WebRTC Expert Feature

June 22, 2018

Important Details to Remember in Process Mapping


What is process mapping? It is basically the creation of a visual representation of processes. It can also be referred to as the creation of a flowchart, process model, functional process chart, workflow diagram, business flow diagram, or functional flowchart. Since it entails the representation of a process, it has to have starting and ending points.

Process maps can be conveniently created using process mapping software. There are many software tools you can use. You have to know the basics of process mapping, though, to make sure that what you produce can be understood by the intended users.

How to do process mapping

First, you need to learn the different figures to use in process map making. These are the different shapes and lines that will be used. Take note that you will not only be using squares, circles, labels, and solid lines. Different shapes or symbols are used to represent different process points. For example, there’s a special shape used to represent a point in the process where a document needs to be processed or created. Likewise, lines can be solid or broken. You have to be familiar with these to make sure that the process map you come up with will be comprehensible to other users.

This short article is not going to be enough to properly explain the steps and details of process mapping. It would be advisable to refer to comprehensive references, which are mostly based on the system introduced by Frank Gilbreth in the early 1920s to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. There are many references online that will guide you on how to use the different shapes and symbols for flowchart making.

An overview of the process, however, can be summarized as follows:

  • Problem identification. Even though this is not reflected in the resulting process map, this is a crucial step that guides the creation of the process map. This dictates what needs to be visualized.
  • Brainstorming. This is a collaborative effort to list all of the activities, tasks, or decision points that need to be mapped out.
  • Setting parameters. This is the point where process boundaries are set. This is about determining the start and end points of processes.
  • Determining and sequencing the steps. At this stage, the activities listed during the brainstorming and parameters defined are organized into a comprehensive listing of everything that will be entered into the flowchart.
  • Drawing the flowchart. The last step which entails the visualization of the different processes.

Getting everyone involved

It’s important to get everyone that will be using the process maps involved in the process. At the very least, they should be aware of what the symbols mean. Otherwise, the process maps will not serve their intended purpose. A short orientation or seminar may be needed for this. Process mapping is not just something that will be used as an ornament in the office. Everyone whose tasks are part of the processes being mapped can benefit from the visual representation of the programmed processes. It only makes sense encouraging their involvement.







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