A process map template can speed up business process management, design, and reengineering – but it is often better to create your own template than to use pre-made templates.
To learn why, keep reading.
What Is Process Mapping?
Process mapping, process modeling, or business process mapping, refers to visually diagramming a business process in a series of action steps.
In most cases, process mapping involves the use of tools, notation, or a “language” dedicated to business process management.
A few common process mapping tools include:
- Swimlane diagrams
- Value stream mapping
Each of these tools has its use cases, pros, and cons.
Swimlanes, for instance, distinguish job responsibilities in addition to the actual step-by-step workflow.
A flowchart, on the other hand, does not distinguish between job roles and responsibilities. This is not to say that one is better than the other – if job responsibilities are mutable, for example, another diagram may be the better choice.
Regardless of which process mapping tool one uses, a template can be a useful way to speed up the diagramming process.
What Is a Process Map Template?
The process map template is simply a roadmap used for a specific workflow, which can be further fleshed out and customized to suit the specific needs of one’s department. Any process that can be mapped can have its own template.
For instance, HR professionals can use templates to map out the basics of every aspect of the employee life cycle, including:
- Employee onboarding
- Employee training
- Performance improvement
- Career development
This is just one example drawn from a single business unit, however. Any business unit can create a template for and map out their processes, from IT to finance to customer service.
Why Use a Process Map Template?
One reason to use a process map template is to save time.
If a manager or business leader needs to create multiple workflow templates for a team or a set of teams, templates can save time, since workflows don’t need to be designed from scratch.
Another reason to use it template is standardization – that is, when the organization, the manager, or business leaders require certain elements to be included in a business process, they can require the use of a template.
This can ensure that employees adhere to that template’s workflow and, as a consequence, also remain compliant with, for instance, policies and procedural guidelines.
Why You Should Design Your Own Templates
While there are templates available online for a wide variety of business processes, it is usually better to design your own templates.
Online templates can be used as starters, and those not used to business process mapping may learn something from them.
However, these tools are typically very generic and not always relevant to one’s own needs.
Therefore, it is important to design your own templates that can then be implemented across your organization and across different business units.
Which Software Should You Use for Process Mapping?
There are a wide range of tools available for process mapping.
Some are dedicated specifically to process mapping.
Others, such as Excel, are generic tools that can be used to build process maps.
Here are a few examples of process mapping tools:
- Flowchart software
- Process mapping software
- BPMN software
Typically, however, any organization that wants to develop detailed process maps to standardize their own processes should use specialized software.
Flowchart software, for instance, often includes a number of templates that are ready-made. These, as mentioned above, can be further customized to meet one’s own business needs.
While flowchart software, business process mapping software, or even tools such as Excel can be useful, in today’s digital workplace it is important to keep up with current trends, including those that affect the way process mapping is performed.
Process Mapping in the Digital Workplace
Digitally mature organizations are using advanced tools that go beyond traditional process mapping software.
For example, digital adoption platforms (DAPs) can be used not only to map out processes but also for employee training.
These tools can:
- Map out a process from beginning to end
- Automate workflows
- Provide contextual support through software walkthroughs
- Standardize business processes without the need for documentation
In fact, agile organizations may even be able to use DAPs instead of traditional business mapping software. when used in this way, these tools can save even more time on process mapping and process improvement.
Final Thoughts: The Importance of Agile Process Mapping
Agility has become a top concern for many businesses, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to McKinsey, online searches for “agile transformation” are skyrocketing, and many businesses are engaged in transformation efforts.
They also showed that agile transformations deliver major benefits, including 30% gains in efficiency, customer satisfaction, and operational performance, among other things.
Many companies, however, recognize that agility is not just advantageous, it may be crucial for success in the next normal.
Notably, since agile transformations involve the adoption of new business processes, they also involve business process redesign and process mapping. Using templates and cutting-edge tools such as DAPs, therefore, can save significant time and energy when engaging in any type of business transformation, agile or not.