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7 Fundamentals Of Process Mapping

Business Enterprise Mapping (BEM) has been using the 7 fundamentals of process mapping in organizations of all types for over 25 years.  Our mission is to challenge the way you think about work by partnering with employees to clearly understand the workflows delivering value to your customer; break down barriers that get in the way of successful outcomes; find, organize, and analyze improvement opportunities; and design effective and efficient workflows to meet organizational goals. 


The 7 Fundamentals of Process Mapping.



1. Scope the process.

A business process is an organized series of tasks, events and decisions that receives a product or service (the input) from a supplier, adds value to that product or service through a transformation (the process), and then delivers a more valuable product or service (the output) to a customer.  We know from experience that problems discovered in a process are rarely caused by that same process.  Mapping multiple processes together within a business system allows the analyst to assess connectivity and cause and effect relationships across a broader value stream.



2. Find the right team.

Business mapping is best executed by involving those who do the work to define and improve their work. Our approach, the Perigon Method, actively involves employees at all levels of the organization in problem solving workshops, capturing employee input, solutions and feedback.  High quality Process Owners are most essential to the successful study of a business process and its improvement.



3. Pick a mapping tool.

Of course, at Business Enterprise Mapping we utilize our own Perigon Method.   The Perigon Method engages staff to deliver rapid insights into organizational opportunities and streamline workflow for substantially improved execution.  It creates viral engagement among employees, as improvements spread rapidly throughout the organization.  The important point is to utilze a consistent mapping tool such that the results will be consistent across the organization, providing a valuable tamplate for understanding organization workflows.



4. Define the process.

Process maps should be created through a grooming process that builds upon previous learnings to ultimately deliver the mapped process.  We achieve this state through a series of 1-2 hour workshops.  An 80-90% complete current state process map can be built within about 4-5 hours.



5. Establish connectivity.

Establishing process alignment should be an essential element of process mapping.  BEM conducts a System Alignment Workshop on every Business System mapped where we bring Process Owners together to evaluate the customer-supplier relationships within a value stream.This leads Process Owners to find the gaps in connectivity where the greatest opportunities lay.



6. Perform process analysis.

Business process analysis uses various tools and methodologies to look at processes to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.  Successful process analysis does not have to be complex to be valuable. Basic Business process analysis involves assessing the value and time of process tasks and the waste created by process production.  In particular, a Customer Value Analysis yields insights into customer relationships. 



7. Diagnose the opportunities.

While building the Perigon Map, BEM identifies Red Clouds, which are the problems and improvement opportunities identified by process users.   As we talk to employees about their work, we typically find between 25 and 50 – sometimes as many as 100 – opportunities for process improvement.  We look for four different sources of organization opportunities.

Process definition. The way we’ve always done it. Sometimes a process is in place just because it’s the way it’s always been done. No one has reviewed or questioned the work. These typically include legacy problems that are considered “just the way we do business,” generally unsolvable and mostly overlooked.

Process analysis. Would the customer pay for it?  Highlights opportunities to simplify, streamline, and remove non-value added tasks from the process.

Discovery. What you find when you measure. Uncovers opportunities while measuring or assessing the process or product. When we begin working with most new clients, few process characteristics are being measured or monitored.

Feedback. How did we do?  Generates opportunities through customer feedback, failure, or complaint. While the majority of companies have a customer feedback system, few do much in the way of analyzing, categorizing and prioritizing the many opportunities created by that feedback.



Process mapping for foundational improvement

Process mapping provides ongoing significant tangible benefits, including cost savings, increased productivity, revenue growth, improved quality, and greater customer value.  Reliable and capable business processes make the execution of a leader’s intention possible. Knowing how business processes perform provides a significant contribution to the creation of customer value and competitive advantage.   

By implementing the 7 fundamentals of process mapping, the organization

1. Defines efficient, and effective business processes.

2. Engages employees to understand, manage and improve processes.

3. Develops excellent customer and supplier understanding.

4. Delivers immediate results.





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