Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Process Mapping......So Easy!

Process Mapping.....So Easy!


When we talk about Safety Management Systems,SMS,  and Quality Assurance, QA, what are we really talking about?  The fundamental goal of any Management System, be it Safety or Quality, is to gain CONTROL of the processes to produce outputs that are “predictable.” 

The first step in gaining control is to document processes. The conventional way to document processes Is through Step-by-Step Procedures. 


A good facilitator can lead a map session easily and with great results!
Many companies' document their procedures in written form. It has been my experience that these written procedures were written by persons who don’t actually do the process. These type of procedures are difficult for the workers to follow. The workers tend to not "own" these type of procedures since they were not an active part of their creation. 

In order to make procedures that are actually followed, you MUST involve the people that actually do the process. The best method is to assemble thepersonnel that are doing the process and simply “MAP” what they do. 

We use to call this “Flowcharting” but now we call it “Process Mapping.” Which is great cause we can charge more when we help companies do this.


Rough Maps converted to Clean flows


The benefits of facilitating Process Mapping sessions are these:

  Were able to document processes very quickly and efficiently.

All the participants become part of the procedures leading to “Buy-in” by the workers.

The process is broken into steps that are easily made into “Audit Checklists.”

Even if the procedure, MAP, created is flawed, it still provides a vehicle or basis for change.

While discussing the steps in a process, discussions about how to do a process tend to lead to “better” ways of doing things and bring up problem areas that would have never been discussed normally. 


Maps are a Pictorial Representation of a Process
Process  maps are created in rough form on a whiteboard or flip chart where we can erase and change them as we create them.Once they mapped, they should be reviewed  for regulatory compliance and conformity. 

Then the maps should be transformed into standard flowcharts with such programs like Visio©

 or LucidChart©




The process maps should be reviewed periodically through a facilitation session for continuous improvement opportunities to be examined and implemented in order to streamline the process outputs. 


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