A process map is a method used to visually represent and organise information. This information is typically connected to the single concept, which may be the idea or the primary objective for the work being undertaken. Process mapping is a method of defining and identifying what a business or organisation does. It captures responsibility for actions and shows business rules that accompany the processes.
In order to comprehensively understand how a process is carried out from end-to-end it is helpful to draw a process map using 'swimlanes', which separate the tasks into areas showing responsibility for undertaking the activity. Process maps are usually drawn up in interactive workshops and are a good communication tool for illustrating problems and weaknesses with a current process. Equally process maps can be a very effective way of prototyping improved business processes at the 'analyse needs' phase of the business analysis framework.
It is vital that when creating a process map the organisation realises that there is no one size fits all approach. Process maps are dependent on getting the right people together for discussing and improving upon the current ways of working. This means that careful consideration should be given when inviting delegates to the workshops used for creating the process map.
The business analyst or facilitator will be the principal point of contact for the organisation of materials as part of the sessions. As outlined below, the two main parts of the process mapping session, the ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ service design sessions, require those present to be both engaged in the process and knowledgeable for the current undertakings.
Senior Business Analyst
Tel: 01506 283885
Tel: 01506 282879
The Improvement Service (IS) is the national improvement organisation for local government in Scotland.
Our purpose is to help councils and their partners to improve the health, quality of life and opportunities of all people in Scotland through community leadership, strong local governance and the delivery of high quality, efficient local services.
Through a series of principles, the IS works to promote improvement in local government and among its partners to support them improve outcomes and reduce the outcome gaps within populations and within areas.
The IS delivers a range of products and services that support CPPs to build their capacity to deliver the public service reform agenda.
The IS has a non-partisan role to support all elected members in Scotland.
The Improvement Services produces a series of newsletters on a range of subjects, including myaccount, elected members, tellmescotland as well as the main IS newsletter. Subscribe on this page.
While many service users and those involved in the delivery of services will profess to having an in-depth knowledge of the manner in which their services are delivered. The reality is that the service may have evolved significantly to create a process significantly different to the procedure recorded. Process mapping enables you to capture this minute detail in order to design future services with any such considerations in mind.
When carrying out a process mapping workshop make sure to have a scribe taking minutes and noting down all identified issues. The facilitator will coordinate the session and must try to focus on the task at hand e.g. if running an as-is session, do not jump to the improvements straight away. For detailed information on how to create a process map, please use the elearning course.
Process maps are usually mapped out on modelling software such as MS Visio.
Once the as-is and to-be maps have been created and agreed by the project team, the next stage involves working a plan of how those improvements are to be delivered, which may take a written strategic documentation form.