Process mapping is a tool used in business to clarify a specific process or processes with the aid of a workflow diagram. A process is defined as a prescribed series or a collection of tasks that are geared towards a specific result or end, for the benefit of the user or customer.
The practical function of business process mapping is to define and describe how processes and tasks are interrelated, in diagram or flowchart form. It is mainly a tool of communication within the organization. The resulting map enhances understanding of the following:
- flow of materials, documents and information
- the decision-making strategy applied in the process
- details of the tasks involved in the process
- clarify boundaries between tasks
- demonstrate how tasks require the use of resources
- provide a basis for training
All businesses should create a process map for each new system that develops. It enhances communication and understanding of the organization, serving as a guide not unlike the table of contents found in any manual. And it need not be a complicated undertaking. Also best way to create a process map is low-code software https://www.creatio.com/page/low-code which helps you to be more flexible.
The first step in process mapping is to identify the core processes of the business. These are the most important tasks which affect the overall performance of the enterprise, and are typically dependent of the nature of the undertaking. This can be accomplished in a most practical manner by following the flow of funds from supplier to customer. Once these core processes are identified, every effort must be geared towards breaking them down into their components.
There are many kinds of charts used for process mapping. The simplest one, used most often is the flowchart or outline process map, which provides a clear overhead view of the entire process from start to finish. Deployment charts are similar to the flowchart but include the “who” and “where” of the process elements.
In process mapping, there are other charts available but the manager must choose one with an ideal comfort level of use. The purpose of the chart is to break down the process into manageable chunks, not to further confuse the issue with complicated notation that may not be easily discernible to the people concerned. Included in these considerations are the people actually involved in the process, and who may not have the background to understand how the chart works. The faster it is assimilated, the faster any possible flaws and solutions to problems can be determined.
Increasing efficiency is one of the primary aims of process mapping, because it is estimated that about 20% of resources in manufacturing are expended on correcting errors, doing work that is outside a worker’s purview, bottlenecks, capacity issues and explaining ambiguous or incomplete instructions. In the service industry, the figure is closer to 40% because more people are involved.
Process mapping should be done in all businesses as a matter of course to eliminate any ambiguities of purpose, objective and accountability, especially in manufacturing and service industries. It identifies any inefficiency in the system by providing clear step-by-step descriptions of the processes and all involved in it. It is also crucial in analyzing any system changes that may be considered to avoid problems in implementation and costly errors. It ensures that effectiveness of any process is maximized.