If the term process mapping is new to you, or you just want to know more about what it is, what’s involved, and how it can help your company, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the foundation of process mapping to help your business improve internal processes and achieve greater operational efficiency.
What is process mapping?
The idea of process mapping, through the use of flow process charts, was introduced to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 1921 by an engineer named Frank Bunker Gilbreth. It was further expanded on between the 1930’s and 1940’s, before a symbol system to chart the flow of information was finally adopted by the ASME in 1947.
Process mapping is a powerful business process technique that uses the symbols in the chart below, to get a visual depiction of a business activity from start to finish. This technique traces each step in a process and identifies not only what is being done, but also by whom, where, when, how and even makes it possible to uncover why. For example, process mapping can help accounting departments identify and document how they process payments, while an HR department may use it to identify how they hire candidates.
What is the goal of process mapping?
Executives might use process mapping to gain more detailed insights into all operational processes and how each may be impacting company-wide goals and even other factors like compliance. Overall, process mapping can ultimately help companies become more effective, efficient, and agile by providing a clear and comprehensive view into any or all workflows and potential problems.
Process map components
Process maps are fairly straightforward and easy to follow; it uses symbols for basic input, output, and step related components such as these key symbols, among others.