Many people believe that the only process mapping benefit is organizing your processes and presenting them in a visually appealing format.
While that’s part of the benefit you’ll get from listing everything that gets done on a process, there’s much more to it, and that’s what this article is all about.
To begin with, let’s start by saying that processes, especially big ones that demand cooperation of more than one department, are not static.
Also, when they’re not properly mapped, steps can (and most likely will) be missed and the ultimate result won’t achieve the expected standards.
That’s ok, and it doesn’t mean your department is “broken”, it just means your processes are lacking the necessary organization that allows you to identify where something went wrong (when it does).
One of the process mapping benefits is getting everyone on your team involved in this particular process and gathering each person’s point of view on the executed activities as to compare and contrast.
This is an essential moment to diagnose whether everyone has the same view of what are the inputs, the process’ steps and the expected results.
The very first step for mapping a process is making sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to input, process, and results. If people are expecting different results or a different type of execution, they won’t possibly be able to agree on the same steps.
Let’s take a look at some process mapping benefits that get constantly overlooked:
Help everyone involved see the big picture
Process mapping helps people shift the focus from the teeny tiny details and see the big picture. People often make the mistake of focusing too much on small details that they forget to see the big picture.
Worrying about details and specifics is an important part of process mapping. It must, however, come after people have properly outlined the processes’ big elements such as the input, the general process’ steps and the output.
Seeing the process’ big picture also helps it make clear of how each person’s work impacts the overall dynamic of the process. He/she will be aware of how any delays at the stage he/she’s involved in can impact all subsequent steps.
Let everyone know how important they are
This is one of the main reasons why process mapping must be a collaborative activity. By involving each and every person in the process mapping and improvement processes you’ll empower each of them to make positive changes in your work environment.
It may sound too obvious to even mention, but people need to know they belong and that their opinion is important. The more people you involve in this process, the clearer this benefit will become.
By involving everyone, by the way, we’re talking about physical presence other than just digital communications. Getting everyone together in a room creates a sense of equality and urgency no other methods can.
Make best practices a common knowledge
By mapping and creating visual, accessible representations of your processes you’ll make information a lot easier to spread all through the company.
These visual representations also make it a lot easier for people from other departments, even the ones that aren’t directly involved with it, aware of how other departments are dealing with each particular situation.
Improve and refine your processes
When mapping a process and studying all of its steps you’ll have the perfect opportunity for inspecting each of those steps and analyzing how important each of them is,
This is yet another process mapping benefit: it helps evaluate which of the steps are really needed, which generate value, which are just wasting everyone’s time…and refine everything to optimize the execution.
Process mapping also helps identify which steps may already be (or have potential to become) bottlenecks so that you and your team can come up with ways to fight them even before they become a problem.
Make your employee onboarding more effective
It’s a lot to expect that newly arrived team members be able to understand complex process upon their arrival (or even during the first week, month, etc.).
While expecting people to learn how processes work on their own may be helpful in exercising their understanding the whole scenario, letting him/her lose too much time trying to understand a complex process is a waste of time.
Having a detailed, accurate process map makes it visually a lot easier to understand and invite these new team members to participate and provide a fresh point of view on how things are done.
Mapping and managing your processes don’t have to be hard. Using a process management tool, such as Pipefy, allows teams to map their processes on the go, creating execution standards people will always see each time they’re executing a task on said process.
Even though creating a visual map is important, having a tool that supports this map’s steps and standards on a daily basis is essential to ensure the expected quality of execution.