The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Process Maps

Whether you run a business or lead a team of teachers, you have a way or process for accomplishing everything that you do. But you are always looking for ways to streamline your processes for doing tasks or making them easier for others to learn. You might look at your process from time to time and look for ways to improve but can't pinpoint a place to make improvements. In the past, you've tried listing the steps in the process in order to locate areas of improvement without success. It might be a good idea to try using a process map.

What Is a Process Map?

A process map is a visualization of a particular task or process that you use. You start with the name of the process and then work your way from the large steps to the finer details of each one. By creating a process map for a particular task, you're better able to see where you can make improvements or steps you don't need.

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With process mapping, you're digging into the details of a job and not simply job titles and the hierarchy of the business. You can create a process map for every task your company or organization does on a routine basis to look for ways to save time and make improvements.

Process Map Example

A process map is an excellent way to detail specific tasks and processes that your company or organization routinely uses. While you start with the big picture, you slowly move into the fine details of what a person needs to do to complete the task. This allows you to review each step and detail to determine if you're doing the task the best way possible. Here are some uses for a process map:

  • Learning tool
  • Detailed instructions on how to complete a task
  • Streamline processes
  • Clean up any steps that waste time or delay the process
  • Decide on additional steps to improve the process

Your team or staff can use a process map to review each task or process completed within your organization.

How to Make a Process Map

Making a process map is fairly straightforward. You start with a task or process you want to map. You name the process and start listing the steps involved. With each step, you add more and more details on what the person is doing during that step. It's a good idea to add as much detail as possible.

With additional details, you might find something that's slowing the process down or even a detail that you add to other tasks to make them easier to do in the future. Almost any task or job performed in your organization can be mapped with a process map.

Process Map Software

If you're in a bind, you can probably use your everyday document and spreadsheet software, although you'll spend a lot of time adjusting the lines and columns. You'll also have a basic looking process map and need to draw the lines connecting the steps and details. It's a good idea to invest in a software program for design.

MindManager offers software that can help you create a process map that helps you identify problem areas. Your process map can have as many details attached to each step as you need without going back and moving other information around the map.

Get Started Fast with Templates!

MindManager comes pre-installed with many templates for you to choose from. To use these templates:

  1. Open MindManager
  2. Click NEW in the navigation menu
  3. Select the template you want to use
  4. A preview screen will appear. Check to if you want to use your selected template
  5. Select Create Map
  6. Customize the template for your specific project

Other Types of Maps and Charts

Conclusion

A process map can help any business or organization define a specific job and the steps involved in it. By detailing the steps, you're better able to make changes to your workflow and save time without losing quality.