A process map is a useful tool that helps you visualize all the steps in a process, from the inputs to the outputs. To create an effective process map, you need a framework that will guide the creation process. You can create a process map by following the below steps:
- Identify the process: The first step is to identify the process you want to map and name it. Also, it is important to know why you want to map it. Is the process not compliant or underperforming or producing non-conforming outputs? Or perhaps you want to see if there is room for improvement (maybe add or remove a few steps).
- Build a team: Make sure that everyone who is involved in the process is part of the team.
- Brainstorm the steps involved: This step involves gathering all the information you need about the process to create the process map. This information includes all the inputs, outputs, steps, people, materials, decisions, time scales and more. The more information you have, the more the process map will mirror the real-life version it is being modeled after.
- Create a sequence of steps: In a process map, steps need to follow a sequence to help visualize the flow. So arrange the steps in a logical sequence that clearly shows how the inputs are being transformed into outputs.
- Draw a baseline process map: Use shapes and symbols (these represent all the steps and elements in the process) to draw the base outline. This will be the current state that the process is in.
- Find out what can be improved: With the baseline on hand, look at every step in the process to see if there is something that you can improve.
- Implement and measure: Once room for improvement is identified, make the necessary changes gradually while measuring the results. If you get the expected results, standardize the improvements.