As an exercise, process mapping is a useful way to give your business more insight into the way operations are actually done. It can help you root out inefficiencies and bottlenecks, and it shows you ways to improve. All of this has big implications for your end users and customers, who are the ones experiencing these journeys.
Which is an important thing to remember. Your processes dictate the experiences your organization creates. And while “process mapping” may call to mind flow charts and diagrams, at the heart of every process is people.
Here are some ways to approach process mapping that keep the human element front and center.
To Start Process Mapping, Simply Begin
There are tons of articles out there about the “right” way to create a new process map, and you may find some more appealing than others. But which is truly the best? Whichever one works for you.
At the start of process mapping, the most important thing is to document what you understand about your current processes in the way that you understand them. If you want to use flow-chart software? Great! Paper and pen? Totally fine! What matters is you’re capturing information about the way your current processes affect your people and customers.
Good Process Mapping Requires Good Communication
While there’s no wrong way to create your process maps, there comes a point when you need to share it with other people. Outside perspectives can help you see things you’ve missed, correct mistakes, and lead to new discoveries.
That’s where digital tools may come in handy. For example, collaborative tools like Miro can help you improve the legibility of your process map so that others can quickly understand what it means. But what about tools like Microsoft Whiteboard or Draw.io? Also great! You should use whatever feels intuitive and helps foster good communication. The goal is simply to find a system that helps turn your initial map into something that can be shared with (and understood by) your team.
Process Mapping Alone? Or Should You Work with a Partner?
If you’re new to the idea of process mapping, it can feel overwhelming. You know there are issues with the way things are done—you have the frustrating bottlenecks and bad user experiences to prove it. But mapping those processes takes a lot of time, capacity, and insight you may not necessarily have.
That’s where a partner can help—emphasis on “partner”: If you’re going to bring in assistance, it should feel collaborative. Your partner must take an interest not just in the processes but in the journeys they represent. How do they make your end users feel? What are they like for your customers? You care about this, of course, because it’s your business. But what about your partner? To truly use process maps as a tool for improvement, you want a partner who understands it’s not just about the flowchart. It’s about the human experience the chart represents.
The Result of Good Process Mapping
So how does all this turn out? For a good real-world example, look no further than the world of UX and app development. Process mapping is an invaluable tool that enables developers to map the way people use (or struggle to use) their products. By creating a visual representation of the user experience, developers can quickly identify inefficiencies, problematic design, and other issues that frustrate users and customers.
The same is true for your business. When you get an eagle’s eye view of the way your processes work, you can start taking steps to make them function better.
A more efficient future for your business could start today. Find out how