Simple Process Mapping Techniques

Why Process Mapping?
• Process mapping:
– Visually represents the work process – Identifies problem areas and opportunities for process improvement – Provides a common understanding of the entire process and specific roles and contributions of process participants. – Before you can improve a process, you must understand it.

• Process maps are good for:
– Streamlining work activities and telling new people, as well as internal and external customers, "what we do around here." – Helping in the effort to reduce cycle time, avoid rework, eliminate some inspections or quality control steps, and prevent errors.

• Process maps are a great problem solving tool
– Helps us determine what is the problem/what it is not

What is a Process?

A process converts inputs into outputs


How to Create a Simple Process Flow Diagram
• • Determine the start and stop points to your flow of process steps . The stop point is typically near the customer. Walk through the flow, writing down the process steps as they exist now (Rule of thumb: Pretend your are the part). Make sure you use a verb to describe the process step.

• •

You can be very general or very specific.
General: “Machine Part” Specific: “Turn part, grind outside diameter, and deburr part”

At a minimum, record the process steps, decision points, and transportation methods Once you have roughly mapped out the process, make it more formal by adding symbols. Once finished, sign and date the flow diagram with a revision level.

What Can Be Included in a Simple Process Flow Diagram
• • • • • • Transportation methods Start and Stop points Decision points Inventory/Storage points How many operators at each process step Process parameters for each step: Cycle time, throughput time, scrap rate, etc. • Responsibilities for each step

Process Flow Diagram Symbols
Decision Point External Transportation Inventory/Storage

Activity (Process Step)


Data Box c/t c/o

Push Material

u/t FTQ

Data box for recording cycle time, first time quality and other process operating characteristics

Exercise for Process Map
• Take a critical operation in your work place and map it with a simple process flow diagram.


A Deployment Flow Chart (Swim Lane)
• Here a "department" or "agency" dimension is added horizontally along the top of the chart. You may use individuals, groups, departments, functions, etc. whatever kinds of 'units' play major roles in the process. Draw vertical lines to separate the functional boundaries. When the flow moves from one function to another, a horizontal line denotes this. Draw the sequence of activities from top to bottom. Use the task and decision-making symbols as before and always connect symbols with arrows indicating the direction of flow.

• • •

Exercise for Deployment Chart
• Convert your simple flow diagram into a deployment chart


• Suppliers: The entities that provide whatever is worked on in the process (information, forms, material). The supplier may be an outside vendor or another division or a coworker (as an internal supplier). • Input: The information or material provided by the supplier and used by the process.. • Process: The steps used to convert inputs into outputs. (some steps are value added and some are not value added) • Output: The product, service or information being sent to the customer. This is what the customer pays for. He/she wants output: – With good quality – Delivered on time – At a competitive price • Customers: The next step in the process, or the final (external) customers.

How To Create a SIPOC Diagram
1. Create an area that will allow the team to post additions to the SIPOC diagram. This could be: • A transparency (shown with an overhead projector) made of the SIPOC template • Flip charts with headings (S-I-P-O-C) written on each • Headings written on post-it notes posted to a wall. Begin with the process. Map it in four to five general steps. Identify the outputs of this process. Identify the customers that will receive the outputs of this process.
• You can add a sixth column and list the customer’s requirements (CR) such as a blueprint number, specification number, quality goals, and delivery goals.

2. 3. 4.

5. 6.

Identify the inputs required for the process to function properly. Identify the suppliers of the inputs that are required by the process.


SIPOC Examples


SIPOC Diagram Exercise
• Take your simple process flow diagram and use it to build a SIPOC diagram.


Other Mapping Techniques
• Value Stream Mapping: Every lean event or initiative should start with a value stream map (VSM). In addition to showing the sequence of process steps, the map helps identify areas of process waste.


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