5 Business Process Mapping Best Practices to Effectively Visualize Work Processes

Updated on: 01 December 2022 | 5 min read

Businesses don’t just crop up overnight. Every objective is achieved through systematic processes.

Business process modeling lets everyone from the heads of departments to concerned staff figure out the why, what, where and when of these processes. Process maps take all the data from here and present it visually.

The best establishments use business process maps to create visual representations of the inputs and steps that go into a service or end product. It’s easy to see why.

A process map is a visual representation of the concise sequence of tasks that are needed to bring a service or product from its conception to completion. A simplified, easy to understand representation of the processes to be resolved keeps everyone onboard aware of what needs to be done and what is expected of them to ensure it.

There are also a lot of misconceptions regarding business process mapping (BPM). A rundown of the key business process mapping best practices you need to know can help you use it more effectively to improve how you work.

Understand the Process Before the Changes

Understand the process - Business process mapping best practices

No project is set in stone and will require modifications down the road. However, when creating a business process map, it is easy to get ahead of yourself and think of implementing possible changes before the tasks required for them even get off the ground.

If we wish to change something, we must understand it first. To do this in a process map, keep these thoughts in mind:

What is the process type? : The design of your business process map depends on the type of process it is for. Is it a management process like human resource management or organizational?

Who is in it? BPMs simplify and visualize complex tasks such as those that involve a lot of employees. Knowing who these people are can help define their responsibilities.

What are the tasks required? It’s not enough to know which tasks need to be executed. Also, determine their sequence to streamline them.

Goals Need to be Defined Beforehand

Business process mapping helps define goals - Business process mapping best practices

This kind of goes without saying. What is it that you want your business processes to achieve? Is it to solve a problem, train employees, create a product or ensure that it gets to a client?

To make the most of your BPM strategy, focus on goals by asking yourself:

What are the processes? To identify the relationship between the processes in your business process map, you need to identify what they are. For example, a goal of a supply chain process can be to expedite urgent deliveries.

Which processes should you map? Some goals have too many tasks and involve interactions with a lot of people. Taking a sequential approach to task management ensures that the tasks in your business process map are completed in a timely manner. But not all. Keeping simple tasks out of your map will keep it clutter free.

Understand that It is a Team Effort

Team Effort - Business process mapping best practices

Creating a business process map is one thing. Making changes in it, on the other hand, should be a team effort.

Implementing changes in it without thinking about the limitations and requirements of your team is a recipe for disaster. They need to be communicated, discussed and the final decisions need to be incorporated in the map.

There is a simple reason for this. The best way to keep employees engaged in a business process is to define their role in it, address and try to resolve any problems that might prevent them from carrying out their tasks efficiently.

For a business process model to be truly effective, it must acknowledge the unique challenges and streamline the tasks set out.

Focus on Tasks that Produce Results

Business process mapping helps you focus - Business process mapping best practices

The purpose of BPM is to map out tasks that need to be executed. However, while these tasks are no less important, the bottom line is to produce results.

Unfortunately, we get so focused on completing processes to the tee that we fail to consider whether they will actually bring desired results.

In other words, in a bid to create the perfect process map, we oftentimes forget why we are process mapping in the first place. To clear this up, focus on objectives and gear tasks in ways that makes achieving them easier for all parties involved. For example, ask yourself questions like:

What are the results that you are looking for?

What is it that you are trying to achieve and what are the tasks required for it?

Don’t Forget Business Process Mapping Best Practices

Don’t forget best practices - Business process mapping best practices

This is a very good chance that the objectives you want to achieve with your process maps have been achieved by someone else before. When starting out with business process mapping, following BPM best practices come in handy.

For example, a BPM best practice regarding process documentation is to not deviate from the value chain which is everything that contributes to the delivery of a product for instance. The chain should be represented in a way that clearly illustrates the products and the processes required to execute their delivery.

Wrapping Up on Business Process Mapping

Every business objective needs to follow a process to ensure that it is executed in a timely manner. Business process mapping helps you understand all the processes involved in a project and achieve them with ease. Follow these business process mapping best practices to design effective work flows.

Author Bio

Farheen Shahzeb is a digital marketing expert and content strategist at Cygnis Media, an app development company that specializes in business intelligence (BI) software, enterprise web and mobile applications. An avid writer and researcher, she loves catching up on the latest trends and releases in BI tech.

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