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?