Business Process Mapping Essentials
What is Business Process Mapping
Business process mapping is a framework that helps to create a visual representation of the work processes. These maps diagrammatically represent the details of ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘where’, and ‘how’ in a business process. Thus, process mapping designs and documents business process. With the business process maps, it is easy to establish the relationships between inputs and the final output of the business process and thus understand the steps involved in it.
Process Mapping also brings about uniformity in the documentation, promotes transparency, for people within as well as outside the organization about the processes in the organization. Many experts advise organizations to have business mapping and substantiate this by saying that business process documentation is as important as business process implementation.
There are numerous other reasons why every organization should have business process mapping.
Here are some of the perks of process mapping:
•Brings uniformity: It breaks down the complexities and enables everyone to look, compare and understand the process in the same way.
•Developing metrics: Since there is uniformity of representation, a metric for calculation can be developed.
•Increase efficiency: By documenting everything, it is always easy to understand the flow; analysis of the process is also efficient.
•Understanding the current state: Business process management helps to understand the current state of the process and also makes it possible to track the development of the product.
•Gap management: A right map will always make the gap between the ideal processes and current processes easily identifiable.
The concept of Process Mapping clicked way back in the 1940’s. Ever since then, many people have contributed to bringing uniformity in the documentation of business processes which will help understand the processes and make the analysis easy. Earlier, creating a map took days! And modifying those maps took another set of days. However, recently there have been many advances in the way people used to make maps of their processes. Now, with software development, creating and editing maps has become easier and efficient.
These software are the tools which provide incredible features which help you define and design a business process, help you in changing them from time to time, make them available to all your teammates, analyze and implement changes. There are business process mapping consultants with great knowledge and understanding the process mapping tools. These tools help you visualize your business as if life has been breathed into your business and it has come alive.
There are many Process Mapping Consulting Services in India with a different approach towards process mapping. There are so many tools that you are bound to get confused as to which approach should be opted and which not to. To help you deal with the confusion, here are some tips for Business Process Mapping:
•For process mapping, always choose the processes that play a leading role in your business for decision making.
•Identify and make the aim of your business process mapping very clear.
•Although there are software and tools that perform business process mapping, you need to have an expert look into you’re your process maps to actually make use of those maps for improvement of your business. Hence, do not hesitate to appoint a P.M consultant.
•Verify your maps from a knowledgeable person.
•Don’t try to fix the problems as soon as you see them, let the whole mapping happen first and then begin analyzing it.
Business Process mapping has a huge potential to look at your processes, understand them, analyze them, identify the exact problem and come up with effective solutions but you cannot do this on your own and need experts’ opinion.
How to make a process map
Before we start to map a process, let’s understand the process of process mapping which consists of 9 steps. Let’s go through each of nine steps one by one.
1. Set up and kick off process mapping assignment of the project including goal setting and team formation
2. Identify the process within an organization to decide on scope of process mapping
3. Select the process based on priorities and pain points
4. Define the process as purpose, scope, output, customer, supplier, input, process owners etc.
5. Map the primary process or activity by understanding happy flow
6. Map alternate parts by understanding what happens in case of a condition
7. Map inspection points by understanding all quality tech activities
8. Verify and validate process map to ensure a represents actual workings
9. Obtain sign up and archiving and initiate process analysis to identify process improvement opportunities
We represent the process by listing activities and sequential order and assigning those activities to people in the company. This gives a greater level of detail and visibility of that particular process at a lower level and this is known as a sub process. There are some key things that need to be kept in mind when building up your process maps at different levels with sub-processes.
1. Activities and sub-activities must correctly align to the lane there are parts of
2. The level of activities must be consistent across the process map
Another very important thing to be kept in mind is that you need to be consistent in lining up the organizational chart with the varying levels of the process map. We must ensure that the level of activities is consistent across the level of process map.
This is very important because first, when you’re doing a process map you want to be crystal clear as to who is accountable and responsible for doing each activity now. Second reason is when you are mapping a process from scratch you’ll always start at the highest level and then break those activities into sub-processes. Now this ensures that the effectiveness of the process map doesn’t fade away with varying levels of activity and allows you to look at the activities which are the biggest problem and focus your time on investigating those steps as opposed to spending an equal amount of time across the end-to-end process.