Why Workflow Process Mapping Is So Important

Workflow Process Mapping

Workflow mapping, or workflow process mapping, is a visual representation of tasks or steps performed in a sequential manner to achieve a specific objective. For example, inputting vendor data for registration is a business process with specific required steps that can be mapped.

The objective of mapping workflow processes is to create a standardized structure that can be visualized so we can easily check the existence of inefficient efforts allowing you to either optimize or eliminate them.

With a workflow mapping, we can easily visualize the whole business process from start to finish with all the tasks in-between. This way, we can easily check who is responsible for which process, allowing anyone to understand what others are currently doing and how each team member communicates with each other.

This guide will teach how we can implement workflow process mapping that improves efficiency, starting with some ground rules.

Ground Rules in Implementing Workflow Mapping

When mapping a business process workflow, there are generally five fundamental principles we should adhere at all times:

  • Ensuring an open and constructive environment for everyone involved.
  • Focusing on the business process, not the people involved.
  • For any deviation/variation of the process, check thoroughly whether this is a one-time occurrence or a regular variation.
  • Workflow process mapping maps the process we currently have and not the one we are designing for the future. The objective is to find flaws and inefficiencies in the process and improve them.
  • Workflow mapping is not a one-time process, but a continuous process for gradual improvements.

How Can Workflow Mapping Improve Efficiency

Mapping your workflow process, as discussed, would provide an easier way for your business to visualize the business process, find potential flaws, and optimize the process.

To summarize, here are some key benefits in mapping your workflow process:

  • Visualization=Better Clarity

Us humans are visual nature, and so we can understand visual ideas 60,000 better than text. Workflow process mapping would provide clarity to the business process that we wouldn’t get otherwise: telling us what’s coming next and giving us an overview of the whole process to reduce compliance risks and improve efficiency.

Everyone involved in the process can understand their roles, requirements, available resources, and the process’s objective.

  • Detect Redundancies

Workflow process mapping can help us detect redundancies, production waste, and other inefficiencies in the business process. Some tasks might have unnecessary extra steps and obstacles that may not be as obvious before you put the workflow into a visual form.

  • Transparency and Accountability

With proper workflow process mapping, we can structure the whole process and clearly define roles for everyone involved. So, everyone can know who is working on which task and check each other’s progress. This will produce better transparency for the whole project, which can help eliminate conflicts and encourage everyone to be productive.

  • Discover Optional Flows

There might be other routes you can take, which might be more efficient than the original flow. You can see these optional routes clearly when the workflow process has been visualized.

  • Training New Team members

A workflow process map can significantly help train new employees about your existing business process by simulating the workflow, help them visualize the best practices, and comply with existing policies.

Business process mapping can also help clarify the project’s KPIs, resources involved in the process, associated risks in the process, the company’s department that benefits from the process, and more.

Basic Principles of Workflow Process Mapping

While workflow mapping might significantly vary depending on the business process and the team executing the process, all workflow process mapping should be done to help:

  • Define roles to make it clear who executes each task in the process
  • Properly structure the tasks that must occur in the business process
  • Define rules and policies employed in the process
  • To measure the results of the business process and different elements in it
  • Identify flaws and inefficiencies to analyze the possibility of improving the business processes
  • Detail the flow/sequence of the tasks in the process precisely
  • Obtain a process visualization to allow different levels of clarity from management to operational team

The workflow mapping document should be used to communicate about the business process to every possible party

How To Implement Workflow Process Mapping

  • Choosing The Right Platform

While you can technically use pen and paper to map your workflow process, ideally, you’d need workflow automation software by Aproove. It allows you to create flowcharts, assign roles, add actions, and API callbacks to the workflow as required by the process.

You simply input your workflow in the software, and Aproove will automatically ensure its execution.

  • Prioritize The Process That Should Be Mapped

The thing is, you don’t have to map every single business process you have, which might not be financially feasible, after all.

Instead, sort these processes by importance: which processes have the most impact on your business’s well-being. And at the same time, you might also want to prioritize processes with visible issues/flaws.

Critical business processes with issues/underperforming should stay at the top of your priority list. Then, refer back to the workflow mapping process principles discussed above to start your mapping process.

  • Gather Information and Test Everything

Collect information from all involved in the process and the related stakeholders before you map the business process. And, after the workflow mapping is done, you can collect feedback again from these people.

The main idea here is to ensure the workflow process mapping is clear and accurate.

Test the whole process and involve all the workflow participants to ensure the process works as intended. Even if the workflow map looks good, you might find it too time-insensitive or not performing as intended in reality.

When testing the workflow, apply the metrics that have been defined to evaluate the process’s success. You can then identify flaws, redundancies, bottlenecks to find tasks that can be further optimized to improve the business process as a whole.

If necessary, eliminate steps that aren’t adding real value to the workflow. Remember, in a business process, less is more, and the more streamlined the process is, the better.

End Words

Proper visualization of how a business process works allow you to take a clear and objective look at the business process, which will enable you to optimize the business process and improve its efficiency.

With the right workflow management software like Aproove, you can visualize your workflow process and communicate and collaborate within the same platform to further improve its efficiency.