Quality Management & Training

Process Mapping Mini Guide

By: Geoff Vorley

Process Mapping, Process Flowcharting and Document Flowcharting are techniques that can be employed to provide a visual representation of a process or procedure.  Flat text can be boring and an uninteresting way of describing a process; the reader is likely to lose interest and concentration. A picture paints a thousand words – it can convey, in certain circumstances, a better graphical indication of the sequence and methods employed within a process

Reasons for process mapping can generally be broken down into three main categories:

  • process definition
  • work organisation / reorganisation and
  • process improvement.

Process definition:

Process mapping provides the means of defining and debating the correct sequence of tasks. For example, obviously there is only one correct way of making tea – pour boiling water over tea leaves in a pot.  Unfortunately in some parts of Egypt and Australia the process is different. Tea leaves are placed in cold water and the mixture brought to boiling point. It does not really matter which way it is done, the taste will be the same, although people in Egypt and Australia may not agree with this statement.

Subjects covered in this miniguide include:

1. Introduction
2. Reasons for Process Mapping
3. Some definitions
4. Guidelines for Process Flowcharting
5. Description of Process Mapping Techniques
6. Process Flowcharting
7. Cross Functional Process Flowcharting or Swimlanes
8. IDEF0 or Input/Output Diagrams
9. Business Process Analysis
10. Procedure for Business Process Analysis

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