Process Mapping is a part of Business Process Management. It visually depicts the company’s workflow 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.
Process 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 Mapping decodes a complex business process into a simple form via flow charts or diagrams. It 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.
Though process mapping is one of the most critical elements of any business, most people make mistakes in mapping. Hence, the business process flow goes wrong. But you can relax because this blog will highlight some typical process flow mistakes you can make during process mapping.
The first step of starting any task is to define the relevant objectives. The same rule applies when you’re mapping a company workflow. However, if you do not have clear objectives about the business process you’re mapping, ensure to land in a big soup.
There is a high importance in defining and setting your goals clearly before starting with process mapping. Imagine you are studying for your entrance exams. The first thing in this process is to understand the syllabus of your entrance exam and set short-term and long-term goals to cover the syllabus.
Without defining your objectives and goals in your entrance exam preparation, you may not stick for more than a day or give up mid-term. Hence, defining clear objectives gives you a scope for improvement in your processes while reviewing them. The workflow and maps you create must align with your objectives, ensuring the successful implementation of the business processes in your organization. Hence, defining your objectives for process improvement is one of the best practices in business process mapping.
What are the consequences of not establishing the scope of workflow? Without establishing the workflow scope, you will get distracted from the exact purpose of mapping a business process. You will also face the issue of inconsistent and non-standardized process mapping. It will eventually create havoc in your business and fail to achieve the purpose of process mapping.
The efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness of the business processes will get compromised eventually, ruining your company’s growth and revenue.
The best way to overcome this mistake is by taking your process mapping slow and dealing with it stepwise. Workflows are the oxygen for any company. Hence, while mapping them, you must be extra careful and follow all the steps from beginning to end. The first step of process mapping is to set clear objectives and the scope of the business processes. You can involve your workforce and the process makers to understand the objectives of a business process well. You must remember defining clear objectives of a process flow is the first step of mapping, and you must not skip the same.
Most people are overconfident about their knowledge of business processes, and they forget the most important thing, which is to include relevant stakeholders for a smooth process flow mapping.
It is ideal to consult everyone involved in business processes, departments or individuals. It is a great way to get started with workflow mapping. Conversing personally with all the people involved in your business processes can help you dwell inside your business systems, analyze areas that need correction, and understand the efficiency of the process. It will also help you define clear ownership for each task in a business process.
Involving relevant stakeholders may help you with several inputs to correct your business processes. Also, it will help you find those tiny errors that can significantly enhance the quality of your business processes.
With the exclusion of key stakeholders, you’ll be compromising on the quality of your process maps. The productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of your mapping will decline. Also, there will be several errors you cannot easily make out, as stakeholders are the people who will use these business processes. Hence, you must include them in your mapping process and gain their validation for the final implementation of the workflow maps.
The first and foremost strategy is to ensure that your stakeholders know the process mapping task in your organization. You must identify the relevant stakeholders related to specific business processes. It is ideal to begin with the process mapping and include your stakeholders at the end for validation. It gives you a scope to make any amends before the implementation and execution of the process maps.
Another best way to involve your stakeholders is by conducting several meetings at different points of the mapping process, especially while seeking validation, as it is the last step before implementation. Involving stakeholders will give you a different perspective on your process maps, and you can identify the bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your processes to improvise further.
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Let’s take the above example about preparation for entrance exams. When you discover the syllabus of your entrance exam, you first gather relevant materials and data that will help you study those subjects and cover the syllabus. Imagine you collected only limited information; what will happen? Your preparation will be incomplete. Similarly, when you collect insufficient data for your workflow maps, your mapping will be compromised.
You must collect the necessary data to create an ideal process map. You may need the customer information, their buying patterns, marketing campaigns, etc. Depending on the type of process map you’re creating, data collection and relevant documents will differ significantly. However, knowing that the correct data can help you create a high-quality process map that complies with the business process flows is crucial. It will also improve the efficiency and productivity of your business processes.
It is essential to coordinate with all the departments of your business to finally collect all the information required to create the sales funnel for your business. Hence, it is crucial to analyze all the steps and the relevant data required for the best results.
Inadequate data collection will lead to insufficient data in your process maps. It will also hamper the analysis of process maps. Moreover, there will be no compliance between the objectives and scope of the process flows and process maps. Overall, you may have to repeat the whole process.
You can enhance data collection by hopping onto data management software, the internet, relevant documents, and many other authentic sources. You can get data insights into the business processes by communicating with relevant stakeholders and employees. The best workflow analysis method is process mining using different systems, like ERP, CRM, or BPM. They discover, analyze, and improve business processes. They also help organizations uncover hidden patterns, identify bottlenecks, and optimize process performance.
If you think that you can win people’s attention by complicating your ideas or life, then you’re mistaken, my friend. Simple ideologies or easy workflows are the best for the masses to understand. Similarly, overcomplicating process maps can be a bad option for your organization.
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The idea of process maps is to bring clarity to the most complex processes. Process maps are meant to be simple. Hence, it would be best not to make process maps complex. Any simple or complex process must be easily understood via process maps.
Process Maps are a medium through which you break down complex business processes into the most straightforward formats for easy understanding. It is excellent for your workforce and stakeholders to understand the workflow in your organization.
Overcomplicating process maps will defeat the fundamental objective of process mapping. The idea of process mapping emerges from the fact that most business processes are highly complex for a regular employee to understand. Hence, process maps allow visual representation of such processes in the simplest ways for maximum understanding. So, overcomplicating process maps can only leave you with reduced efficiency and effectiveness of business processes.
Different process mapping methods, like flowcharts, diagrams, value maps, etc., can make the process maps simple and easy to understand. However, you can also use process symbols to increase the ease of understanding those maps.
Another great way to ease processes is introducing software and automation wherever necessary. Automation can keep the burden of repetitive tasks away and simplify your life. They also help in increasing the productivity of your organization.
Reviewing your process maps will help incorporate some improvement by refining certain aspects of the flowcharts or diagrams. It would be best if you comprehensively reviewed the workflow maps. While reviewing, you may find discrepancies or better solutions to the prevalent issues in the process maps. It will only help provide a scope of improvement in your process map.
Well there can be severe consequences if you skip the validation and verification step. In this step, you can understand the user’s perspectives very well. When you skip this step you implement process maps with several inefficiencies and loopholes which can further affect your business workflow. Also, you do have any scope of improvement in your processes that can have a negative effect on the overall functioning of your organization. Hence, to enhance your business processes and increase the productivity of your organization, it is ideal to validate and verify process maps with relevant stakeholders and other employees.
After comprehensively reviewing your process map and identifying the bottlenecks, it’s time to refine your maps. Once you refine your maps, you will create a superior quality sales process that will help you generate leads, retain customers, and much more per your objectives.
You must also include the relevant scope of feedback from the key stakeholders in your process map. These feedbacks are usually constructive as it will improve your sales process significantly. Also, it will help incorporate technology or other valuable components in your processes to improve your business’s effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity by several folds
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The process maps usually do not show the exceptions in a business process. It also may not show the loopholes in a business process, which makes it extremely risky for a company. It is always important to cover all bottlenecks and secure your business processes for the smooth functioning of your organization. Hence, proper process documentation is necessary for business process improvement.
If you’re neglecting variations and exceptions in your process flow, you may be making a big mistake as all your efforts may go into vain if things don’t turn out the way you desired. Life is unpredictable and you cannot believe that everything will happen as you desire. However, you can hope that everything must go your way. But a wise person is the one who embraces the uncertainties as it comes.
Similarly, in business process mapping, you may have designed a business process that exactly simula
You can document inefficiencies and bottlenecks in your business workflow via supporting documents of the business processes. Also, you can take feedback and validation for maximum benefits. You can also use different formats and techniques, like symbols, colors, or annotations to mark variations and exceptions in your business processes. Further, you can explain the meaning and implications of these markings.
You can also create sub-processes or individual process maps for different variations or exceptions and you can link them to the main process map with the use of connectors or gateways. You can also use branching paths, decision points, or alternative flows to show options and criterias to handle process variations and exceptions. Adding swimlanes, roles, and responsibilities can show which employee is dealing with the variations and what are his or her tasks or activities.
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Documentation and maintenance is the primary source of healthy workflow in a business. When the visual representation of your business processes is supported with proper documentation, your processes become powerful. These documents help in clearly determining your company’s workflow.
Documentation is a very critical aspect of process mapping. The visual representation of business processes requires strong supporting documents to make the activities in the workflow clear and easy to understand. If you neglect the steps of documentation and maintenance, you may not be successful in creating a detailed and clear process map. Moreover, it may become challenging for you to identify the bottlenecks and redundancies in your business processes as the complete mapping may seem superficial. Hence, it is extremely crucial to document your business processes and maintain them by regularly updating when as and when required.
The best way of process documentation is by centralizing all data in one place, organizing process activities and tasks based on user roles, handling exceptional situations with the responsible user, creating a clear visual representation of the process map, and aligning the process map with the company’s mission and identifying necessary updates. You can also use necessary tools and softwares that can help with the documentation process. Automation is another method that can help with documentation and maintenance.
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“To err is human”- Do you remember the famous quote? If yes, then you must understand that making mistakes is entirely alright. Still, when you know the common workflow mistakes you can make in your company, you can easily design a seamless process flow.
Understanding the above mistakes and taking charge before you commit them while process mapping is ideal. All the above mistakes can cost your company’s growth and revenue. So, you must understand where you can go wrong and rectify those mistakes to proceed with a seamless process mapping. Mapping in your business has vast benefits; it helps increase productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of business processes. It also tweaks improved growth and revenue of the organization.
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