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Process Mapping

Developed at General Electric, process mapping is simply a modern-day version of process charting.

A process map can be regarded as a marriage between a traditional process chart and a computer system flow chart. It offers the same range of benefits; aiding communication about processes, and acting as a basis for process improvement (or re-engineering). It requires the same kind of observation and focused interviewing skills on the part of the 'mapper' to ensure that the map represents a true reflection of the process.

Done properly, process mapping offers a clear picture of what activities are carried out as part of a process, where such activity is carried out and how they are performed.

A map allow you to examine a business process clearly, without the distraction of the organisational structure or internal politics. As with process charts, the usual approach is to map a process 'as is' to identify the current status of a process, to use this as the basis of analysis and review to identify process steps that are the (potential) cause of bottlenecks, delays, barriers and errors - and to create a map of the re-engineered process to aid in 'selling' identified process improvements.

Because process mapping arose out of computer flowcharting, it is supported by a range of software packages that aid the graphical representation of the process. See http://www.processnavigator.com/ for an example.

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