All About Process Mapping

Introduction and Benefits of Process Mapping

What is Process Mapping?

Process mapping is a workflow diagram to bring forth a clearer understanding of a process or series of parallel processes. A “process map” visually describes the flow of activities of a process. 

A process flow can be defined as the sequence and interactions of related process steps, activities or tasks that make up an individual process, from beginning to end. A process map is read from left to right or from top to bottom.

Process mapping involves gathering everyone involved in the process (administrators, contractors and even front-line personnel) and determining what makes that process happen - inputs, outputs, steps and process time. A process map takes that information and diagrams it visually.

Benefits of Process Mapping

1. Team Involvement & Morale

Involving everyone during the process mapping generates some much needed involvement, encouragement for putting ideas forth, and ultimately arriving to a solution.

2. Pinpoint Vague Problems

When the process starts at Point A and ends at Point Z, it’s not always easy to determine where the process is taking too much time or using too much of a budget. This is where process mapping shines. It helps everyone discover exactly how the process happens, not how it is supposed to happen or how it happens on paper. In creating the process map, one uncovers where those discrepancies lie and the reality creeps into your process.

3. See the big picture

Drafting a process map helps one to visualize the big picture. This helps in eliminating even the small errors that might creep into an otherwise perfect operation.

4. Trim Unnecessary Steps

Process mapping lays bare every detail of the process, putting the process under a microscope for inspection. Once your process is mapped, examine it for non-value added steps. Discover unnecessary repetitions or time-wasting sidetracks then trim as needed when you re-map the process.

5. Increased Quality

A process map helps to ensure that your quality is delivered at all times to your customers.

6. Increased Productivity

As each steps is detailed at all times, it ensures that employees deliver their best ultimately leading to increased productivity.