How To Improve Business Productivity With Process Mapping
Most company leaders would like to reduce expenses and make their business more effective by optimising process management. In order to achieve this, first, it is necessary to create an accurate process mapping.
A good process map will enable you to list all important processes in your company, and identify their critical components. You can then go on to optimise the process flows, and manage them for optimal productivity and effectiveness.
Defining a business process
A business process is defined as a series of steps or activities that, when carried out in sequence, lead to the generation of a finished product or service. You can also split a service up into multiple sub-processes, and create a map of each of them separately.
Steps in a business process don’t necessarily have to be physical events carried out by a staff member. For example, they could also be automated digital processing events, or workflows carried out by robots.
The total activity of a business can be described as the results obtained by the sum of all its processes. Thus, in order to fully understand a business, you would have to map all the processes it carries out.
How to classify business processes
For effective process mapping, it’s very helpful to classify processes as being either core processes or supporting processes.
Core processes are closely connected to the main business of a company and define the focus area of that company. Without them, a company would not have a product or service.
Supporting processes are everything else (for example: client onboarding, account management, customer support, etc.). It’s important to understand that supporting processes are also essential for the company, but they revolve around the core processes.
Once you have categorised your processes, you can then make a complete inventory of everything contained in them. This includes a list of equipment, staff members, data, and methods used in that process.
Based on the list of parts that you have identified, you can then go on to create an actual process map.
What are the benefits of process mapping?
A good process map enables you to get a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your business workflows. For example, you’ll be able to identify activities that are not optimally connected with each other (poor integration), and thus slow down production.
Process mapping can help to identify a long list of potential weak points, including bottlenecks in the workflow, unnecessary steps, steps that should be further broken down because they are too complex, and workflows that can be speeded up by streamlining them.
In addition, a good process map is an invaluable tool for improving management activities, since it helps to understand how a complex set of events are integrated with each other, and what is necessary in order to make each process work optimally.
Using process mapping to identify KPIs
A good process map can help you to find the most important KPIs to track and measure since it will show you what the key results of each process are.
Thus you will know which performance metrics you should be paying attention to, and which metrics you can use as indicators along the way, to judge if things are heading in the right direction.
You’ll be able to evaluate each process performance in real time, which will help you to step in and make any necessary adjustments rapidly, while the process is still running.
Once you have an accurate process map, you can also use it to calculate the cost of each process very accurately, and it can help you to predict how long delivery is likely to take.
Visualising your processes
Once you are ready to create a process map, the best way to do this is by creating a diagram or schematic outline of the various activities in the process, and how they connect to each other.
While you can also map a process by writing down a list of steps, a visual representation is extremely helpful, both for the analysis and for presenting the results.
Diagramming your processes will give you a visual understanding of the operational flows and interactions in your company, and will also enable you to visualise how the different processes connect to each other.
Processes are usually diagramed with beginning and end points, directional workflows, and interaction points. You can also use the diagram to visualise the parts of the process that are carried out by different teams or departments, and the steps that depend on client activity.
Process mapping is an invaluable tool that helps businesses to identify the activities that need to be improved. It's also an excellent way to enhance the effectiveness of business management, by helping to identify and modify critical steps in real time.
By using process mapping, every business can take its performance to the next level with improved efficiency and lower costs.