Business Process Mapping: The Map to Business Process Efficiency

By Eric Salinas| July 08, 2019

The primary role of a business analyst is to work directly with business stakeholders to gather an understanding of a business problem by defining, analyzing, and documenting requirements. Certain business problems require a more thorough approach to understand how a task/process works or when it is triggered due to a complex workflow. This analysis can be challenging but this can be mitigated with the aid of a Business Process Map.

What Is Business Process Mapping?

Business Process Mapping (BPM) is an incredibly powerful tool to help an organization better understand what it does and how certain tasks/processes are done. This is accomplished with the creation of a diagram using software like Microsoft Visio that uses symbols to show the step by step sequence of important process steps, as well as decision points and outputs from the process.

There are multiple different types of Business Process Maps. Each provide their own unique value. Below are a few examples:

  • Basic Flowchart - These are graphic illustrations of your process
  • Swimlane Diagrams - Also known as cross-functional maps, these detail the sub-process responsibilities in a process
  • Data Flow Diagram – Provides a visual representation of the flow of data in a process or system

Organizations thrive on efficiency. Business Process Mapping can be used to document “Current State” workflows which can then be analyzed for inefficiencies such as manual processes or redundant steps. These processes can be updated using system automation to help reduced manual errors and provide a view of what the “Future State” workflow will look like.

Utilizing traditional documentation methods to record a complex workflow can be extremely challenging and there may be areas that are lost in translation. Business Process Mapping can help to provide a visual communication medium to ensure there are not gaps as well as ensure all aspects of a workflow are accounted for. These processes in the diagram can then be broken down into user stories and teams can prioritize which pieces of work needs to be completed first in order to ensure everything works correctly.

The benefits provided by Business Process Mapping are plentiful and these mighty diagrams can be a major game changer for large complex projects.


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