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Visual Learning, Part Six: Process Mapping

Processes are a series of steps or actions that transform inputs into well-defined outcomes or outputs. Well-managed organizations understand that everything they do is a series of integrated processes: purchasing, building, product development, technical support, customer service, hiring, accounting, finance, etc. These organizations also know that their processes and related impacts extend beyond the walls of the organization to include suppliers, partners and customers.

Visualizing how specific factors impact processes is the key to analyzing the root cause of process gaps and to making improvements. These factors are inputs (such as expectations, information, resources and materials), tools, machines, equipment, methods, documentation and standards, work environment (such as ergonomics and cultural norms), as well as the staff who conduct the processes.

Process mapping provides a complete illustration of how a business really operates. This unique perspective allows everyone to see the entire horizontal process including inputs, pathways, actions, decision points, and the role of support functions. Through the interactive process of identifying customer “moments of truth,” profound improvements emerge from unexpected places.

Finally, process mapping pinpoints specific areas for improvement. As a result, it leads to increased efficiency, reduced costs, reduced cycle times, quicker time to market, more consistent quality, stronger controls, better employee understanding of the importance of serving customers, increased customer satisfaction and retention, and rapid implementation of improvements (often in less than 90 days), and increased revenue.

  • About The Author

    Aaron Howard

    Aaron is a leader, technologist, musician and horse person with 25 years experience in starting, growing and monetizing successful businesses. While it would not be unusual to find Aaron in the middle of Montana every October with his wife Marianne riding horses every day and enjoying the "truly big sky", it is always a possibility that he is online. Aaron’s passion for new technologies such as social media is contagious and its been said that after a day with Aaron you will find yourself tweeting, posting, blogging, searching and roaming the web for an opportunity to be part of his vision. His most recent passion focuses on driving growth through the winning combination of leadership and emerging technologies. Learn more about Aaron and growth here at Full
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