How to Make Process Maps
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How to Make Process Maps

Process mapping can be a difficult task. Here is some advice that may prove useful.

The Crucial Three

To successfully engage in process mapping, there are three crucial conditions to be discerned:

  • Commitment of the management.
  • Enough time and space for the involved employees.
  • A knowledgeable facilitator.

If one of these three crucial conditions is not or not sufficiently present, the chance of actually reaching the stage of process improvement becomes ever slimmer. Besides these three conditions, there are several other tips that may prove useful.

The Extra Tips

When process mapping, there are several points of concern. The following (sometimes obvious) tips aim to ensure that these points are taken into account when starting or going through the procedure:

  • Make sure the right people are in the team. Involve those who are motivated and willing to put in work.
  • Use plenty of paper and a lot of open space.
  • Remain consistent in the degree of detail that is used (maintain the balance).
  • Label each step clearly, so that everyone involved understands what is meant by it.
  • Try to focus on goals and output, and less on actions and means.
  • Do not pay too much attention to functional and departmental boundaries.
  • Keep the process map simple by using only the most important symbols and avoid difficult technical terms.
  • If using the interview technique, the ‘5xW+H’ method may prove useful, Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How?
  • Make a report after each session and try to send it together with the process map to all those involve as soon as possible.

Finishing the Map: the Questions

Every process mapping process has an end. To make sure that what was desired has been achivieved, there are some points that need to be checked. Here are some questions that may help:

  • Did we compare the results with the original goals and the needs of the clients?
  • Were we able to identify points in the process that could be improved?
  • Did we determine who is going to analyze the results over time and how this is going to be done?
  • Are the results of the procedure adequately documented?
  • Did we, if this was needed, train those involved in the newly designed process to ensure that the new process will run smoothly?
  • Have all the changes been clearly and accurately communicated to all those with an interest in the discussed process?
  • Have we been able to identify and solve problem points in the process?
  • And finally, did we celebrate the completion of the process?

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