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Enterprise Process Mapping

Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to check and re-check work?

We will work with you to remove unnecessary re-work from the current processes to help streamline your work and remove those frustrating extra steps. We also help your workflow become more effective and efficient in order to make your life easier!  We’ve all experienced a time where we knew there had to be a better way to do something – this is where you discover that better way.

To achieve these process improvement goals, our team engages in process mapping.  

A business process is something that has inputs, outputs, and activities and can be represented as a diagram. A business process entails different organizational aspects such as:

  • Functional Flow 
    • Indicates what activities should happen and when they should occur
  • Data Objects 
    • Indicates information that is required to perform, or an output of, a process activity (e.g. purchase order, invoice, etc.)
  • Resources
    • A process participant, i.e. an individual person like the employee John Smith
    • A software system, for example a server or a software application
    • Equipment, such as a printer or a manufacturing plant

When you put a sequence of activities together to describe how to achieve an objective you create a process map. Process Mapping can greatly improve any process improvement project by increasing the understanding of the flow of activities, information, people, and resources. 

The Poirier Group uses process mapping as a current state analysis to classify the process outputs and inputs and identify what is and isn’t currently working. We then ensure the future state model preserves what is working while preventing the duplication of existing issues.

Why do I need a Process Map?

As continuous improvement practitioners we are often hired to help document and map our clients’ workflows into repeatable systems and processes to identify where they can find more value in their organization. We commonly advise our clients on how to improve their processes to reduce waste, identify cheaper or cost-saving alternatives, speed up process lead time while ensuring process quality either remains constant or improves, or standardizing commonly repeated activities. They can also be used as a communication tool, or as a training tool for new employees when a task is largely process driven. Implementing these improvements can save a company valuable time and money. 

Our clients often wonder how process mapping the existing workflows can be of use to them. In answering this question, it is important to understand the needs of the business, and what the ideal state of their company will look like in the end. 

Clients will often request process mapping as a service for one or more of the following reasons: 

  • Standardizing a process – By documenting a process, a business can standardize it so that it’s always performed in the most optimal way, reducing confusion and inefficiency
  • Training employees – Process mapping provides a standard training document for both new and tenured employees
  • Improving a process – Once an existing process is mapped, it can be analyzed for bottlenecks and other inefficiencies
  • Communication – Process mapping provides a visual representation of the process that may be easier to understand than narrative text
  • Internal audits – Businesses want to ensure that they are meeting their company standards, and that their processes are aligned with their mission and goals
  • Compliance with International Organization for Standardization, called ISO 9001 – Used to conduct third-party audits of an organization’s quality management
  • Compliance with the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or SOX – Also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act

What are the benefits of process mapping?

This service will lead to increased competencies, gains in production capacities, and a boost in overall organizational health. Our considerable experience in performance management has made us process improvement experts, and the results we’ve delivered have earned us our stellar reputation.

Besides having a visual representation of how your business operates on multiple levels, a successful business process mapping (BPM) initiative will typically result in one or more of the following direct or indirect benefits: 

  • Productivity – Process improvements like removing of bottlenecks, introducing parallel processing, and eliminating redundant steps can be easily achieved with BPM
  • Efficiency – Because BPM gives organizations the opportunity to work more efficiently, they are able to save their resources
  • Compliance & Transparency – When you adopt BPM, you integrate compliance into the process life cycle. This also implies that organizational processes will become transparent and visible to employees.
  • Employee Satisfaction – Process automation cuts down on a lot of repetitive work and makes information access easier. BPM eliminates a lot of red tape in organizations and allows employees to focus on their work 100% 
  • Process Consistency – With an optimal process in place, identical problems are addressed the same way and there is no need to reinvent the wheel, even if roles or staff change
  • Sustainability – Business processes are continually improved to adapt to changing organizational conditions so that they can deliver the expected results
  • Measurability – All processes can be measured end-to-end and compared to expected/benchmarked results 
  • Technology Integration – BPM, when implemented with technology, provides reporting and analytical tools for making executive decisions

What are the different types of process mapping?

Process mapping is an extremely important method of improvement, but it is just as important to appropriately understand why the process map is being created in the first place. Process mapping is therefore not a “one-size-fits-all” solution, but rather a methodology, that can be applied in many different ways to solve a multitude of business challenges. The value is therefore not in the process map itself, but rather in what the map reveals. 

There are many different forms of process maps, each providing unique insight and value to our clients:

  • SIPOC diagrams: Consider the Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers that receive process outputs
  • High level process map: Less detailed, representing higher level questions, decisions and processes
  • Thought Process Maps: Document they “WHY” Behind every decision and action. Question > Action > Answer 
  • System infrastructure maps
  • Swimlane process maps: used to visualize the movement of cross-functional process boundaries and boarders. They can be used to show different functions, departments or even different organizations and where hand-offs in the process occur.
  • Detailed current/future state process maps: Where the company currently is, and where they want to be 
  • Value-Stream maps: graphical representation of the series of activities the organization follows in producing and delivering its end product or service. Helps employees gain a better understanding of the linkages between material and information flow
  • Spaghetti Diagrams: representation of the physical flow of materials or information to calculate and optimize distance travelled
Challenge Process mapping Solution Benefit
The client hired us to implement an entirely new Call Center that would be operated by a team of 20 new employees. The client understood the types of customer calls they would receive but did not know how to effectively train their employees on how to resolve these calls.
In this circumstance, our objective was to create simple flow-charts that were applied by the Call Center employees to resolve customer issues. *Note: every process map should begin with an event or trigger, and in this case, it was a customer calling in with an issue.
The client received standardized process flow charts that start with a customer calling into the Call Center and end with the issue being resolved. This process is now being used on an ongoing basis to guide the resolution of customer issues. This results in a happier clients and more efficient call center employees who can focus on the solution instead of “reinventing the wheel” for each call.
The client had a massively complex business process that required input from 5 unique departments and over 30 individual employees
In this circumstance, our objective was to document a very detailed cross-functional process map. *Note: A cross-functional process map (also referred to as a swim-lane map) groups components into a distinct sequence, or lane, in the visual presentation of workflow and process charts.
Employee capabilities, roles and responsibilities were clearly outlined for each sub-process in business process workflows. This established accountabilities within the team and made organizational processes more transparent and visible to employees.