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What is a Process Map?

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.


Who is involved when creating a Process Map?

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.

Process Mapping

Kelly Hunkin

Senior Business Analyst

Tel: 01506 283885


Heather Adams

Business Analyst

Tel: 01506 282879


Email the Business Analysis team

Example of an 'as-is' process map

Example of an 'as-is' process map showing the holiday recording process for a fictional council

Example of a 'to-be' process map

Example of a 'to-be' process map showing the holiday recording process for a fictional council

Why use a Process Map?

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.


How do you create and use a Process Map?

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.

What happens next?

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.



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