Business Process Mapping - What's The Hype?

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Growth and changes in your business can bring about a loss in efficiency and knowledge. Business Process Mapping is a valuable activity that can help to improve your operational processes and set your business up for success.

What is Business Process Mapping?

Over time, businesses grow and mature, staff come and go and with these changes, efficiencies decrease and knowledge can be lost.  

With a loss of knowledge, you may begin to find that projects exceed budget and miss target, or that you are no longer sure who is accountable for certain parts of a process. These bottlenecks in a business can be severely detrimental to your company’s bottom line, customer satisfaction and ultimately brand reputation.  

Process Mapping or BPM is an important operational foundation to make visible where issues can occur, time is being wasted or where changes can be made to improve the way something is done. By formally mapping out processes you not only alleviate businesses stresses but ultimately set your enterprise up for success. 

How To Build a Business Process Map in Five Steps 

We’ve developed a five-step methodology to help you get started in mapping your current processes and improve existing operations – meaning that in times of change – your company has a tangible record to keep you on track for success.  

1. Identify The Issue

What issues are you seeing daily in your business? It could be that jobs are taking too long, you don’t have enough resources in some areas but too many in others, there may be limited accountability for certain parts of your business processes, paperwork may be getting misplaced at critical stages where it is required – or you may find you have too much paperwork to begin with! 

 Issues will vary in any business but are generally easy to identify when you take the time to consider recurring frustrations, and where these frustrations stem from.   

2. Current Process

To amend or address a current process that is causing business bottlenecks or inefficacies, you need to analyse it from beginning to end to identify with certainty where the issue is occurring and document it.   

Meet with each person involved in that process and record their tasks and known responsibilities, including timeframes. Then, using information provided by employees and your existing knowledge of the current process, create workflows.  

What you will likely see in your workflow is that where processes touch many departments and people there will be: 

  • Failure to capture all details  
  • Lack of accountability  
  • Unnecessary steps 
  • Double handling 
  • Missed opportunity for continuous improvement 

3. Solution Design

During this phase you begin to address the issues that have been identified during stage 1 and 2, making recommendations for improvement. 

Change should happen in iterations. Start by looking at small improvements that can be made such as addressing team responsibilities, accountabilities, deadlines and reporting. It could be that by clearly documenting the process and how work gets done there is instant improvement, elimination of impediments and further opportunity for innovation. 

The second phase of solution design is around digitisation and looking at software to streamline and automate processes going forward, allowing for greater transparency and real-time accountability.  

4. Measurement

Create a matrix to track how the changes are impacting the business monthly. Look at turnaround times on jobs, error rates and customer satisfaction. Share these statistics with your staff for transparency. Recognise and reward staff for contributing to positive change when it is seen. 

5. Continual Improvement

Business processes are not simply a case of ‘set and forget’. Businesses evolve, new technology becomes available and customers’ needs change. Business processes should continually be tweaked to make sure everyone is working at their optimum.  

To ensure this is the case, processes should be reviewed on at least an annual basis to make sure they are still suitable to your business at its current stage. 

The Key to BPM Project Success

Sometimes having a third party assess your business process mapping strategy can be a real advantage bringing a fresh set of eyes and an unbiased, non-emotional approach to the auditing of where issues are stemming from, along with best practice examples from leading businesses in your industry. 

Our Perth business process management specialists specialise in the mid-market industrial, mining and technology space, bringing years of experience and insight to the documentation of workflows and issues resolution. Our goal is to enable your organisation to access critical tools and approaches that will bring consistency and control to your process management as well as identify opportunity to better allocate resources and knowledge to the areas of your business that will benefit the most.  

Gilligan Group’s business process transformation team facilitates broader thinking to your performance problems helping you deliver greater value to all stakeholders.

Contact our BPM specialist today

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