Workflow process mapping: Can it help a company?

The purpose of workflow process mapping is to do an initial analysis of a process or processes in a company, to define the current state of the workflow and understand if it is in accordance with the business objectives and strategic planning defined by upper management.

There are several tools for modeling and mapping processes beyond flowcharts, such as EPC, UML, value chain and BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation).

Currently, one that is gaining consensus among developers and users of BPM systems is BPMN 2.0, more complex notation, which can be learned about below.

Check: Why and how to use the most widely accepted BPMN 2.0 notation.

However, for those who are new to BPM, workflow process mapping is the most appropriate way to familiarize oneself with the concepts in a more intuitive way and subsequently deepen ones knowledge in the field of Consecrated BPMN 2.0 notation.

Learn about the elements used in a flowchart: 23 flowchart process symbol meanings.

So you can understand the importance of workflow process mapping better, here are some important concepts of BPM you need to understand.

Beginning with one of the main ones, created by renowned Harvard professor Michael Porter:

Value chain

According to the professor, the value chain is the sequence of activities and tasks performed by a company aimed at the transformation of raw materials and other inputs in a product or service that will deliver a ‘perceived value’ to customers of the company because it meets their desires and consumption needs.

In this context, for the company to succeed in its mission of creating value, it is necessary that the value perceived by the customer exceeds the sum of all that was employed (technology, knowledge, materials, raw materials, labor, etc.) throughout the production process.

For this, each task and process step needs to somehow add value to the product or service that is being built. Otherwise, it makes no sense that this task exists, or it must be improved.

Thus, the design of a flow chart to map the process and understand it will be of great importance.

See also: Tips to improve company processes

Importance of workflow process mapping

There are many advantages of correct workflow process mapping in a company, here are some of them:

  • A broad view of your start to finish process.
  • A complete and correct perception of goals, people and technological resources used in the mapped process.
  • The possibility of a comprehensive and consistent understanding of the business.
  • A diagram on paper makes it easy to understand how processes currently occur in the company.
  • The preservation of the knowledge gained from the development of this newly mapped process.
  • A clear vision of the value chain and its components.
  • A better perception of bottlenecks and other flaws in the process.

Additional information can also be clarified, without necessarily forming part of the flow chart of the design itself, such as the company’s departments that operate or benefit from that process, who owns the process, KPIs, technologies involved, risks inherent in the process and others.

Furthermore, it is important to point out what the objectives of the mapping process are, either with a flowchart or other notations:

Objectives of workflow process mapping

  • To make it clear who executes the process.
  • To discriminate the events that occur in the process.
  • To deal with the rules employed.
  • To have the science of the results being obtained.
  • To analyze the possibility of improving the process.
  • To detail this process and its flow precisely.
  • To obtain a process illustration at different levels of understanding, from the management to the operational.
  • The process map will be the base document to communicate about the process.
  • The ability to create performance indicators to measure the process.

Learn more: The mapping of administrative processes, an indispensable necessity.

As you can see, flowcharts can play a major role in BPM. As more notations are used and evolved over time, the flowchart continues to be a way to represent the flow of processes to help in understanding and has great power of dissemination and comprehension in a company.

Currently, as aids, BPM tools can not only map and redesign processes but create dashboards with online information made available in real time, create alerts and optimize the flow of information in a fast and transparent way


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