Process Maps - How to Use and Their Types

By Nandini

Last updated on Sep 27 2018

Process Maps - How to Use and Their Types

Process maps are a visual demonstration of steps, procedures, and flow of a process. The purpose of these maps is to help team members understand the process thoroughly to the minutest of details. Not just that, it also gives them a clear idea of the parallel process occurring alongside the main process. Tasks can be regularly evaluated and modifications can be made in order to cut down on unnecessary waste.

Quiz Question


Process maps are used to:

  1. Graphically display and define the process
  2. Evaluate tasks for value-add, necessity, and waste
  3. Show where problems are occurring
  4. All of the above ( Answer )

Assessing a process and finding the defect areas become easy with the method of process mapping. It shows a series of events that eventually lead to the end results. With the display of such a sequence of steps, Process maps allow us to locate the problematic area with ease. The aim here is to communicate the process with ease and this can be done in various ways. Here’s a list of types of process maps that are commonly used,


  • Activity Process Map: An activity process map is used in the process where a representation of value-added and non-value added activities are required.


  • Value Stream Map: The value-stream map is the type that is used to analyze the process and find out areas of improvement. It is actually a lean-management technique that strives to offer greater and better customer satisfaction.


  • Detailed Process Map: As the name suggests, the detailed process map gives a detailed insight into the process and provides important details of almost each and every step.


  • Document Map: A document map includes the files that act as inputs and outputs for the process taking place in the project.


  • Swimlane (or Cross-functional) Map: The function of a swimlane map is to segregate the responsibilities. To be precise, it divides the sub-process responsibilities out from the rest in a process.


  • High-Level Process Map: One can guess by the title, this map focuses on the high-level representation of the process. It gives an overview of the relationship and communication between the SIPOC levels. This means the supplier, input, process, output, and customer.


  • Rendered Process Map: Another useful process map is the rendered process map. It aims to locate the areas of improvement. By providing a detailed overview of the present and future scenario of the product or market, it enables the team and the organization to make better and well-informed decisions for success.


  • Value-Added Chain Diagram: There will be times when an employee/team member requires a quick overview of the process. This is where a value-added chain diagram comes into the picture. In this, the process is described in a very simple manner using the boxes to showcase various steps involved. Overall, it gives the reader a brief overview and helps understand the procedure in no time.


In conclusion, process maps are one of the most essential tools used for ensuring the continued growth of a product. Mostly in the area of marketing, having a plan mapped out brings in many opportunities for improvement and growth. Plus, it makes things easier for individuals working on the process. 


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About the Author

Sprintzeal   Nandini

Content Writer at Sprintzeal

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