimensions which would help in giving depth to your analysis, and greater meaning to your images. They are:-

Who

What

When

Where

Whether

What degree (How much),and

What frequency Horizontal Restraint Of Trade (How often)