A picture is worth a thousand words…

…ALC’s 6 point plan for Process Mapping success

Process Mapping forms the bedrock of business transformation:  Not only does it provide a picture of how things happen at the moment, but it provides a blueprint for improvement.  But so many companies fail to develop accurate maps of how their business works, and more importantly to use them regularly…

So how do you ‘do’ process mapping? Here’s how:

  1. Start with the end in mind. Identify the output – what you are delivering to the customer, preferably including the quantity/rate/quality and timing elements. This will help to ensure that your process is optimised towards customer needs.
  2. Work backwards introducing the major process steps – using active verbs to describe what happens at each step. ALC recommends using the SIPOC tool (Supplier, Input, Process, Output, Customer) as a guide.
  3. Don’t dig too much into the detail at this stage, but focus on the handoffs, interactions and dependencies of other groups, data and departments (for this reason, ALC prefers using swim lanes where possible). If you put in too much detail, you’ll lose your audience … but if you’ve missed something important, you can always put it in later
  4. Bring the process to life, preferably with a team of stakeholders to walk it through, checking that your process map is accurate. This has the added benefit of both engaging your work teams and helping to identify pinchpoints/areas of poor quality.
  5. Determine how each process step communicates with the next, what is delivered between steps, triggers, documentation etc…
  6. Gather relevant and appropriate metrics: quality % at each step, lead time, process time, space requirement, computer run time or whatever resource is used by the process…

There’s a saying that “you can’t manage it if you don’t measure it”.   ALC would go a step further. You can’t start to measure it effectively until you can see it, and see how the component parts come together.
Of course, one you’ve developed your process map, you’ll needs to look for ways to improve, but first things first…

Need help with your process mapping? Then contact us.