Workflow mapping is the process of visually representing the steps involved in completing a task or workflow. It can help you to identify and fix bottlenecks, maximize efficiency and save time.
Workflow mapping is a valuable tool for visualizing and understanding workflows in your business. Without workflow process mapping, you might not be able to identify areas where the process slows down or becomes inefficient.
With workflow mapping, you can actually visualize a task or a workflow and see how many steps are involved as well as how long each step takes. You can then use this information to fix bottlenecks in the workflow (areas where tasks slow down) which will allow you to maximize efficiency and save time.
In order for your business to run more efficiently, consider creating flow charts that visually represent workflows within your company from start to finish so everyone who works on the project can understand how their role contributes to the bigger picture.
What is the difference between process mapping and workflow mapping?
Process mapping is…
Business process mapping is the technique of creating a diagram or model of the steps involved in completing a specific task or process within a business.
Workflow mapping is…
Workflow mapping, on the other hand, is the visualization of the number of steps involved in completing a process as well as how long it takes to complete those steps.
Process maps + Workflow process mapping = Process improvement!
When you have a workflow mapping process in place, it is then possible to see your business from a bird’s eye view and work on improving your business processes and making your business more efficient by streamlining or shortening certain steps.
When you create a workflow map for one process, you can then compare that workflow to another and be able to identify the difference between the two and where they might differ.
Benefits of using process mapping and workflow mapping together
Business process mapping and workflow mapping may be useful for small companies when used together. Workflow mapping can assist you in visualizing and comprehending your company’s workflows, while business process mapping can help you find and repair bottlenecks.
How to create a workflow map
Here are some tips for creating a workflow map:
- Start by outlining the steps involved in completing a process.
- Draw a diagram representing the steps involved in the process.
- Label each step and indicate how long it takes to complete that step.
- Use colors and symbols to help illustrate the flow of the process.
- Label any potential bottlenecks in the process.
- Review and revise your workflow map as needed.
By creating workflow maps, you can show the different steps involved in getting orders shipped out to customers. You can also identify your process bottlenecks (where workflows slow down or stop).
The benefits of workflow mapping for small businesses
Workflow mapping is a valuable tool for small businesses because it can help them identify and fix bottlenecks, maximize efficiency and save time. By creating workflow maps, you can show the different steps involved in getting orders shipped out to customers.
You can identify your process bottlenecks (where workflows slow down or stop). Workflow mapping is important because it can help small businesses improve their operations, making them more efficient and productive.
Once processes are mapped out, businesses can determine what fixes need to be made to improve their operations, whether it’s hiring more employees or updating technology.
Examples of how workflow mapping can help improve business processes
Processes in business can be improved through the use of workflow mapping. Workflow mapping is the technique of visually representing the steps involved in completing a process, as well as how long it takes to complete those steps.
This information can be used to identify and fix bottlenecks in workflows, maximize efficiency, and save time.
Some examples of how workflow mapping can help improve business processes include:
1. Order processing
By creating a workflow map of the order processing process, you can see where there are delays or bottlenecks. You can then work to fix these issues and improve the process.
Mapping out the production process can help you identify areas where continuous improvement can be made. You can then implement those changes to improve the process, by reducing waste or other areas that may be causing delays.
3. Quality control
Mapping out your quality control workflow can help you define process boundaries and show you where steps are being duplicated and where there are gaps between the different aspects of the workflow.
By creating one streamlined workflow, you can reduce any wasteful or unnecessary steps in order to save time and increase efficiency.
4. Training new employees
Creating a visual representation of how complex processes are conducted helps new employees learn more efficiently, as they do not need to memorize every single step involved in completing a process. They will have already seen it visually mapped out.
5. Customer service
by mapping out customer service workflows for your business, you can provide better customer service by being able to more easily identify any bottlenecks or delays.
The benefits of workflow mapping are many and varied, but small businesses stand to gain the most from this technique. By helping you improve your processes, your business will run more smoothly and efficiently.
You’ll save time and money, increasing profitability for your business. And because workflow mapping improves communication between employees, morale will also increase.
The importance of data visualization in workflow mapping
Data visualization is an important part of workflow mapping, as it allows you to see the steps involved in a process and how they are related. By creating charts and graphs, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your workflows.
Data visualization can also help you identify areas where you can improve performance. Workflow mapping is a valuable tool for visualizing and understanding the workflows in your business so you can identify and fix bottlenecks, maximize efficiency and save time.
Tips for using workflow mapping to improve your business processes
There are a few tips to keep in mind when using workflow mapping to improve your business processes:
1. Make sure you have a clear goal in mind when creating your workflow map
What are you trying to improve or optimize?
2. Take the time to collect data and input it into your workflow map
This will help you to identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.
3. Be flexible when creating your process map
Businesses often evolve and change over time, so make sure your map is adaptable enough to reflect these changes.
4. Use workflow mapping as a tool for communication and collaboration
By sharing your map with coworkers, you can get feedback and input on how to improve the process.
5. Use colors to identify different sections on your workflow map
You can also use symbols for even faster readability. Make sure the colors you select are easily distinguishable from one another so they don’t become a distraction or cause confusion when viewing.
Pro tips to get your workflow mapping off to a positive start
Get your people involved, identify the project manager
You will need to have a few people involved, one or two (preferred) that actually operate the process and would be providing the steps required to complete the task being mapped. Then you need a singular person who will be ensuring that all of the processes are mapped in a uniform fashion and are complete.
The person you select should be a very process-oriented person and one who likes working with computers and writing.
Create workflow process maps as they are used today
When you begin mapping your process, create the workflow based on exactly as they are performed today. Do not attempt to add streamlining or improvements to the process until they are completely mapped and all parties involved agree on the process map that was completed.
Remember to include steps that allow you to quality check and track performance if you have these built into the work being done. If they are not built-in, the addition of these steps and performance trackers should be the first improvement project undertaken. Without the ability to make knowledgeable and informed decisions, based on how efficiently processes are operating, you can’t unleash the power of your workflows and processes.
Make sure employees understand the value of workflow processes
There is the problem of people, who are explaining the process, feeling that they are being scrutinized by management and may not participate in a quality manner that is acceptable to the success of the project. Educating your employees on the benefits of process mapping workflows will help alleviate any resistance.
Don’t allow any internal bickering, exaggeration, or padding on the processes being mapped
Keep in mind not only is this going to be a fair amount of work but you have to keep an objective and open mind on how the process being mapped works. You can’t have employees padding the process so that they look busier than they are or have quality and safety steps in place that are not there.
Make sure you have enough objectivity
Business psychologists will point to the condition called groupthink. Groupthink is where people who are used to working together or have the same focus cannot see different perspectives of a problem because they are too close to each other and the situation.
If you run into groupthink, your project will have omissions and will have little to no creativity or suggestions for improvement once the processes are mapped.
Are you a family business?
If the business is a family business then there will be family feelings that will impact processes, potentially be hurt, and skew perspectives. There will also possibly be infighting worse than any paranoid and bickering regular employee could cause.
Consider outside help, let Profit Pro be the “bad guy”
The answer to avoiding this list above is to bring in an experienced partner, a partner like Profit Pro Consulting services. Profit Pro Consulting has over 35 years of experience helping small family businesses to regional corporations map processes in a non-bias, open, and experienced manner.
We help employees focus on the process components that are needed, limiting infighting and posturing of both family members and workers who feel they are being scrutinized and possibly even may be punished by management.
We keep the focus on the positive gaining critical employee buy-in by making their work easier, safer, and they and the company more productive.