What is it: Process Map is A work flow diagram which depicts the elements of a work flow often using time, people, and machine information to illustrate tasks and results. Process Maps can be used as a starting point for beginning a Value Stream Mapping exercise to find "Value-Adding" steps in a process. Process Map is a hierarchical method for displaying processes that illustrates how a product or transaction is processed. It is a visual representation of the work-flow either within a process - or an image of the whole operation. Process Mapping comprises a stream of activities that transforms a well defined input or set of inputs into a pre-defined set of outputs.
Why use it: Process Mapping is a technique for making work visible. A Process Map shows who is doing what, with whom, when and for how long. It also shows decisions that are made, the sequence of events and any wait times or delays inherent in the process. Process Maps are good for streamlining work activities and telling new people, as well as internal and external customers, "what we do around here." They also can help in the effort to reduce cycle time, avoid rework, eliminate some inspections or quality control steps, and prevent errors.
Where to use it: As a Process Map can be a combination of people, equipment, methods, materials and environment that produces output, - a given product or service it can then be used for any aspect of a business.
When to use it: Process Mapping refers to activities involved in defining exactly what a business entity does, who is responsible, to what standard a process should be completed and how the success of a business process can be determined. Once this is done, there can be no uncertainty as to the requirements of every internal business process.
How to use it: A Process Map is method for depicting a process, material or information flow in a diagrammatic form Defines key process input and outputs or a logical step by step representation of business activities showing key inputs/outputs. Hence, a process diagram is usually constructed as bases:
Once a Process Map is completed, the team that put it together will analyze it. There has probably never been a process map developed where someone has not said, "Do we still do that?" or "Why does X happen there?" or "Why are we doing it that way?" or "I did not realize...."
The analysis is no more than considering the process activities and flow by:
A. Looking at each process step for:
B: Looking at each decision for:
C: Looking at each rework loop for:
D: Using the customer's point of view
Important Notes: A good Process Map should allow people unfamiliar with the process to understand the interaction of causes during the work-flow. ISO 9001:2000 stresses the importance to identify, implement, manage & continually improve the effectiveness of the processes in order to achieve the company objectives.