Save Time When Process Mapping

Something that I've noticed when businesses are getting involved with process mapping is that they can spend an awfully long time mapping and not reaping many rewards. The insights you can gain from mapping the low level detail of a business can be incredibly useful, but the amount of effort and time required to map everything at this level can often be a waste of resources.

A different approach that can be taken is to conduct a brief top level map of the business first and then use this to highlight areas of concern. In many cases problems with a business process reside at the top level and are the result of the way the business processes link together rather than how the individual steps work.

Once the top level issues have been identified the process steps that are causing problems can be mapped in more detail. The areas that do not currently cause any significant distractions (unit costs aren't too high, quality is fine etc...) can be left alone until a time when the the resources and time are available to hone and polish those processesIn the meantime the areas that are going to deliver improvement and benefit can be worked on in the quickest and most cost effective way.

If you find your business is at risk of mapping for the sake of mapping then perhaps it is time to use the top level / selective low level approach and use your team's time more effectively.

Giles Johnston
Smartspeed Consulting Limited
Taking the frustration out of on time delivery.