What is Process Mapping?
Let us break down the words. Process means “a series of actions you do for a particular purpose that produce an outcome”. Mapping means “creating a picture or diagram that represents something (a process)”.
Process Example – If You want to make 1 cup of Tea so, here is the process below.
- Take a utensil.
- Take half a cup of water and half a cup of milk (you can customize this according to your preference).
- Add 1 teaspoon of tea leaves (can be customized but mandatory).
- Boil the above ingredients.
- Add 1 teaspoon of sugar (can be customized but not mandatory).
- Strain the tea in a cup and enjoy!
The above is a text-based Process that you would have to read to complete the process of making Tea. We can make this simpler if we get a visual representation of it. Below is the Process Map for making Tea.
The above example was super simple to understand but Process Mapping in organizations is more complex than the example. Each step has a more complex process when you drill down the process.
Different terms are used for Process Mapping such as Flowchart, Process flowchart, Business Process Mapping, etc. This process in organizations is called Business Process Mapping.
Importance of Process Mapping:
- Knowledge transfer: Process maps help train and transfer knowledge to new employees or new users.
- Communication and collaboration: It improves communication and collaboration between individuals assigned to the same project to better understand each other’s dependency on the task, if any.
- Enhanced compliance: Process maps can help you ensure that your processes are compliant with industry regulations and standards.
- Roles and responsibilities: Complex Process Mapping also has roles and responsibilities defined under each process step so that it helps an individual complete their own task.
- Linkage: You can link any type of data to that particular process step, e.g. – Drill down, Attachments, Policy, etc.
- Work efficiency: Work efficiency improves as we have a clear roadmap, rules, and policy attached to the process which helps in accomplishing the task.
- Internal audit: Once an individual is done with the work then the auditor can go back and check whether he has completed the task according to the defined process and find out deviations, if any.
- Business goals: Process maps are always aligned with business goals which helps in achieving those goals.
- Change management: Process maps help in a smooth transition, if any new changes take place in terms of regulations and internal or external policies, etc.
How to make Process Maps:
- Identify the problem: What is the process that we need to visualize?
- Boundaries: Figure out the starting and the end points of the process.
- Activities: Brainstorm on what activities, tools, people, timeframe, and roles will be required to complete the process.
- Sequence: Now start sequencing.
- Draw flowcharts: You can draw flowcharts in applications like Miro, FigJam, Lucidchart, etc. You can also use MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, and MS Word.
- Finalize: Finalize the process flowchart by asking for a review from the stakeholders.