Process mapping is gaining in popularity as a way of identifying opportunities for improvement but is it a valid method for describing how the business achieves its objectives? Organizations are often described by the functions they carry out so when it comes to identifying their processes it is automatically assumed that there will be some alignment with the organization charts or the organization's procedures.
If your management team has difficulty answering the questions below, it might be that your process maps are not effective communicators of process attributes.
Process mapping is often thought of a graphical method of describing the way product or information passes through an organization as work is done upon it. True, one obtains a kind of map from this approach, but a map is not the territory and its the territory that needs to be described if one is to manage the organization's processes effectively. Process mapping is but one aspect of effective process management.
If you were to examine the process maps you have created for your organization would you find?
What the activity more than likely produces is a description of the transactions executed in the organization. Now there is merit in mapping the transactions because in doing so you are likely to find inefficiencies but is this the only reason for mapping processes?
If you were to ask your management team what the process maps achieved, would they:
More information about process mapping can be found in Chapters 9 and 16 of the ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook 7E
© Transition Support Last edit 20/03/2018
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