organizational development and change tools and techniques for consultants and others

Process mapping: a step by step guide

The purpose of process (work-flow) mapping is to lower errors, increase effectiveness, and enhance communication.

Process mapping sessions may result in sudden revelations such as:

There are several preconditions for effective process mapping:

There are several phases in the process mapping sessions:

  1. Diagram (map) the way work is currently done, using a flow chart to graphically portray the process. Members who come up with ideas for improvements should write them down and wait for the next steps.
  2. Identify problem areas to concentrate on (circling the areas in red may help).
  3. Create possible action steps — but postpone judgement; the emphasis should be on generating ideas and writing them down on charts all can see.
  4. Evaluate action steps and select those which are fastest and easiest to implement, and have the most significant effects. The others should be held for future meetings.
  5. Make one team member responsible for each action step.
  6. Set firm follow-up and completion dates, including a date for the next meeting.
  7. Periodically meet again to discuss progress and new issues, and to check that actions are being implemented. Meeting every two weeks will improve follow-through.

Although process mapping uses large quantities of flip chart paper, if some steps are quickly implemented, it is a motivator for change which can quickly improve effectiveness. If changes are not implemented, or no feedback is given, the result will be lower trust and morale, and higher resistance to change. When a change cannot be implemented, the reasons should be quickly and clearly communicated to the team.


For your further perusal:

This site provides organizational development and change information. All materials are copyright © 2001-2017, Toolpack Consulting, LLC, except where noted. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without written permission. Thank you.