• Chris Docherty

Benefits of Process Mapping

In this short video, we talk about the benefits of process mapping within your workplace.


Process mapping is a methodology of simplifying your instructions, giving clear roles and responsibilities and systematically linking activities based on inputs and outputs.





What actually is a process map?


It's a method of documenting the different steps undertaken within your business, to complete a task or a sequence of tasks. These can be demonstrated at a high level, linking various activities to the completion of an overall task like a project or these could be drilled down activities to identify clear instructions and how to undertake simple tasks.


There are different ways and means of using processes but some of the key benefits that we get from processes and process mapping is -

  • it gives us clear instructions on a task-based activity

  • it gives us clear roles and responsibilities of who has to undertake what, and of course

  • it gives us a clear ability to link from one process to another

  • and a link from within a process to step out and do other activities.

Where there is an error or a problem that occurs within a certain activity, we can step back within a process making these instructions much clearer to the people within our business.

  • They are simple to follow.

  • They are simple to update.

  • And they can be used in various ways to demonstrate our key activities that we manage within our business.


How can processes be presented?


Processes can be presented in various ways,

  • we can use Visio type process mapping,

  • we can use swim lane type process mapping,

  • we can use process mapping systematically within software, where we control the steps that are undertaken through a sequence of workflows, and maps in process.


One of the key things about the benefits of this is really about the interaction and how they work alongside each other. This is also really good when we're integrating and interacting with different parts of our management system, where we may have to refer to different processes.

For example, linking out of a certain process map to demonstrate the activities we need to do, or the templates that we need to use to undertake a risk assessment.


It's associated to the category of business risk within our organisation, and this particular process is focused on the management of business continuity.


The methodology that we're presenting today is a swim lane process map, and this is identified based on the swim lanes associated to the positions where we would identify

  1. who is responsible?

  2. who may assist the person that’s responsible?

  3. who mean need to be consulted?

  4. who may need to be informed?

For each of these steps, we've shown the tasks that have to be undertaken, the links to other processes that may be relevant to our business risk assessment and impact analysis that we do at stage one.


We've identified the roles who are responsible, assess, consult and informed, and of course we've shown what steps we take by identifying our business risks by looking at our impact analysis by implementing the various controls which will be required based on those risks, undertaking a review to ensure that we are checking that this is correct.


We then link into another stage, which is about business continuity strategy, and what the purpose of doing this is and why we are looking to put this in place to minimize the disruption within our business.


We clearly show the different stages we go through, why we're doing it and what our objective is, the resources that we're looking to utilise as part of this process. We also look at the type of protection and mitigation measures that we're putting in place and finally we talk about a business continuity plan.


What is a Business Continuity Plan


Disaster Contingency Plan
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This activity clearly identifies that we need to step out of this process and create a business continuity plan using our template, and this is hyperlinked from this process, taking us to our controlled documentation of where they would find this template.


We go down through the process of identifying if an incident occurs, what activity we have to take, and how our incident response will manage this.


We clearly identify who the key roles are, and their responsibilities within the plan, and we've got some warning and communication methods that we use to ensure that everyone in the organisation is

  1. aware of the plan,

  2. how we will respond to it and

  3. what recovery methodology we will use.

We also identify that, for this plan to be ready and functioning at the time when there is an incident associated to business continuity, we want to test and exercise this plan using drills to ensure that it functions correctly, and based on our drills, this will drive us to review whether this plan and process works effectively and where we may need to put improvements in place.


Takeaways

  • Business process mapping, focuses on key steps and sequences of business activities for our operations.

  • It links inputs and outputs, and is able to identify supporting documents, systems, and other things that are required for these activities to happen.

  • It clearly identifies who does what, and each step of the sequence of activities.

  • Gives clear, demonstrable process that people can follow.


This is a simple methodology and I suggest that you start playing about with process mapping on a piece of paper or on a whiteboard, before you drill down and start documenting this information.


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