“If a process hasn’t been documented, how can you know if it’s broken?”
Why should you document your processes? Simply put, process documentation is a core function that’s needed to understand your business. Being able to identify an area of a process that can save time, money and improve effectiveness is extremely valuable to any organization. It can make all the difference between a business that operates on the verge of burnout and one that is successful and growing in a sustainable manner.
At its most basic, documenting a process is an opportunity to capture and identify the critical elements of a process often described as the 5Ws:
- What needs be done?
- Who will do it?
- Where will it be done?
- When will it be done?
- Why should it be done?
This straightforward analysis helps us understand the reasoning behind the process and recognize all the steps involved. However, documentation alone is not enough. In order to be truly useful to the business, we need to clearly communicate the flow of tasks and activities with others. Process maps do a great job of doing just that. Because humans are visual learners, we find it a lot easier to understand concepts when they are laid out in easy to follow diagrams. With process maps, we can explain even the most complex processes in a way that’s accessible to everyone. Once we can see and understand our processes, we can begin to improve them in a meaningful way.
Choosing a process mapping method that’s right for you
There is no one right method of mapping a process. In fact, the method you select for process mapping should depend on the needs of your team and your project. In most cases, a whiteboard is a great starting place for processes that are new or haven’t yet been clearly documented.
While whiteboards are extremely helpful in the early stages of mapping processes, they aren’t exactly ideal for remote collaboration. A centralized process mapping solution such as Nintex Promapp can help you empower your teams to own their processes in a truly collaborative fashion.
One of the reasons why we love Promapp, is because it allows you to make process mapping fully digital. What does that mean in practice? For starters, it makes it easy to continuously improve processes. Because the tool is centrally managed and can be accessed from anywhere, it helps to get everyone in your organization on the same page. Any stakeholder in your organization, be it a member of the process or someone who is affected by it, can access the Promapp-built process to provide feedback about any of the tasks or activities. By combining maps with an actionable feedback loop, you can continuously adjust processes in a truly agile fashion. When a process changes, the process expert and process owner approve the change and automatically push the updated map to all stakeholders. This takes the trouble of version control completely out of the equation.
Benefits of Process Mapping with Promapp
After going through process mapping with Promapp, clients we work with report at least some of these benefits:
- Improved customer experience. Accurate processes that are easy to understand ensure the best possible customer experience, no matter who is serving the customer.
- Increased efficiency and productivity. Teams that have a visual representation of a process are better at understanding how the process works. They are also quicker to identify improvements to increase efficiency and productivity.
- Simplified compliance management. Regulatory compliance becomes less tedious when processes and procedures can be easily updated and shared with external auditors.
- Improved quality and consistency. Mapping processes establishes ownership and accountability. Knowing who is responsible, empowers teams to identify and implement opportunities for improvement in their day-to-day work.
- Reduced Costs. Current, standardized processes make it easier to identify areas in your business where you’re wasting time or money, or where processes are repeated.
- Increased business agility. Driving change in your business is easier and faster when everyone has accurate, up-to-date process information at their fingertips.
ProMapp Process Mapping Demo
In this short video we demonstrate how easy it is to create a process map in ProMapp:
Interactive ProMapp Demo
You can also view the interactive demo version of this Promapp process by clicking on the image below: