When I tell people that I ‘do’ process maps, they immediately think of an assembly or manufacturing process. And they’re right — it’s one of the classic uses for the tool. But some of my most impressive uses for process maps involve non-work applications….We’ve decided what features we wanted in our first (and second) house; where to go on vacation; and even what to have for dinner when guests were coming!
Process maps are simply a graphical representation of a process – and that process can include a decision process. To use a process map as a decision process, list out what you are trying to decide and the factors that affect that decision.
As an example, when deciding what characteristics you should consider when planning a vacation, you may start off by deciding:
- what time of year/season you want to go
- what type of vacation (sports, relaxing, sightseeing, etc.)
- who’s going (just two of you, alone, with family, friends, etc.)
Once you have decided where you might want to go, with who, and what the budget is going to be, you can then determine which is your best option.
So the next time you’re going to be making a decision, consider using a process map!