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Process mapping - a basis for process improvement

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Process mapping helps represent the work processes visually and identify problem areas and opportunities for process improvement. It provides a common understanding of the entire process and specific roles and contributions of process participants.

  • Important notice: Features and functions described on this page are for Mind Pad 2, the latest version of Mind Pad was released as a new major update (actually completely new project), so information on this page will be relevant only to Mind Pad 2, which is available for download, but is not supported.

Defining and standardizing work processes

To achieve higher business results, it is essential to provide a common vision of business as a complete system. Defining and standardizing business processes helps avoid working at cross purposes, eliminate some quality control steps and reduce the cycle time. This can be used to generate an integrated process management approach for implementing more effective quality standards and continuous improvement programs.

Using process mapping to create a common vision of business system

Process mapping is a technique used for visual representation of the process, which is the basis for process reengineering. Process mapping is a technique for graphical representation of work processes in a form of a process map. The process map shows all the process associated activities, including volumes of input and output, approvals, exceptions, and cross-functional hand-offs. The basic goal of the map is to provide a unifying vision of business processes, so that participating organizations and individuals can have an understanding of their specific role in the overall system.

To create a process map, you need to identify the key process objectives and main activity steps. While collecting and analyzing information about the process, you should consider such factors as process complexity, the number of organization and individual teams involved and time and cost issues. The process map should highlight bottlenecks and delays, rework, unnecessary steps and the authority ambiguity of the process. The good map represents the process flow from the customerís point of view, showing whether each step of the process helps create a clear value for the customer.

Process map is a basic tool for process improvement

Process mapping helps clarify specific roles and contributions of the process participants and highlight opportunities for process improvement. A unifying view of the entire business system provides a framework for multiple management approaches and allows process reengineering on clear, comprehensible customer-oriented basis.

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Mind Pad in our own business  

We do create some business schemes that allows to understand better our processes (we are using process mapping technique).As we are using Mind Pad in our business, we do create some business schemes that allows to understand better our processes (we are using process mapping technique).

This is a screenshot of our process map, that in simple way describe software development and marketing process.

We used some ideas to create this scheme. 

  • "D" and "M" letters meaning "Development" and "Marketing" cycles. We used ideas that we discussed in Frame Title article. 
  • We used different links to display Investments (Red lines), Work process (Blue lines) and Results Generating (Green line). We discussed this in Using link styles article.
  • Also, we put some business vital information in text box. It's handy to have some large, informative text blocks on mind map. We wrote about creating such blocks in Text Containers article. 

 

Evaluate Mind Pad

News and featured articles about knowledge representation. Learn about mind maps, concept maps, process maps and other visualization techniques. Mind Pad is a concept mapping software. You can download fully-function 30-days evaluation version of Mind Pad: http://www.mind-pad.com/download.htm 

Please, visit ordering page for more information about purchasing Mind Pad.

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