There are several different types of process maps and many different reasons why you should want or need one. There are many different forms of process mapping with different names such as:
- Detail process mapping or swim lanes
- IDEF modelling
- Flow charting
- Activity diagrams
Whatever you call it, it is the same thing.
Flowchart – Picturing the Process
Why use it?
Process mapping is a system for capturing the steps of a process to the level of detail that you require. This can be either to explain a process in detail or to identify where the potential problems are.
It allows a team to identify the actual flow or sequence of events in a process that any product or service follows. Flowcharts can be applied to anything from the travel of an invoice being prepared to payment being received, or from the first point of call from a customer to resolution of a query or complaint.
What are the benefits?
Done correctly, process mapping can help you to
- Identify waste
- Identify communications issues or handover issues
- Identify all people involved in the process
- Show complexity
- Explain the whole process to a group
- Identify who should be in your project to improve
- It also serves as a training aid to understand the complete process.
- It can compare the actual versus the ideal flow of a process which in turn identifies improvement opportunities.
Unless a flowchart is charting a new process, it should always follow the ‘what is’ process and not the ‘what do we want’ process. This is important and it is necessary to see where the probable causes of the problems are in the process.
Processes are mapped using basic symbols, although more graphic symbols can be used in more complex maps. The map below shows a high level map using basic symbols.
Please feel free to call me on 07789038729 to discuss your requirements further.