Basically, a process map can be defined as a planning and management tool which visually explains the work flow. It summarizes the job duties executed to finish a particular task at the place of work. It can be utilized to provide a clear framework for production processes, business structures and management responsibilities. Process mapping displays who and what is included in a process and can be employed in any business entity. Besides that, it can also disclose those regions where improvement is needed for a process.
The basic objective of process mapping for organizations is to increase their efficiency level. It can support teams during brainstorming to improve a process, maximize communication and provide process documentation. Process mapping will classify holdups, replication and postponements. If done accurately it can offer lots of benefits for an organization and will deliver a considerable return on investment for your spent time, money and effort.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Process Mapping
There are several advantages and disadvantages of process mapping and in the following two sections they have been outlined for both sides.
Advantages of Process Mapping
Its first advantage is that it provides visibility of our end-to-end processes in an organization which support to break the silos.
The second advantage of process mapping is that it shows a process with the activity owners. Every person working in the organization executes a process, but who holds the final responsibility and accountability for particular tasks. Process mapping can reflect who is liable and held responsible in the organization for particular process stages and demonstrate ownership for the complete process. Furthermore, process mapping can provide support in employee orientation and training. It is also a perfect advantage point to transfer best practice by means of an agreed process map.
In addition to that it also exhibits compliance and continual improvement. It can be used to display compliance with regulatory standards like ISO, FCA and SOX to mention some and will work as a valued resource for internal as well external audits too. Last but not the least another advantage is that it classifies and lessens risk. It looks for the available controls in position or requiring to be placed for moderating the risk. By sharing distinguishability and enlightening workers of risks and controls, we will find it as a priceless advantage as well-informed employees will turn out to be proactive to decrease the risk factor instead of being reactive.
Disadvantages of Process Mapping
Although process mapping provides lots of benefit, on the other hand there are some disadvantages that must not be ignored. In this respect the first disadvantage is correctness of data. If we intend that the process map must be accommodating in outlining a process then the gathered data to create it must be accurate. Usually, those employees who are using existing processes are requested for their inputs for the data collection purposes. Occasionally the collected data may not be sufficient to complete the process map, or may turn out to be twisted by judgment or employee discontent. Another disadvantage is the details included in process mapping. In order to generate a correct process map there is a need of attention to detail. If someone lacks the tolerance or ability to generate a process map it may be possible that the task seems to be overwhelming. This shortcoming can cause mistakes in understanding data or data positioning on the process map.
Additionally, input range is also one more disadvantage. Usually process maps consist of data from small employee groups. There is a possibility that this data may not represent the overall process, in case the process is huge or extent over multiple units. If you want to generate a more precise process map, first we may have to generate a draft by means of data from a small employee group. This draft is then sent to a bigger group to take their feedback and to validate truthfulness which increases the time to define the process map.
Another disadvantage of process mapping is facilitation. It is necessary to take the input from employees and management for collecting correct date to generate a process map. Those personnel who are making it must clearly define their objectives to management. On the other hand, management has to facilitate employees so they can deliver beneficial information on the basis of those objectives. In the absence of clear communication between all parties the gathered data may not be as precise or valuable as it is supposed to be.