To achieve higher business results, it is essential to provide a common vision of business as a complete system. Defining and standardizing business processes helps avoid working at cross purposes, eliminate some quality control steps and reduce the cycle time. This can be used to generate an integrated process management approach for implementing more effective quality standards and continuous improvement programs.
Process mapping is a technique for graphical representation of work processes in a form of a process map. The process map shows all the process associated activities, including volumes of input and output, approvals, exceptions, and cross-functional hand-offs. The basic goal of the map is to provide a unifying vision of business processes, so that participating organizations and individuals can have an understanding of their specific role in the overall system.
To create a process map, you need to identify the key process objectives and main activity steps. While collecting and analyzing information about the process, you should consider such factors as process complexity, the number of organization and individual teams involved and time and cost issues. The process map should highlight bottlenecks and delays, rework, unnecessary steps and the authority ambiguity of the process. The good map represents the process flow from the customerís point of view, showing whether each step of the process helps create a clear value for the customer.
Process mapping helps clarify specific roles and contributions of the process participants and highlight opportunities for process improvement. A unifying view of the entire business system provides a framework for multiple management approaches and allows process reengineering on clear, comprehensible customer-oriented basis.