If you want to create a new strategy, improve customer satisfaction or fix inefficient procedures, try process mapping. It is the first step to find out how things work and how you can improve the workflow. When appropriately visualised, the process can successfully change for the better. See how it's done.
Chaos in the company
Whether the company is at the start of its business path or has been on the market for several years, at some point chaos, uncertainty, and process-related problems appear. What is crucial, companies have different levels of awareness.
Those with a high level of awareness know that process modelling is part of a more significant change where technology supports business. Thanks to modelling, they can effectively identify problems or ineffective processes inside the company or in contact with customers to be able to improve them.
Those with low awareness – their employees and clients usually know something is not working as it should. These are often organisations in the process of digital transformation or introducing new departments, products or procedures. In their case, mapping is the best way to introduce order and modifications to improve the situation.
What is process mapping?
It means creating a visual representation of workflow, including people and systems carrying specific tasks at various stages of the process. In process mapping, we also include external factors that are meaningful in a particular process (e.g. legal regulations, procedures). But the most important thing is, that by process mapping we want to achieve the business goal, that was defined.
There are many different ways to build process documentation and draw detailed processes maps. We can use flowcharts, diagrams, mind-maps and every other visual form helpful in showing the workflow.
Here is an example of a process map:
For whom and why do we map processes?
Business process mapping is beneficial for all organisations. We can map processes in different companies with very complex problems and challenges, especially:
- Brand new companies
- Developing businesses
- Mature organisations
- Companies undergoing transformation
Each of the companies mentioned above can map processes in case of organisational changes and new approaches (from organisational, through the system to human processes).
How do we do it?
Before we start mapping certain processes, we need to think about the details. In process mapping, there are elements we regard as essential. They are:
We need to define its beginning, full scope and end as well. It’s also time to list all its participants with the roles they will play at different stages.
We need people
It means we need especially those who take part in the mapped process and those who impact it (e.g. management staff, specialists responsible for the systems or machines involved in the process). We will achieve the best results when all interested parties cooperate and share information.
Time, commitment, cooperation
All the people involved need to be focused on the task and willing to use their experiences, information and abilities. It’s essential to get involved without restricting or closing oneself.
No matter if it’s still a pandemic or back-to-normal situation, we need to draw the whole process. There are many valuable tools on the market like Draw.io or Miro. Primary types of diagrams for process mapping are BPMN (for creating process models in the form of flowcharts / diagrams) or UML (notation that allows you to present IT systems graphically, in the form of diagrams). Depending on the chosen process, business goal, problem or a project an appropriate type of tool and diagram is selected.
One of the most important parts of process mapping is workshops. By working with people involved, we do a step-by-step analysis of the whole process and its environment, ask and answer questions, contest different rules and procedures.
In Future Processing we believe that workshops are the most optimal way of process mapping, but it’s not the only one. Together we plan steps we are going to take to improve the process.
Summary with report
It is essential to sum up what’s been worked out and draw conclusions from the workshops’ findings. Our report will guide the process according to what we agreed on during process mapping.
Planning and implementing
From theory to practice, it’s time to plan the details of every step of the process. We need to know who and how will do specific tasks as well as we need to discuss their effect. Then comes the most challenging part, which is the implementation and/or development of changes.
Process mapping benefits
Many companies ask the big question: what do we get out of process mapping? And they think of many different benefits, from financial, non-financial to others connected with work culture or sense of fulfilment. Here are the most significant ones:
- Gaining profits and reducing losses (both financial and non-financial);
- Increasing efficiency and optimising process flow;
- Identifying threats, risks, gaps and challenges;
- Gathering ideas for improvements and identifying the possibilities of their implementation;
- Acquiring knowledge, creating useful reports and documentation;
- Raising awareness of processes, roles, responsibilities and duties among the team;
- Reducing unnecessary complexity during development;
- Increasing team performance and improving employee satisfaction.
Does mapping bring the end of process entropy?
Suppose anyone thinks that the processes are mapped once and for all, the reality is entirely different. Times change dynamically, our environment and the internal view of the company transforms continuously. Therefore, many processes will require further mappings and changes to adapt work to reality. It means process mapping will become a constant common practice in companies wanting to keep up and develop.
Do you want to improve your company’s processes with mapping? Join our specialists during special workshops!