Why are business process maps important? Mapping your business processes can lead to increased efficiency, leaner and agiler operating procedures, and greater business profitability. So, here we describe the steps for you to learn how to make the process map.

Definition of the current processes of the business

This stage is very important because it is where you are going to identify the main process of the business. This way you will know if you are more dedicated to services, production or manufacturing, technology, etc.

Your guiding question should always be: what is my business doing? You can have more than one key process. For example, an educational institution might have 3 key actions: research, dissemination, and training.

Definition of support processes

Once you have identified your key processes, you must define those actions which you need to support them.

Your guiding question should be: What processes support the key activities of the business? For example, these might include the management of human talent, administrative management, purchasing management, etc.

Definition of strategic processes

These are the processes that will give value to products and services.

Your guiding question: What strategic actions should you be doing to run the business? In the example of the educational institution, such actions might focus on the design of innovative research lines, definition of strategic editorial policy, etc.

Identify the smallest processes

You already have the 3 big blocks:

  • Key processes
  • Support processes
  • Strategic processes

Now you must identify smaller processes or subprocesses that come off the big blocks. For example:

Identify the interrelations

Afterward, you will establish the interrelations between all the processes, you will see how interesting they are and how some processes depend on others.

Details you should take care of

  • Do not confuse the processes with people, because the same person can participate in different processes.
  • Guide yourself with the flow of your normal activities, from the moment the customer is contacted until the product or service is received.
  • Do not make mistakes. To do this, take the time that is necessary, if you do not perform a correct process analysis then you can end up with problems.
What you need

When it comes to creating effective and truly representative business process maps, you need to allow sufficient time for each process to be defined well, and also for all those involved in the process to input and feedback on the final definition of the process.

There are various methods for depicting a process map, from simple diagrams to business mapping software which allows you to build a truly comprehensive and costed process model.

For example, specialized business mapping software available at weareleanandagile.com allows you to see quickly how much a process costs, how long it takes, and how efficient it is. It provides powerful analytical tools which can highlight bottlenecks in processes, what delivers value and what creates waste. What’s more, it allows a process to be analysed from various perspectives (e.g. staff, customers, IT, value chain, etc.) and allows rapid redesign and comparison of metrics.

Whichever method your team adopts, the development of comprehensive process maps for each aspect of your business will pay dividends in the long run.

The more detailed, analytical, and data-driven they are, the more likely your business will see increased operational savings as well as enhanced efficiency and customer satisfaction as a result.

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