Process Maps - How to Create and Use Them

Process Maps - How to Create and Use Them


Process map flowcharts 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.

Below are some of the best process mapping tools:

- Appian
- Nintex
- Pega
- K2
- Bonitasoft

Some of the most commonly adopted process activity mapping methods are top-down flowcharts, deployment flowcharts, and detailed flowcharts. Professionals can use lucid chart to get hands-on software experience with this concept and learn in real time how to make a process map. It is one of the best process mapping software available in the market.

Now let's understand the process mapping steps involved:

Step 1: Finding the issue
Step 2: Brainstorming the activities involved in the process
Step 3: Finding boundaries
Step 4: Sequencing the process steps
Step 5: Creating basic flowchart symbols
Step 6: Completing the process flowchart

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. This needs the usage of reliable process mapping software. 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. This concept can be understood better with process mapping examples. Here’s a list of types of process maps that are commonly used,

• Activity Process Flow Map: An activity process mapping is a diagram is used in the process where a representation of value-added and non-value added activities is 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. Usage of business process mapping tools helps in advancement of the process. 

If you are aspiring to handle large projects, working in the field of project management, or leading a project team, we have a piece of valuable advice for you.

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With over 3 years of experience in creating informative, authentic, and engaging content, Nandini is a technology content writer who is skilled in writing well-researched articles, blog posts, newsletters, and other forms of content. Her works are focused on the latest updates in E-learning, professional training and certification, and other important fields in the education domain.

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