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How To Develop A Process Map For Operations Management

September 18, 2023
Bill Kimball

I have had to detail process flows, and for the sake of moving along in the project, include procedural flow. This can be a plus though, I guess, in that you can list alternative solutions to a specific procedure.

process mapping for dummies

Most importantly make sure that you have invited the right people to your process mapping workshop. You want to ensure that you have the subject matter experts in the room. If the process crosses departments do you have everyone involved? There will be no point mapping out the process if half of the important actors are missing. A lot of success and problem solving can be hung on process mapping. Making sure the organisation understands what you can and cannot do is really important from the very beginning.

The Pareto Principle, better known as the rule, is an observation that states that about 80% of effects come from about 20% of the causes. In business process mapping, this can be applied to read that about 20% of your processes will deliver an advantage that matters. Therefore, it matters which processes you choose to map and subsequently improve. Map and improve the remainder of the processes s, but their improvement may be minuscule and only have a mere ripple within your business. Three approaches to take when you choose a first process or batch of processes follow. Business process mapping is part of project planning for a range of project types, from improvement projects to more intensive business process re-engineering projects.

See and build the future with a powerful visual collaboration suite. Get your team to arrange each step in a sequential order from the beginning to the end. SIPOC shows the key elements of a process such as Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, and Customers. To identify potential process failure, redundancies, delays, rework, excessive inspection etc. This is your opportunity to go back and fine-tune the process so it achieves its aims with as little downside to the organization as possible.

Step 1: Select The Process

The road map will also remind the sponsor of when they will be needed in the process improvement effort and the specific process advocacy role they have in the organization. Once you have developed the map you will know most of the people who should be on your core team – namely employees or managers who know and do the work in these phases. There are a few other people we suggest having on the process improvement team as well and we will discuss them in part three. Additionally, once you have the high-level map, you will take it to the sponsor and ask him or her to review it, and give you important input. As you would expect, in order to get started with Business Process Management , you need to have identified a specific process to work on. Usually this is done by senior management, based on specific criteria, but it can be done by a work team who recognizes a need for process improvement. These criteria might be customer satisfaction, competitive challenge, or concern about defects or cycle time.

Steps in a process are generally about someone doing something with some information, guided by policies and/or constrained by rules, to achieve a goal. So, a process does also support data modeling and rule definition, and a good CRUD matrix will find those missing data management functions. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on modeling business functions vs. processes, too. Business analysis and modeling is a very powerful tool that can bring real business benefits when it is done corectly.

Why Do Businesses Need Process Maps?

Businesses today are more focused than ever on sustainable improvement. Even with measurable operational improvements, it may be difficult to hold onto the enhancements made. Many businesses still have inefficient processes, and they view technology as a magic bullet that can solve their woes in one shot. Experts say that these technologies can certainly help, but judicious use of them is required in a systematic review of the processes and in the development of maps.

According to a recent study by AIIM, most businesses see business process mapping as a systematic approach to improving their processes. However, less than half of the business owners really know all they need to about business process mapping. Increasing awareness about business automation however increases the scope of adoption of business process mapping among the business and technology leaders.”

process mapping for dummies

It is well aligned with John’s functional approach and does a much better job of exposing glaring gaps than the standard rummler brache swim lanes. After that you can analyze your as-is map for problem areas, propose process improvements, and capture those improvements in another swim lane diagram. “Business Process Mapping is an excellent way to get started on a journey of continuous improvement. How can we improve if we don’t know our starting point? So, the first step is understanding our current level of performance.

Part 2: Getting Started With The High

An analyst can not create a comprehensive, integrated (i.e., usable) As-Is model of a bunch of conflicting and otherwise dysfunctional behavior – and especially a detailed model of such. The Integrated Modelling Method shows you how to extract the complete function model form properly structured interviews with senior executives. Any To-Be processes that need to be modelled can easily be extracted from the function model. On average Process Modeling required the production of 3 times more diagrams than Function Modeling in order to arrive at the level of elementary function / process. So in terms of analysis of change requirements, as-is models are useless as they define what is required.

  • In this case, the activity might be “receive complaint” and the output is the case is recorded in the system.
  • The use of graphs, charts, tables and images guides better than a big compiled report with lot of data fixation issues in it.
  • Only in the world of process modeling do people try to defend such a crazy action.
  • “Business process mapping has been high on most lists of important business sustainable growth plans throughout the last year.
  • Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.
  • This internal ongoing documentation acts as a roadmap for your organization, capturing not just the end-products of your process improvement project, but how you got there.

Across industries, countries, and languages, BPMN acts as a consistent way to identify the steps in processes. A more in-depth exploration of BPMN may be found in Beginners Guide to Business Process Modeling and Notation . Some basic symbols of BPMN are inlcuded in the chart below.

Step 6: As

They also ensure that everyone involved in a particular recurrent work function clearly understands how things are done and his or her own responsibilities. They help you to see where improvements can be made, in terms of customer experience, cost-saving or time efficiency. The initial model I produces ia a function model and from this I can extract the data model. The case where they really need an as-is to find the 2% enhancement was a rip off by the last bunch.

Process capture allows everyone to assess their processes and think of the best ways to do something. Learn all about business process mapping with our simple guide. Depends on the business requirement, process mapping or value stream mapping can be used in the organization. Use VSM to determine how much time the product spends on each step and waste in the process.

Documenting as-is is also a pretty convenient crutch for getting immersed in, and up to speed on, a new-to-you domain. The risk here is that you don’t tease out the value (i.e. business goals) and get mired in the procedures (arbitrary “perceived requirements”) that are actually orthogonal to the value. Imagine creating a great “TO-BE” model and spending money to get there only to realize that you were already there – you just did not know it. The other great error perpetrated in Process Modeling is decomposing Processes. This results in generating up to 300% more models that are necessary and introduces inherent logic errors. The core activities of any business are Business Functions.

However what you may find more of a challenge is getting the information out of the people out of the process. This facilitation is a skill to learn all by itself and you can find out more about how to run a process workshop the right way here. If they aren’t displayed in a simple way they can be overwhelming and difficult to read. If they are on paper it’s easy to lose or forget what was said. Mapping a process means that everyone gets to learn how something is done and should be done. The organisation is aligned in their way of thinking and doing. However you can describe it as a visualisation of your process.

How important these are depends on the business process in question, and which aspects include important details or significant complexity. In practice, it would be useful to add an additional part to a process mapping session to cover the most interesting aspect of the business process. Like many business activities there are different ways and theories on how to capture processes. Here we are going to go through some of the main ones though this guide to process mapping languages is by no means exhaustive. There are so many advantages to mapping your processes – in a process mapping guide it is still difficult to mention them all!

This is the essential starting point for any successful project, NOT business processes. Their misuse has created so much confusion and complexity over the years that it is becoming almost impossible to unravel. Of course it is a crazy question to ask a business “what do you think your processes should look like in the future”. This question is only ever asked when you start in the wrong place by using process modeling as the primary modeling technique.

Sometimes you can be surprised by what goes on that certain departments didn’t even know about. Map 5–7 high-level, consecutive steps in the process as it is today. Mapping your process gives you a visual tool where you can uncover waste. Review the flowchart with others stakeholders (team member, workers, supervisors, suppliers, customers, etc.) for consensus. A single, connected workspace to collaborate, brainstorm, plan, document, manage tasks, and connect to data visually.

Process Mapping Symbols

An activity can be made up of several tasks, so it could vary between a few minutes to many days before you are ready for the next step in the process. Now you are ready to start adding the three shapes into your swimlane diagram. We will continue using the example of handling a customer complaint in our discussion here. I initially avoid interviewing people who are currently immersed in the current systems at a low level as they can only see the business in terms of the current system. The things that are usually most wrong in a business are what people are doing day-to-day. They are battling with operating a whole set of mechanisms and procedures that have built up over time and that are based on historical systems and habit.

The project lead and facilitator who build the initial high-level map and then discuss it with the sponsor. Another important element to record in Documentation is the sponsor’s vision and improvement targets. When you have finished the high-level map, set a meeting with the sponsor. You can capture them at the process level, milestone level or activity level.

For example, delineate how often those process maps will be improved, and who will be initiating new improvement projects. Lastly, a big component of process documentation is the software documentation.

However you can’t keep a process map like this on the wall forever and it will have to come down and be documented digitally. This is where mistakes happen as sticky notes fall off the paper or you forget which bit came first.