What is that ? (+ examples)

What is that ? (+ examples)

Establishing a process map is essential for companies wishing to be part of a continuous improvement process. How to implement the mapping of your processes? How can this graphic representation become a tool for the internal organization of your company?

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What are the benefits of process mapping?

Carrying out a mapping of the processes makes it possible to offer a global vision of the functioning of the company, from the identification of its market to the satisfaction of its customers. Process mapping is a tool regularly used to anticipate the implementation of a QMS (Quality Management System). Here are the many benefits process mapping can bring to a business:

A global vision of practices

One thing is certain: process mapping is a real integration and training tool for each department and each party. The mapping highlighting all the stages and all the stakeholders, this is a real opportunity to better understand the internal system of the company: operation of the services, problems detected, communication, etc.

Identifying problems and their sources

With the implementation of a process map, the company can easily identify the source of a problem. By having a clear vision of all the services making up the company, the latter can therefore identify at what stage of the process the problem arose and above all how it can be resolved by providing an appropriate solution.

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Performance improvement

In addition, process mapping allows each employee of the company to understand his mission and his exact role. Everyone is aware of the different services as well as their function generating a flow of information. It also allows employees to be more productive by contacting the right department in case of difficulty.

Improving the internal climate of the company

By being aware of their exact mission, their objectives as well as those of the company, employees therefore work in complete transparency. Process mapping offers the establishment of a healthy climate in the company and in each department.

The serenity of conformity

Process mapping also makes it possible to ensure process compliance on a regular basis. Indeed, the mapping must indicate the audit periods, which allows the company to anticipate any changes to be made. There are therefore no more surprises for the departments concerned and the company’s activity can continue in a serene manner.

The increase in flexibility

Once the processes are mapped, it is possible for the company to take the next step which is constant process improvement. Depending on the trends of the market in which the company is positioned, it can transform its current processes according to developments. It therefore becomes flexible and more dynamic in its performance approach.

How to do a process map in 9 steps

A process map represents the reality of the company’s processes as faithfully as possible. It is a process that aims for improvement. The schematized process must therefore be well understood in order to be analyzed with a view to future improvements, thanks to an RPA for example.

The following 9 steps allow you to build a mapping of the processes step by step, respecting the logic of the exercise.

Step 1: Define process objectives

The first step in setting up a process map is to set an end goal for each process analyzed. This makes it possible to define a direction for each part of the analysis and therefore to know which question(s) the process map will answer.

Questioning the internal processes of a company may seem useless if they seem to be working and converging towards the objectives you have set for yourself. However, this is an essential step insofar as the mapping will question the very existence of these processes. This preliminary stage therefore requires opening up to new organizational possibilities. The purpose of process mapping is to objectively critique the very nature of these processes.

Step 2: Determine results (outputs) for each process

In a process map, each process is represented by a rectangle, with an input and an output. The outputs correspond to the output and therefore to the result of the process in question. It can be a tangible and physical result. For the product manufacturing process, for example, the output is equivalent to the finished product ready to be marketed. On the other hand, if it is the process of setting up a marketing campaign that is analysed, then the result (output) can be a purchasing decision on the part of the prospect.

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Step 3: Identify the customers of each of the processes

The identification of the clients of a process is closely linked to the definition of its final objective. It makes it possible to understand their expectation, that is to say what the process will have to respond to.

Just like for the outputs, be sure to take into account the non-palpable customer needs and pay attention to their brand experience, in particular to the “moments of truth” which can occur well before the act of purchase.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to integrate your customer identification into your process map:

  • What are the customer’s expectations (of the process in question, not of your company)?
  • How involved is this client in the process?
  • How to involve him in the improvement of the process?

Step 4: Determine the inputs

In the same way that the outputs of each process are analyzed, process mapping also pays attention to the inputs, i.e. the elements that the company introduces into the process in order to to improve.

Defining inputs for each process increases the overall value of the production chain, represented by the process map as a whole.

Like outputs, inputs are sometimes non-touchable elements. For example, the “customer satisfaction” element can be an input, which the “commercial strategy” process will have to improve.

Step 5: Indicate the resources used for each process

As you will have understood, the process is a transformer. He is responsible for bringing an improvement to an element identified and defined by the company. To work, this transformer needs resources.

Knowing the resources necessary for the proper functioning of a process is essential. These resources can be tangible or not. Thus, the machines, methods, technologies, materials or human resources that the company uses are resources to be taken into account.

Step 6: Identify Suppliers

Internal process providers are the collaborators designated to populate the inputs for each process. External suppliers are companies that deliver raw materials to you, but also non-tangible input and/or output elements.

In the same way that you identify a customer profile for each process, setting up a map means asking yourself who your suppliers are, with regard to each process taken individually.

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Step 7: Highlight Constraints and Business Rules

It is important to take into account that constraints may arise during the process definition. These constraints are often operational rules, which are an integral part of the usual operation of the company.

To correspond to the approach of objectification of the processes, it is advisable to question these rules in all impartiality. The objective is to understand why they were put in place and to what extent they are used for the smooth running of the processes.

Step 8: Define the documentation to be produced for each process

Before laying out your processes graphically, you’ll need some documentation to back it up. To do this, use a flowchart or a chronological list.

Documentation is important because it allows all stakeholders to be involved in the process analysis.

Step 9: Highlight areas for process improvement

This is the very objective of process mapping: to highlight inconsistencies, risks of delays, bad sequences. But it’s also important to highlight what works. Anything that adds value to the production chain should be highlighted.

Examples of process maps

Process mapping is a versatile tool that can be used in several areas, to anticipate organizational change or highlight key areas for improvement. Here are some examples.

Mapping the processes of receiving payments

Mapping receipt of payments

This is a very simple process map, with a start, an end and processes corresponding to tasks.

Example of a recruitment process map

Recruitment mapping

Recruitment is an area that includes many segmented processes and in which process mapping is a very relevant tool. Here, the input elements are data. The diagram can therefore highlight the importance of collecting data on candidates.

Using a Process Map to Illustrate Sales Process Flows

Sales flow mapping

Sales processes generally incorporate many interrelationships. Mapping makes it easy to visualize the hierarchy of processes. Here, time data has been added next to some tasks.

Sample Customer Service Flow Process Map

Customer Service Flow Mapping

Process mapping is well suited to studies of customer service flows, especially to incorporate tangible inputs such as databases. It is therefore easy to understand that customer data is used directly to improve customer service processes. The visualization that the cartography offers then makes it possible to facilitate the work of the teams thanks to a process automation tool.

To go further, download this white paper on the digitalization of SMEs and discover the issues at work, the main challenges and examples of successful transformations.Bottom-CTA: Digitalisation, French SMEs at a crossroads

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