Mapping your process
February 11, 2014 Leave a comment
As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, process mapping is very important. Their are many reasons to map your process to the step-by-step (I have never liked talking about mapping at a “level”–just map the steps.
1. Take out a pad of paper. Yes, we’re going old school here.
2. Determine what starts and write it down. If this is a process that you do over and over, then break out the startup procedure as a separate one time process. For example, maybe you have to run a specific workflow program and once it’s opened and you’re logged in, you work out of it. That startup procedure is actually a deprecate process done at the beginning of work on the key process–map it separately.
2. Write down every single step on your paper, one line at a time. If you have to open computer files, write down where they are located. Take screen shots if you are using software or opening programs.
3. Group steps into an action. For example, you might need to “Run Operations Report,” but the steps start with opening the reporting tool, getting to the appropriate report, selecting the parameters for the report, running the report, and saving the report to a specific directory with a specific name. This activity, “Run Operations Report,” becomes a process step and how you do it are the steps you listed.
4. If at any point in your process, you have to determine what something is or if it’s this way or that, that is a decision. On a process map, decisions become diamonds–what I call, “The Dreaded Decision Diamond.” These become exceptions in your process–things that work differently. Usually they are based on defects in something your received to work on. They stop your flow of thought and make you do something different–not normal. Make sure you account for all of these what if situations in your written process and show each other process as a separate process.
5. Determine the stop of the process–when the work is done. Starts and stops are ovals on a process map. Walk through and combine activities into process steps and decision diamonds and type it all up in an outline format.
6. Now find someone with the software to put it on an actual process map and store it. The cola map and underlying process should be on your desk for you to refer to as often as needed.
It is really just that simple.