As a business owner, you know that you need to be on top of many different tools and equipment as a way to make your business succeed. One of these tools is process mapping.
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What Is Process Mapping?
Simply put, process mapping is just an exercise to identify all the steps and decisions of an existing process in a diagram. The main goal of building these diagrams is to allow companies or organizations to identify improvement opportunities so that they can be more efficient.
As you can easily understand, process mapping:
- Displays the flow of materials, information, and documents
- Shows the different tasks that are included within the process
- Clearly shows that the tasks transform inputs into outputs
- Indicates the different decisions that need to be made throughout the process or chain
- Demonstrates the basic inter-relationships and interdependence between the process steps.
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Why Use Process Mapping
For what we have written up until now, we are certain that you already have a good grasp about process mapping and that it is a crucial tool for business owners. But why is it so important to use it?
The truth is that the main reason why you should have a mapping for all your processes is to ensure that you always exceed customer expectations. As you know, without customers you don’t have a business. But it’s not enough to meet their needs anymore; you need to actually exceed their best expectations. And the only way you can do this is to use process mapping. This way, you will be able to see exactly what you are doing, where you are doing it, how you are doing. You will be able to determine your strengths and your weaknesses and work on the latter. It may only be a matter of eliminating some steps that aren’t needed, it may include additional training for employees, it may include many other things.
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Overall speaking, the main reasons why you should use process mapping are:
- Making system changes without truly understanding how the process is working today, and why, can lead to costly mistakes. It can also create conditions that make it difficult for staff to work effectively, and often creates further problems.
- If you do not measure a process, you will not be able to manage it effectively and if you cannot manage a process, you cannot improve it.
- It has been estimated that people working in organizations can waste about 15 – 20% of their time by re-doing things that are wrong, chasing outcomes without results, querying incomplete instructions, doing other people’s jobs, and so on. This figure has been confirmed to varying degrees for all grades within CPS.
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- Clearly defining processes enables us to identify problem areas such as bottlenecks, capacity issues, delays, or waste. Once identified, this knowledge provides a solid basis from which to develop solutions and introduce and plan new improved processes.
- Process mapping enables an organization to:
- Establish what is currently happening, how predictably and why;
- Measure how efficiently the process is working;
- Gather information to understand where waste and inefficiency exist and their impact on the customer or partners;
- Develop new improved processes to reduce or eliminate inefficiency.