Unlocking Opportunities with Business Process Mapping

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Effective processes make the foundation for successful businesses. Well-defined processes enable businesses to consistently produce value and scale up and grow. 

While ad-hoc processes may work in the early days of a business, it will be difficult for managers to produce results and create value for the clients and the organization. They may result in missed deadlines, low transparency within the organization, and reduced accountability among the team. 

While it may take a lot of resources to build robust processes, in the long run, it will help make the business more efficient and easier to manage. Business process mapping is a technique that can help entrepreneurs and managers get better control over their processes and make their businesses more efficient. 

What is business process mapping?

Business process mapping is a powerful tool used for business process management in which the entire process is depicted visually from the start to the end. 

There are many different approaches to business process mapping, but generally, a process map depicts the tasks involved, the task owners carrying out the task, and the order in which the tasks are executed. Some business process maps also define when a task can be marked complete and even the standards to execute it. 

For instance, if you’re mapping an employee onboarding process, the tasks may be adding the employee to the digital workplace, issuing ID cards for them, setting them up with the right hardware, and others. The process maps will define the order to perform them as well as the person responsible for it. In some cases, the name of the specific person may be mentioned while in others, the process map may specify how the task will be assigned to someone. 

Business process mapping and business process modeling are similar to each other, except the latter is done with software. Both of them play a huge role in business process management

The goal of a business process map is to help the organization understand the process and get more visibility into it. As a business grows, more people will be involved in its daily operations and processes and soon it may be difficult for everyone to understand the different tasks, responsibilities, and how they’re connected with each other. 

By mapping out the different processes, managers and employees can understand how the organization functions and how value creation happens. 

What are the benefits of business process mapping?

Besides improving transparency within an organization, there are many benefits to business process mapping. Here are a few of them:

  • Business process mapping helps improve the processes

  • It can help train employees effectively

  • Business process mapping helps streamline regulatory compliance for organizations

  • It helps employees have better clarity on their roles

  • Business process mapping helps the organization deliver consistent value to their customers 

  • Process mapping can help businesses automate their processes

Business process mapping helps improve the entire process

By mapping out the business processes, managers can easily identify bottlenecks, unnecessary redundancies, and other inefficiencies. If a process is facing regular delays or is not producing consistent results, managers can create a process map, inspect the process flowchart and easily figure out what’s working and what is not. Process mapping plays a huge role in business process improvement.

It can help train employees effectively

When there are clear process maps, it’s easy to train the employees about their roles and duties. Managers can use a process map to show how a process and the individual tasks within them are executed. It’s also easier to train the employees when there are standardized and well-defined processes, instead of ad-hoc processes carried out as and when needed. 

Business process mapping helps streamline regulatory compliance for organizations

Government agencies require organizations to have clearly defined and documented processes, particularly in tightly regulated industries. Organizations that offer accreditations also require businesses to have documentation for every process. Bu

siness process mapping helps companies streamline audits and surveys from these organizations. 

It helps employees have better clarity on their roles

With business process maps, employees have a clearer picture of what they are expected to do. Even if they’ve just joined the organization, they can land on their feet running with process maps. 

Business process mapping helps the organization delivers consistent value to their customers 

Without clearly defined processes, organizations will struggle to maintain the quality of their output and deliverables. Customers may face delays and poor quality of work, and in the long run, it can affect their reputation. Business process mapping helps organizations deliver consistently and efficiently. 

Process mapping can help businesses automate their processes

Many organizations are investing in business process automation to help employees focus on more important tasks. Business process automation can help organizations deliver consistent value with fewer resources and work with a larger client base. Business process mapping can help organizations get started with BPA.  

What are the different techniques for / types of business process mapping?

Over the years, businesses and management professionals have come up with different types of process mapping techniques. They use different types of business process mapping symbols or have different approaches to depict business activities. Here are a few of them: 

Basic flow chart

A flowchart is the simplest and the most commonly used form of business process map. It uses a combination of arrows and symbols to show the tasks in sequential order. 

Besides the arrows, there are around thirty or so symbols used in a flow chart. For instance, a rectangle is used to show an activity or a step, while arrows are used to show how different steps are connected with each other and the order in which they’re performed. 

The best part about a basic flow chart is even people who have had no training can easily understand the process. Even if a person doesn’t understand all the symbols, they can get a fairly good grasp of the flow chart. 

Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN)

Business Process Modeling Notation is essentially a set of symbols used to describe a business process. BPMN offers organizations a consistent way of depicting process maps. 

Since these symbols are standardized and consistent, anyone can take a look at the process map and easily understand the process. BPMN can help businesses and organizations communicate easily with each other. If a company is working with a consultant or a regulatory organization, it can easily showcase its processes with the help of BPMN. 

Value Stream Map

Value stream maps are commonly used to deliver a product or service to the customer. It depicts all the activities involved in collecting the materials and information, producing the deliverables, and getting them to the customer. 

A value stream map specifies the time spent at each step, the volume of materials consumed, and the number of people involved in each step. They are commonly used in process mapping in lean manufacturing environments to reduce or eliminate waste in every step in the value stream.  

Data flow diagram

Data flow diagrams, as the name suggests, depict the flow of data from one step to another within a process. A data flow diagram depicts inputs, outputs, the functions in between them, the flow of data, data storage or warehouse, and other information. 


SIPOC stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers. SIPOC is different from most other process maps in that there are no arrows or lines showing the order in which different activities may be carried out. 

A SIPOC analysis uses five columns — one for Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers — and lists them down. SIPOC analysis is used to identify the key process elements and understand the scope of process mapping. 

How to map business processes?

Identify the process you want to map

If you’re planning to map out all of your business processes, it may be best to start from the smallest or the least complicated. In fact, it may be a good idea to identify all the current processes within your organization and go from the least complicated to the most complex processes. 

You can also limit the mapping to just the processes you want to improve. In that case, you can make a list of processes that can be improved and start from the least complicated of them. 

Communicate with all the stakeholders of the process

People who are part of the process can help you identify inefficiencies and improvements. Even if they’re not involved with the entire process, they may provide insights into the tasks they’re in charge of. They’ll be able to give you a picture of common causes of delays, risk factors associated with the process, and may even have some ideas on how they can improve the process. 

If the process has not been mapped previously, you’ll need all the inputs from the stakeholders to create the process map. 

List out all the elements in the process

A SIPOC analysis may be useful in this stage. List out all the processes, the stakeholders involved, the inputs and outputs, different suppliers, and other factors. At this stage, you can also define standards for different tasks as well as the time and resources they may take. 

Figure out the sequence of the activities and how all the elements are connected to each other

This is where you start to figure out what the process actually looks like. Write down the specific order of the tasks and how they follow one another. At this stage, if you notice any inefficiencies or wastage of resources, you can explore how to improve them. 

Draw the process map

Once you have all the information you need, the next step is to actually create the map. Ensure that you choose the type of map best suited to your needs. A BPMN map would be useful for communication across organizations, but a basic flow chart may be enough if it’s just for internal use or for short-term projects. 

Identify any inefficiencies or unnecessary redundancies

Once you have the process map, the next step is to look for inefficiencies or unnecessary wastage of resources within the process. Consulting with your team or stakeholders can help you a lot in this stage. 

Iterate the map

Process maps are meant to be dynamic and ever-evolving. As the organization grows, its needs and therefore its processes will change. The process maps must be iterated accordingly to keep them relevant. Continuous improvement is necessary to keep the organization agile and ready to tackle the changing market environment.

Best practices for business process mapping

Understand the goals before mapping the process

Before mapping the process, understand the goals of the process as well as that of mapping it. 

Understanding why a process is executed and what the organization wants to achieve with it will help you optimize it well. Understanding the goals of mapping the process will help you decide the right tools and techniques for mapping. 

Collect all the information before you begin 

Before you begin mapping, make sure you have all the information about the process. Ensure you speak with your team, the people associated with the process, and get their inputs and concerns. 

This can help you prevent mistakes and reworks. 

Empower the team to use the process maps

Process maps are not to be made and just lying about. They’re meant to be put to use for training, audits, process improvements, and more. Make sure that your employees have access to the process maps and that know how to read and use them. 

Introduce automation where applicable

Process automation can help businesses make their activities more faster and efficient. It can help employees reduce their workload and focus on more important tasks. It can also help improve compliance and quality control within the organization. Business process automation can help organizations reduce their cost of operations and improve their reputations in the long run. 

Iterate continuously

Organizations are continuously growing and evolving and the business processes will have to be adapted accordingly. The business process maps must reflect these changes so as to remain useful. Process maps are mostly used as a reference to quickly understand the processes and workflows within the organization and if they’re not regularly updated, they won’t be useful. 

Take your business processes to the next level with Cadynce

Cadynce is a no-code business improvement platform designed to help business automate their operations with little to no technical skills. With Cadynce, businesses can ensure that their employees can focus on the big picture and leave the nitty gritties to the automation platform. It can also help business remain compliant to industry regulations and ensure consistent and high quality of service delivery. 

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