Process mapping is an analytic tool for capturing the operation of an organization and create a visual map of the processes involved, the flow of information and deliverables. Its main goal is to create an efficient map that shows what is and is not working, highlighting areas that need improvement. On first look it can seem simple enough to do, however, the effectiveness of process mapping depends on the level of understanding and experience of those involved. There are some common mistakes that happen when the map is not created correctly. This article looks at those common mistakes, and ways to avoid them.
Common Mistake 1 – Jumping to Solutions
So many writers of process maps will start jumping to conclusions, and creating solutions before they have finished accumulating information about processes and mapping them. Known as ‘mid-mapping problem fixing’ it is the most common mistake made. Team members will highlight pain points and offer up solutions throughout the mapping process, which is ok – just don’t take them as final and note them down as suggestions instead.
Once you have a bigger picture to work with, and the Process Map is complete you can go back to these suggestions, discuss them in more detail and analyze the fit within the bigger picture. Remember to not allow these suggestions to direct the way the process map is put together, it needs to be about what is currently in place, not how you want it to be.
Common Mistake 2 – Process Mapping in Isolation
A Process Map is a team effort, but too many organizations forget to include those team members that the processes effect. From floor staff to conveyance staff, right up to department managers and shift managers, need to be included in the process mapping. These are the staff members that have hands-on experience with each step and can provide the most valuable information regarding changes to be made. Involving the staff members also makes them feel included, and are therefore more acceptable to changes made.
Common Mistake 3 – Not Being Clear in The Process
The aim of a Process Map is to create a visual of every aspect of journey deliverables and information taken. In order to do this though, a clear goal needs to be set in advance, whether it’s a fully operational process or just focusing on a certain area of the business that seems to be struggling. The way in which the Process Map is constructed needs to be clear as well, focusing on tangible and intangible processes – decision-making processes that are not necessarily visible.
Not only does the goal near to be clear but so does everything involved – which includes important process documents. From hard copies to electronic copies, they all are involved in the processes and could be areas that need improving – but without analyzing them as part of the process you may miss this. These need to be updated in relation to the changes proposed and included in the mapping process.
Struggling to get your Process Maps to work for you? Then get in touch to organize a consultation with us to assist. We will analyze your whole system or just a subsystem to identify areas of improvement, before developing a plan with you to implement changes.