A business plan lays the foundation of your organization, what it’s looking to achieve, and the possible journey to success. Once all of this has been set in stone, the framework needs to be built. With different components and areas of expertise coming into play, it's critical to ensure everyone’s on the same page and understands how to move forward.
Business process mapping does precisely that. It creates a visual representation of what needs to be done and by whom, as well as outlining deadlines and the overall business vision and mission. Keeping everyone on track and motivated can also be achieved through a proper business process mapping document.
Defining Business Process Mapping
This framework allows businesses to illustrate processes in an easy to understand manner. It lists the steps necessary to create the final product or service that will be offered to customers. Essentially, it will document everything from production to packaging, and finally, dispersal.
It also keeps track of employees and their business interactions. For example, leave requests, sick days, and performance reviews are all included.
Every aspect of the business is documented in this framework. It ensures accountability and inevitably results in success when properly executed. This is not only an important document for the company, but it's also of importance to stakeholders and compliance officers as it accurately illustrates the business’ activity and progress and promotes transparency.
Business Process Mapping vs. Business Process Modeling - What’s The Difference?
Business processes modeling looks to answer the who, what, when, how, and why business questions. While business process mapping sets out what needs to be done, business process modeling takes an in-depth look into the processes and analyzes their effectiveness.
An easy way to differentiate between the two is to look at process mapping as a representation of what is currently in place to meet business objectives. In contrast, process modeling looks at how these processes operate and interact with one another.
The Purpose Of Business Process Mapping
When it comes to project planning, managing the design or redesign of business processes needs to be appropriately recorded and set out. Business process mapping provides a strategic outline of what’s required and acts as a reliable reporting framework to track the progress.
This process challenges organizations to find ways to optimize their workflow and increase operational efficiencies. It needs to illustrate the process in a manner that’s easy to understand and follow, regardless of the team or department involved. It can even go as far as to include external resources.
Reasons To Use Business Process Mapping
In most cases, this framework is used to monitor and manage work quality throughout the process. This helps businesses become more effective and align their objectives with the organization's vision, mission, and goals. In turn, a more valuable product is produced, resulting in customer satisfaction and improved brand reputation.
Business process mapping can also be used to:
- Standardize Business Processes
- Manage Employees
- Streamline Processes
- Facilitate Interdepartmental Communication
- Ensure Compliance
Overall, it ensures that everyone understands and views the project correctly to reduce the risk of errors arising throughout the process. Different departments are able to see how they are meant to work together and track and evaluate scope, progress, and requirements.
What Does Business Process Mapping Include?
Within every project, you need to be able to list the following aspects:
- Project scope
- The intent of the project
- Clearly defined steps to follow
- Provide a platform for feedback within the organization
- Ensure accuracy at all times
- Provide metrics for auditing and reporting
- Added value by implementing improvements based on metrics
- Workflow and processing
- Create accountability through task ownership
- Align with customer-centric behaviors
- Utilize innovative technologies where available
- Reduce the risk of inefficiencies
Available Business Process Mapping Models
There are different models available to illustrate your business processes. The model utilized will be determined by what needs to be followed, achieved, and how it should be done. Plus, it will rely on the amount of detail available to populate it.
A flowchart is the first option available – with three available options within this model for executing business process mapping. Top-down shows the steps of each process and condenses it all into one single flow.
A deployment flowchart can be created to further expand on this, which includes information on the person or department responsible for fulfilling the respective steps.
The third option is the detailed flowchart, and as the name implies, it contains as much detail as possible.
A more streamlined version of a flowchart is a data flow diagram, which focuses solely on the data involved with that specific process.
Swimlane diagrams illustrated the processes taking place within a “main” process and the responsibilities related to each. State diagrams do exactly that, state the progress and status of the various components within the system. A value stream mapping model illustrates the present status and future of a given process, providing a holistic overview from start to finish.
The Relationship Between A Business Plan And Business Process Mapping
Your business plan provides a basis for a strong business process mapping framework. It's a high-level overview of your objectives that need to be fleshed out through the use of a business process management framework.
It will keep you on track and ensure that the promises made to investors and stakeholders are met. These two frameworks go hand in hand when it comes to developing your business and ensuring it has a sustainable future.
Give Yourself A Competitive Edge
Never underestimate the power of business process mapping. While your business plan should be highlighting the steps on your journey, you need more information and detail to achieve your goals and milestones.
By using both your business plan and process mapping frameworks, you can give yourself a competitive edge. A holistic overview of your business and processes is invaluable and can be the difference between commercial success and failure.