Making a process map is essential for any type of organisation, but it is especially important for large companies with multiple departments and production processes that generate a large amount of cross-information.
The subject is so important that it is worth dedicating a few minutes of our attention to it … and yours.
How a really useful process map should be
A process map is a visual representation of all the productive processes carried out by a company and how they relate to each other to achieve the objectives set by the organisation’s management.
An important objective of the elaboration of a process map is to detect the technical or human failures that result in economic losses for the whole of the organisation, the errors in the efficient collection of data and, very importantly, in the immediate, safe and agile repositories of corporate information used by managers who must make important decisions in real time.
Elaborating a map of processes is relatively simple; the complicated thing is to do it in such a way that it is really useful for each and every one of the productive members of the company.
It is also more difficult to elaborate a process map when the work teams are located in different geographical points or when the departments have closed silos of information inaccessible to other business areas. In such cases, there are clear advantages to using dedicated business modelling or diagramming software applications which can allow online collaboration by all parties involved. While this might traditionally have been achieved through using applications like Microsoft Visio, nowadays, there is a wide selection of free Visio alternatives which are able to offer more powerful and intuitive process mapping solutions.
To minimise or avoid these difficulties and develop a really useful process map we must follow a series of tips:
- Choose the group of people who will be responsible for the development and monitoring of the process map.
- Identify the mission, vision and target customers of our current production processes.
- Analyse the possibilities of automation of current processes.
Key 1 to creating a good process map: the human team
The first key to developing a process map that meets our objectives and those of our clients is so logical that sometimes we forget: to gather the best human team. A select team of professionals with knowledge and experience that will analyse:
- Each productive process that takes place within the organisation.
- The real effectiveness of the work teams assigned to each productive
- The individual fulfillment of the proposed objectives for each process.
- The effectiveness of cross processes.
Analysing in detail these and other factors, the human team that we assign to the elaboration of the process map will achieve the initial objective that we have set: to capture what we do, how we do it and what are the failures that we must correct to achieve the objectives of our short, medium and long-term organisational goals.
Key 2: the identification of the mission, vision, and clientele
From our experience, we could say that the first key to developing a good process map is to clearly identify three basic parameters:
The mission of each of the processes carried out by our organisation: what are these processes really for? What are the general and specific objectives of each of them?
The present and future vision: how do the members of each department see the processes they carry out? What do they like most and least about these processes? How would they like them to be?
The target customers of each of the processes. Which target group do the processes of our organisation have to satisfy? How is their current profile? What are their general and specific needs? What is their current perception and experience?
Key 3: automate current processes
Once we have selected the right team to create the map of the current processes of our organisation and we have reflected on paper both the mission, the vision and the target customers of each of the processes, we arrive at the third key that will guarantee us the success of our process map: identify and record the automation possibilities of each of them and the organisation as a whole.
The automation of data collection, its processing and safe access in real time will be one of the keys to the success of the necessary process map. Which, in turn, will lead to greater efficiencies company-wide and better-informed decision making at all levels.