Process Mapping for Business Analysts

Get Started with Process Mapping

Define process mapping. Describe the purpose of process mapping. Describe the benefits of process mapping.
  • What is Process Mapping?
    • Process mapping creates visual representations of business processes
    • Includes any activity that defines what a business does, who is responsible for what, how standard business processes are completed, and how success is measured
    • Purpose is to show the relationships between the steps and the inputs of a business to establish a clear, consistent, concise result
    • It takes a specific objective and compares it with the organization’s overall objectives to make sure their process are aligned with the company’s values and capabilities
    • Clear a detailed business process map shows whether improvements can be made to make the process more efficient

  • Purpose of Business Process Mapping
    • Most common reason companies need a new or improved business process map is to foster a formal approach to quality management
    • Process maps help you look at existing workflows in a new way and help you focus on strategic planning
  • Creating a Process Map
    • Create a new diagram in a way that can be understood by anyone in any business unit
    • Process maps show end-to-end activities, inputs such as materials or labor, and the link between each step
    • Can cut across multiple departments and even external partners
    • End goal of process mapping is to be more effective
    • If company objectives are measured equally and compared across business groups, you can optimize any company’s operations
  • Benefits of Process Mapping
    • Makes understanding and communicating the process much easier among the teams, stakeholders, or customers
    • Identifies flaws in the process and where improvements should be made
      • Helps reduce costs, improve team performance, and increase employee satisfaction

  • Process mapping is a framework used to create visual representations of work processes
  • Process mapping helps identify flaws in a business process and where improvements should be made

Speak the Process Mapping Language

Identify the common approach for creating process maps. Identify other types of process-related diagrams.
  • Business Process Mapping Notation
    • Easily understood process maps can replace thousands of words
    • Several ways that business processes have been documented:
      • Business process map, flow diagrams, flowcharting, UML diagrams, value stream maps, SIPOC
    • UPN (Universal Process Notation) - Simpler and more engaging diagramming notation has been designed to be easily understood by all stakeholders and viewed online
      • Not proprietary to any company and doesn’t require specialized software
      • Proven over the last 20 years across many business types
      • Salesforce’s preferred method
    • Process maps are hierarchies of diagrams, meaning you can drill down to get more detail
      • No limit to the number of levels you can go down
    • Process maps are version controlled at a diagram level
      • Process map is the operational definition of the business and it will evolve at different cadences:
        • Lower level diagrams change more frequently driven by grass roots improvements
        • Major innovation is driven top down
    • 5 principles of UPN:
      1. No more than 8-10 activity boxes on a screen
      2. Drill down from an activity box to a lower level to describe the detail
      3. Attach supporting information to an activity box
      4. View and edit controlled by access rights
      5. Version control and history of changes at a diagram level

Other Process Diagrams

  • Other types of diagrams may be useful to understand the process at a high level and can be used alongside UPN
  • UPN enables you to drill into enough detail to understand the process so you can streamline it, drive out waste, and identify business requirements

  • Capability Model: list out high level process areas, which is useful for scoping out the specific area you are mapping and showing the context of the overall business

  • Detailed Process Map: flowchart that shows a drill-down version of a process that contains all the details of the process and subsequent steps

  • SIPOC: shows the key elements of a process such as Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers. Good when you want to identify the key points in a process as a way to prepare for a more detailed map, and for scoping complex processes.

  • Value Stream Map: used to visualize flow of material/information needed to bring a product to the customer
    • Use this map to record measurements of inputs and outputs of process steps or identify waste within and between processes
    • Also use this map to document, analyze, and improve the flow of information/material to gain insight into decision making and process flows

  • Principle of UPN: No more than 8-10 activity boxes on a screen
  • Hierarchy of a detailed process map: core process, sub process, sub sub process

Use Process Mapping Tools and Software

Identify business process mapping tools and software. Describe the steps for creating a simple process map. Understand best practices for process mapping.
  • Business Process Mapping: Tools and Software
    • May make sense to purchase process mapping software depending on your long-term needs and the size of your business
    • Short list of important features:
      • Drag-and-drop interface
      • Formatting capabilities
      • Security and versioning
      • Publishing and sharing capabilities
      • Intuitive design
  • Business Process Mapping Steps
    • Main high-level steps to create a process map:
      1. Identify the process you need in a map
      2. Create a winning team - should include members who manage the process and can provide input about the process
      3. Gather all necessary information:
        • Where does the process begin and end?
        • What steps need to be taken?
        • What are inputs and outputs?
        • Who needs to do what and when do they do it?
      4. Develop the process map - focus specifically on the order of the steps
      5. Analyze the process map - try to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks
      6. Develop new, better steps - begin by implementing any improvements to the process on a small scale
      7. Manage the process - monitor the new, improved process to see whether it needs further optimization
  • Best Practices of Process Mapping
    • Map the right types of processes: decision-making processes may not be the best place to start
    • Be clear about the focus: first nail down the start and endpoints to limit the project and map
    • Get someone skilled: consider outside help if you do not have someone trained in mapping
    • Validate your maps: review them with stakeholders after drawing them to make sure they are correct
    • Don’t fix your processes until they are mapped: define your “as-is” state completely so you have an accurate baseline to make changes from
    • Build the right team: people who use the processes are the experts
    • Keep it simple: this way, it will be easier for everyone to follow and give feedback if something needs to be adjusted
    • Work with your stakeholders: Include all key stakeholders as soon as possible

  • The first step of a process mapping exercise is identifying the process to map, not choosing the type of process map