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Process Improvement, Processes

Process Mapping Hints and Tips

Process Mapping hints and tips: 

  • Define the process and its boundaries first (SIPOC Process Definition)  
  • Start with an “8 to 10 box map” to get an overview of the high-level steps and flow
  • Arrows between boxes can be straight lines, or dog-legs
  • Where it is helpful, annotate arrows with inputs and outputs
  • Develop your diagram one level at a time – drill down only when necessary to expand detail, for example when you know there is a problem area
  • Use Verb & Noun definitions for each activity box – not “functions”, or long text descriptions
  • At decision points, don’t use “Decision Diamonds”; add the “if this” on one arrow and “if the other” on the other arrow
  • Draw the “clean” process first – assume everything works – then add rework loops if necessary, or map on a separate page if there will be too much detail on one map
  • If there are multiple routes through a process (e.g. for different copies of a Form), track through each one individually, starting with the one that shows the flow of the main purpose of the flowchart (i.e. the route that delivers the process customers’ needs)
  • Ensure you map the “as is” or “to be” process, not a hybrid of “as is” and “to be”
  • Finish the mapping, before moving on to gather, or annotate with, data
  • Do it big!!!  Make it easy for people to collaborate in the mapping by mapping in “workshops” using whiteboards, or live mapping with Control software


 Look at the Process Map and ask :

  • „  Are all the steps necessary?
  • „  Are any steps missing?
  • „  Where could delays occur?
  • „  Can the process be simplified?
  • „  Where do things go wrong?
  • „  Where does it cause problems for the customer?
  • „  Where do suppliers cause problems?
  • „  Where do we have people or skill gaps?
  • „  Why is it done like this?


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