A Guide to Business Process Mapping

A Guide to Business Process Mapping

We must be aware of statistics from our school days; every child loved drawing pie charts and diagrams. They are the best ways to represent complex data or processes as charts or graphs for easier understanding. When such strategies are incorporated into a business to understand and decode business processes, it is known as Business Process Mapping

What are business processes in information systems?

You must know that they can be simple or complex. Every company member should be capable of understanding all the company’s operations for an effective workflow. Hence, to clearly understand the procedures and systems of the company, Process Mapping is incorporated into a business.

Process Mapping can help your business in many ways by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your business processes. It also helps engage your new workforce to learn your company systems better. In this blog, you will learn in detail about Business Process Mapping.

What is a business process?

What is a business process?

Suppose you’re running a fashion business. You have a retail shop that sells ethnic wear. Your business will run successfully when all departments of your company will work in sync. Your fashion retail business has a production department, sales department, marketing department, accounts department, etc. All these departments have to follow a system to make customers happy. The procedures or systems in a company that helps accomplish a particular task in an organization is known as a business process.

The business processes differ from one company to another. It may seem simple for small-scale companies, but for large-scale companies, the complexity of business processes increases significantly. Hence, the best way to ease the understanding of business processes in a company is through business process mapping.

Purpose and Use of Business Process Mapping

Process Mapping is a part of Business Process Management. It visually depicts the company’s processes through charts, flowcharts, diagrams, and symbols. The visual representation of the workflows and systems in a company is laid out for the stakeholders to understand and adhere to the optimum functioning.

The mapping includes end-to-end sequencing of each step in a particular business process. It also sets the interrelation between different approaches to reduce the complexity. Process Mappingdecodes a complex business process into a simple form via flow charts or diagrams.

Here are some ways that business process mapping can be beneficial to your organization:

  • Process Mapping can help identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, loopholes, gaps, and other issues in business processes. It will eventually give you scope to make necessary changes in your operations.
  • Mapping will decide the most complex process or idea into a more straightforward format, making it easy to understand and execute.
  • Process Mapping also helps with planning for contingencies. It allows for contingencies and guides to solve problems.
  • Mapping will help delegate responsibilities and tasks between different individuals or departments in your organization. 
  • It also helps in creating supportive documentation of the business process in management.
  • Process Mapping is a user-friendly, visual format of the representation that eases communication among your workforce or stakeholder. 
  • The ease of understanding of process maps enables you to make quick decisions.
  • Process Maps are a boon for your workforce as they can improve performance due to clarity and ease.
  • Process Mapping also helps businesses comply with ISO 9000 and ISO 9001 standards.
  • They help in automating a few tasks with BPM.
  • They can establish orders and create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • They help in integrating with BPM platforms.

Types of process maps

There are different types of business processes, and each type requires a diverse variety of mapping. Hence, different types of process maps are available in all shapes and sizes. As all business processes are not the same, each requires different kinds of mapping for an efficient understanding of the system. Here are some of the most common types of process maps.


It is the most basic form of the process map. Usually, flowcharts use process mapping symbols to show the inputs and outputs of a process and the steps for completing the process. These flowcharts help in planning new projects, improving communication between team members, modeling and documenting processes, solving problems in a current process, and analyzing and managing workflows. Ideally, they are well suited for showing how a procedure is done from start to finish, especially in sequential order.

High-level process map

A high-level process map has other names, like a top-down or value chain map. It provides an overview of a business process from the top levels. The steps in this map have limitations as it captures only the essentials of a process but is known for recording minimal details of the business processes.

These process maps define business processes and identify the essential steps of a process. You can also use these process maps to discuss strategies with managers, superiors, or third parties without disclosing the specifics of your business systems. The best way to use these process maps is to communicate the essential steps of a process.

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Detailed process map

You can find every minute detail of a business process in the detailed process maps; the details also extend to the subprocesses. It includes decision points, inputs, and outputs of each business process step. It is one of the process maps that provides a thorough understanding of business processes in an organization. These maps also clearly highlight the areas of inefficiency due to their detailed recording. Hence, detailed process maps are helpful for a comprehensive understanding of business processes, including contingencies.

Swimlane map

A swimlane map has other names, like cross-functional or deployment flowcharts. These process maps help delegate process activities into “swimlanes” to designate the person responsible for a specific task. The map is divided into channels for each stakeholder in the process. It lists each activity in the track for the relevant stakeholder. It highlights the different roles in the business process and stakeholder interaction.

These process maps are ideal for training new employees while incorporating them into a business process and increasing their accountability. They are also helpful in identifying inefficiencies in the process, such as delays, redundancies, and potential failures. Hence, the swim lane process maps are best for identifying roles for different stakeholders in a business process.

Value stream map

A value stream map is a lean management tool that visualizes the process of bringing a product or service to the customer. Value stream maps are complex compared to other process maps, and they use a unique system of symbols to define the flow of information and materials necessary for a particular business process.

These process maps document trivial things in a business process, such as cycle time and the number of people involved in each step. It enables you to identify waste reduction areas and potential project opportunities. Hence, value stream mapping describes bringing a product to a customer and documenting quantitative data about the process.

SIPOC diagram

SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers. A SIPOC diagram is a chart that is useful in identifying the critical elements of a business process. It can be a step that is done before the creation of a detailed process map.
The SIPOC chart features five columns which include the basic steps in the process, the outputs of the process, the customers, the inputs of the process, and the suppliers of each information. Moreover, a SIPOC diagram helps define the scope of complex processes. Hence, the SIPOC diagram helps identify a circle’s key elements and stakeholders.

Steps to Create a Business Process Map

  Six defined business process steps help create a process map for a designated business process.

Collaborative Meetup-This includes gathering all the company’s stakeholders to establish the foundation for the process map creation.

Identifying the Manual Tasks- Division of labor is the key to successful Process Mapping. Hence, the manual tasks must be segregated initially.

Identifying the System Tasks- Similarly, the system tasks must be sorted well for mapping.

Eliminating Redundancies- Now you have the list of tasks, the redundant functions must be stopped, converted to a notification, or switched to a system task.

Designate tasks to Employees- Every job will be different, and the requirement of people will range from one to many. Hence, designating each task to other people or groups must be accomplished.

Sequencing of tasks- Since there are multiple tasks, and all are not the same, it requires proper sequencing. The order must involve interrelated tasks, beginning studies, ending tasks, and many more.

Benefits of Business Process Mapping.

The different systems in companies require relevant business process models. The analysis of these models is possible with proper mapping of business processes. Here are some of the fantastic benefits of business process mapping:

Visual aid for understanding roles and accountability.
  • Process maps are a visual representation of your position in a company.
  • Every business comprises several processes that form the foundation of its workflow.
  • In each method, multiple tasks are taken up by different individuals in the workforce.
  • However, understanding these tasks may become more accessible with a clear picture.
  • The process maps provide a clear visual representation of your workforce’s roles, making them accountable for their jobs.
  • It also helps keep a seamless workflow in a company without hindrance.
Problem-solving and implementing solutions.
  • When viewing a business’s functioning from the outside, everything looks great because everyone is working.
  • However, the accurate picture is only visible when you review the numbers or customer engagements.
  • When the sync between the outside view of your company and sales figures doesn’t match, it’s high time that you start using process maps to understand the loopholes in your business processes.
  • Process maps help you understand the bottlenecks or inefficiencies in your business, eventually giving you a scope to correct them.
  • It enables the implementation of solution-oriented approaches to make your business successful.
Compliance and risk mitigation.
  • All businesses must run under compliance and risk management.
  • These compliances help safeguard your business assets and reputation.
  • You must clearly define your business processes to achieve compliance and risk mitigation.
  • Process maps help elaborate the business process most efficiently.
  • Even third parties can easily understand your business processes via process maps.
  • Also, these maps help you identify the potential risks to your business.
  • Hence, you can quickly mitigate risks and follow compliance by incorporating process mapping in your organization.
Standardizing procedures with SOPs.
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are critical to any organization.
  • Any new joiner who begins their career with your company must initially go through the SOPs and understand them perfectly to gel with the company culture. 
  • But isn’t reading a detailed book on SOPs exhausting and tedious? Of course, it is exhausting.
  • Hence, incorporating SOPs in the form of process maps will ease the understanding process of the newcomers.
  • They will also thoroughly learn about the company procedures and culture without any boredom.
  • It will help the new trainees gel with the company’s workforce and culture well and boost their confidence and productivity.
Developing a healthier company culture and increasing productivity.
  • Process maps are indirectly helpful in creating a healthy company culture.
  • Process maps help in understanding the processes of a business correctly.
  • It eventually helps the workforce align their goals and aspirations with the company processes.
  • Moreover, process maps can quickly identify inefficiencies in a business process, which can help incorporate automation or technologies in the system.
  • It eventually increases the efficiency and productivity of business processes.
Improving operational health and profitability.
  • Process maps are a visual representation of business workflows.
  • These help in providing clarity about business processes.
  • With a clear understanding of business processes, the operational health of your company becomes more robust.
  • It will eventually bring more customer engagement and increase the profitability of your business.
  • So, process maps are indirectly responsible for generating more revenue for your company and increasing your organization’s productivity.

Investing your energy, resources, and money in the best things when you start your business is ideal. Process Mapping is a better approach to incorporate into your company, especially to understand the business process example in any organization. It gives a clear picture of the business processes, which helps you grow and identify the reasons for your failure.

Mapping business processes is like showing a mirror to yourself to accept your redundancies to either eliminate them or put them to use better. A reflection of the company’s personality is beneficial for the company to grow and scale up to newer heights.

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