Businesses have been embracing business process mapping for years – a visualization technique used to organize workflow processes from initial stages to the endpoint. This tool communicates the steps participants need to take to deliver innovation in a product or service.
Diagramming work processes is a tried and tested method to ensure consistency. So, if you want to grow your business, you can use this tool to eliminate inefficiency and delays in your business processes. It can also help you reliably deliver products or services and achieve the goals within time. Business Process Mapping is the blueprint to the success of your business.
Even if you are just starting up as a company, you can use business process mapping. It is a tool that everyone should benefit from regardless of their business.
Uses of Business Process Mapping
Mapping your business process can deliver many benefits to your organization. It can help you to:
- Solve problems: With the well-organized information presented through the business process mapping, you can spot an issue as it arises. The visualization can simplify complex tasks and help you determine bottlenecks in just one glance. When you’re able to identify the problem, fixing, it doesn’t remain an issue.
- Set roles: When you define the tasks using the business process diagram, you can also assign people tasked with helping the team achieve the intended goal.
- Manage risks: While drafting your business process diagram, plan out the workflow and the process in detail. Then, when you visualize it, you can conveniently pick out the potential legal and security risks. Moreover, it should guide you to comply with regulatory agencies.
- Standardize processes: Planning out the process and establishing it is just a one-time struggle. Once you have drafted your business process diagram, it can become a standard for your future operations. You can easily reuse it with conditional changes in future processes.
- Foster collaboration: When the whole process is mapped out in front of the team, and everyone is aware of the project’s progress, it helps keep everyone on the same page. Hence it is an excellent tool for maintaining collaboration in the team. Considering this feature, you can also use it for cross-functional communication.
- Improve onboarding: Having the whole process documented through a map helps the other employees who come on board later understand it and make the transition easier.
Basic Business Process Mapping Steps
Step 1: Identify the Process
The first and most crucial step of drafting a business process map is identifying the process. Next, figure out the precise business process that needs to be completed for a project. Then, start planning from start to finish. It helps in eliminating redundant and repetitive information.
Evaluate the processes that need to be mapped out to prioritize and choose the critical ones for your business to function. You need to select a method that can be measured in numbers leaving room for improvement.
Step 2: Involve the Right People
While you are drafting your map, get the right people on board to help you in it. Those involved in the day-to-day work give better insight and ensure that no step gets missed. Additionally, take input from senior management so the final project can be according to their standards.
This can help you gather pertinent information, identifying steps, roles, procedures, deadlines, etc. So get as much data as you can in this step and filter out the redundant information later.
Step 3: Create the Baseline
Once you’re done gathering the information, you can create a sequence of each activity that occurs within the process. This will be a rough baseline that can later be refined and improved for maximum effectiveness. Make sure to identify the following:
- Each task in each step
- The overall workflow
- How each step contributes to the workflow
- The participants involved in each step
- The events that can initiate these tasks or bring about changes in it such as new input
Step 4: Visualize
You finally have all the necessary information in place. What’s next? You will use a flowchart with relevant symbols and create a process map.
Step 5: Verify
Never finalize a process map without verifying it first. So, before using it to guide everyone, ensure the accuracy of the map with applicable participants. Once they approve it, only then should the process map be implemented.
Step 6: Finish
Now that you’ve gone through every step and have the map’s final draft, share it with your team members.
Step 7: Improve
Regardless of how much you think your work is accurate, there’s always room for improvement. So, you can observe the process up close and develop ways to optimize your processes even more.
Business process mapping makes it easy to realize that integrating this tool with your workflow can drastically improve the results. One of many reasons for this is that the participants involved in producing the outputs of the tasks will be well-informed about the details of the project from start to end. As a result, it increases efficiency and raises the team’s overall productivity.