Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (2022)

Processes are at the heart of the way every business operates, and the greater understanding of what they are, how they function and what impact they have, the better you’ll manage your business. This is where Business Process Mapping comes in. Visualizing the processes helps you get a better understanding of how your business functions, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. This, in turn, helps you make the business more efficiently.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about Business Process Mapping; history, benefits, and a step-by-step guide on how to use it to better your business.

Jump to any section

  • Types of Business Process Maps
  • Top Benefits of Business Process Mapping (Or, Why You Should Care)
  • These Are The Steps to Successful Business Process Mapping
  • Conclusion
  • Next Steps

Business Process Mapping is the visualization of business processes, allowing for a more top-down view on how the business works. On its own, the main benefit of business process mapping is the introspection – you get a better understanding of how your business works. It can, however, also be essential for…

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  • Business Process Management (BPM) – A methodology of constantly re-assessing the efficiency of your processes. It’s impossible to do this, however, without having the processes mapped out
  • Business Process Improvement (BPI) – Methodology (or initiative) aimed at identifying inefficient or wasteful processes and improving on them
  • Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) – Using new technology or methodology to make major changes (or completely tear down) old processes

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(Video) Tallyfy - Business Process Management Software

Process mapping dates back to the early flow process chart by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth which they unveiled in 1921 as part of his prophetically-titled talk Process Charts—First Steps in Finding the One Best Way.

They introduced it by saying: “Every detail of a process is more or less affected by every other detail; therefore the entire process must be presented in such form that it can be visualized all at once before any changes are made in any of its subdivisions.”

The flow process chart uses graphics and symbols to represent the flow of activities within a process and after the Gilbreths’ talk to the American Society Of Mechanical Engineers, it was adopted as standard practice in much of the industrial engineering industry across America, with ASME officially introducing a range of symbols in the Standard for Process Charts in 1947.

One of the first businesses to adopt Business Process Mapping was Procter & Gamble, thanks to Art Spinanger, who had learned about it from industrial engineer Allan H.Morgensen, who had in turn based his efficiency lectures upon the original concept by the Gilbreths.

To get a better feel of how Business Process Mapping works, here’s a process map for making breakfast:

Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (1)


Types of Business Process Maps

There are several types of business process maps you can use, each come with their own pros and cons. Here’s a brief summary of each…

Process Flowcharts – These are the most common types of business process maps as they most closely resemble what the Gilbreths introduced almost a century ago. They can be hand-drawn or created in software like Office, but the downside of these methods is the lack of flexibility or adaptability. But, the simplicity and familiarity have their own appeal too, so flowcharts won’t be going away anytime soon.

Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (2)


Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to create & use process flowcharts

Swimlane Diagram – This one functions almost identically the same as a generic flowchart. The main difference, however, is that with the swimlane diagram, each of the steps is divided between different teams or individuals who are responsible for them. This makes it a very clear system for processes that need to be mapped out in this manner.Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (3)

Source: flickr

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Value stream map – Another alternative to the flowchart, a value stream map is often used in lean six sigma applications and are much less straightforward to analyze at a glance. This makes them potentially more useful for a more in-depth look into a process, but also makes them less commonly used.

Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (4)

Source: wikimedia

Want to learn more? Read up our article on the ins and outs of value stream mapping

SIPOC – This stands for Supplier Inputs Processes Outputs Customer and is a very simplified process map that strips away 99% of the information to focus on the essentials of the process and the people involved.

Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (5)


Want to learn more? Read up our guide on SIPOC diagrams.

Software – The most high-tech tool for process mapping is Business Process Management Software. The added benefit here is that the software also allows you to keep track of the processes post-mapping. i.e. how the process is performing, if there are any bottlenecks, missed deadlines, etc. On the other hand, it can also be used by your employees to keep track of their tasks & to-dos. This allows for easier process optimization since you can see when and where anything goes wrong.
Step-By-Step Guide to Business Process Mapping - Tallyfy (6)

Want to learn more about process management software? Check out our guide to some of the best BPM tools out there.

Top Benefits of Business Process Mapping (Or, Why You Should Care)

Business Process Mapping comes with countless benefits for your business. In fact, chances are, you’re leaving free money on the table just because you’re not doing process mapping!

The following are some benefits you’re most likely to receive:

Visualization Of Roles

This should go without saying – every once in a while, you end up in a situation where no one knows what’s going on with a certain process. Who’s in charge of what? Why is the new report not ready? Why did the manufacturing line just blow up?

A business process map helps visualize the responsibilities on everyone’s part – it’s going to be clear who’s in charge of what for each part of a process.

(Video) Workshop with Amit Kothari of Tallyfy

Problem Solving

Spotting the problem is easy – just look at what blew up. Finding the source, however, tends to be more difficult. A process map visualizes the entire process that led to the bottleneck, making it a lot easier to spot what, exactly, went wrong.

Risk Management & Compliance

As well as identifying areas that are causing inefficiencies, Business Process Mapping is a great tool for spotting potential risks caused by processes that leave the company open to legal or health and safety problems.

If you end up missing a step that’s critical to some governmental regulations, it can be extremely hazardous to the company – creating danger for the employees or the environment, which in turn, leads to fines. For the same reasons, process mapping can be a valuable resource when it comes to supplying evidence for regulatory standards in terms of compliance.

Establishing Best Practice

Once Business Process Mapping has been introduced to a company and a process has been mapped and optimized accordingly, the map can be used across the board as evidence of best practice and an exemplar for the rest of the business processes. This brings some uniformity to the way processes work within the organization and rewards those who put in the initial effort, as well as demonstrating the importance of the mapping.

If on the other hand, a process is underperforming, it’s easier to try out different ways to carry it out & compare it to the original benchmark.

Showing The Big Picture

In any business larger than a handful of staff, it is inevitable that a silo mentality will develop over time, and that staff at all levels will lose sight of the big picture of what the business is attempting to achieve. Even when you drill down to just one process involved in the organization, Business Process Mapping can help everyone understand the big picture and get re-engaged with the vision and the steps required to achieve it.

Business Process Mapping allows your employees to get a very good sense of what’s going on within the business – both on a day-to-day level and on the larger scale. This, in turn, makes it easier to achieve the bigger goals.

These Are The Steps to Successful Business Process Mapping

Want to give Business Process Mapping a try? Well, here’s how to do it…

Step #1: Identify The Process To Be Mapped

While it’s good to map out all of your processes, you have to start from somewhere. So, the first step is to pick the process you’d want to start working with.

You probably want to start with the process that’s critical to your business, the improvement of which can easily be tracked with numbers.

Generally, however, there are three ways to go about selecting the process:

  1. Reactive – This is where a process has failed or is majorly underperforming, due to some sort of a bottleneck. You’d want to carry out mapping here as a means of identifying and fixing the issue.
  2. Strategic – This is when the mapping is being done as part of a high-level strategic overhaul, in which case the process chosen will be one that is considered integral to that strategy and the organization’s goals.
  3. Customer-Focused – And finally, this is when the process is selected for mapping because it is key to ensuring that customer satisfaction is improved and fixing problems or inefficiencies within that process will deliver a visible boost for customers.

Step #2: Bring Together (The Right) Project Team

Even if you know the ins-and-outs of your business, you’ll still want to cooperate with the field employees who work with the process. Their input can be priceless on this, as they might already have a few ideas on how to improve the processes.

In addition, they’ll also act as evangelists for the initiative. Change tends to be scary for everyone – and a process mapping initiative might seem threatening to some of the field employees. Who knows, maybe someone’s position will have to be cut to increase efficiency? Involving them in the initiative will make sure that their voices are heard, putting the fear of being left out to rest.

You might also want to get someone from the senior management on the team. Without one, you might have to ask for management approval on even the smallest changed you’d want to carry out.

(Video) Tallyfy vs. Process St: Why I Think Tallyfy is Better

Getting buy-in for company change isn’t easy. You can, however, use change management models such as the ADKAR model or Bridges Transition Model to get your employees used to change.

Step #3: Gather Information

Once you’ve worked out what you want to achieve and which process you are going to map, you need to start gathering the required information. All of the steps need to be identified and recorded, capturing who does what, when and how, gathering as much detail as is required to have a comprehensive process map.

At this first stage, it is best to err on the side of getting too much information and filtering it down as you work through it, rather than end up with not enough and have to revisit the process.

Step #4: Interview Key Figures

As part of the information gathering, you need to talk to the people involved to find out what their understanding of their process is and to use what you get back from them to identify the problems and the opportunities to improve.

You have to stay aware that staff will bring their own feelings and agendas into their descriptions of the way things work, but it’s still important to listen to them to get a better understanding of the process that you wouldn’t be able to get any other way.

Step #5: Produce The Baseline Business Process Map

With all of the necessary data, it’s time to draw up the baseline map, one that shows how the process is currently operating, flaws and all. This will demonstrate the way the process works before any improvements have been made, so will act as both the evidence for what needs to change and also can be used to compare and contrast after a new process map has designed and implemented and as a guideline for mapping further processes in the future.

Utilizing Business Process Mapping software is the easiest, more consistent, efficient and scalable way to draw up the map, as it will also have the tools to help you analyze the findings. If you are not using software, here are some of the basic components of any Business Process Map that you will likely need to include:

  • Process – This is the overall workflow
  • Tasks – Each step of the workflow, usually something that needs to be actioned by a member of staff or a system
  • Flows – These are the connecting lines and arrows that describe how the work flows from task to task
  • Events – These are the triggers or gateways that begin, redirect or end a process
  • Participants – As the name suggests, these are the people or systems involved in the process

Step #6: Analyze & Identify Areas For Improvement

Even though you have your process map in hand, your work isn’t really done. What’s the point of the map, after all, unless you actually learn something from it & make some improvements. From your previous investigations, you’ve probably already identified a flow or two within the process as-is. With the map, however, you can find a lot more.

From then on, you’d want to carry out BPI or BPR, finding different ways to improve the process (or maybe completely restructure it). Once you have an idea or two on how that could work, you’d want to implement the new processes on a smaller scale, and if it works better than the old, apply it to the rest of the organization. If your employees are having difficulties adapting to the new process, you could give them a small nudge by creating and communicating a new process map.

Not sure how to find and apply improvements? Learn about the 4 most common ways to improve processes.

Step #7: Monitoring Improvements

Whether the Business Process Mapping is being done as part of a larger overhaul of processes within your organization or not, you need to start proper monitoring of how your improved process is functioning.

Only through constant monitoring and optimization can you expect your processes to continue to be refined and improved, Business Process Mapping cannot be a one-time thing that will be expected to fix all of your problems.


Now that you know the theory behind process mapping, it’s time to carry it out within your organization. Theory, after all, will only get you so far.

(Video) Introducing Tallyfy

If you’re looking for the right software to give you a hand with process management – anything from mapping to re-engineering – you might want to give Tallyfy a try & schedule a free demonstration!


What is a process mapping What are the major steps in process mapping? ›

A process map outlines the individual steps within a process, identifying task owners and detailing expected timelines. They are particularly helpful in communicating processes among stakeholders and revealing areas of improvement. Most process maps start at a macro level and then provide more detail as necessary.

What is process mapping example? ›

Process mapping is a management tool that is used to visualize the flow of work within a business process. A process map shows the steps and people involved in a business process. It is important to understand the different roles and functions of process diagrams, process mapping, and process modeling.

What is a Level 5 process map? ›

- A level 5 procedure represents task level information, detailing how tasks are carried out manually by a process worker or automatically by the system. The level is a decomposition of a level 4 process/step. - A level 5 procedure map should contain 5 - 30 process steps.

What is business process give an example? ›

They are the processes that directly create revenue. Examples include: product manufacturing, order to cash process, and delivering products to customers.

What is a Level 4 process map? ›

A level 4 flowchart represents the most detail, and can include hundreds of steps. At this level every task, however minor, is represented.

What tool is used for process mapping? ›

Microsoft Excel

While Microsoft Excel is widely known as a spreadsheet tool, it also has the basic features needed to create process maps. If you're already familiar with Microsoft Excel or use Microsoft Office for your other work-related tasks, using this program to create process maps might be a good option for you.

What are the steps of a process? ›

A process consists four major elements:
  • Steps and decisions — the flowchart. ...
  • Variability of processing time and flow — the pattern of processing times.
  • Timing and interdependence — when the arrivals happen, when people work, etc.
  • Assignment of resources — how many and where are they assigned.

How do I create a process map in Word? ›

From the Insert tab within the Ribbon, select a flowchart shape from the dropdown gallery. You can then click and drag it to the size you want on the page to place it. Continue to add shapes and lines to complete your flowchart.

How do you solve a mapping diagram? ›

Mapping Diagrams | - YouTube

Why are business process maps important? ›

Process maps help to gain insight into how processes work—and also how well they work. When a process has been mapped out, it's easier to see where issues can occur, where time and effort is being needlessly wasted, and where changes might be made to improve the process.

How long does process mapping take? ›

One hour is usually sufficient. Now let's look at that meeting piece by piece: Review the milestones of the high-level map. Get their agreement to the beginning and end of the process as defined – or revise it with them.

What is L1 L2 L3 L4 process? ›

L1 – Business process area – Financial Control and Reporting. L2 – Business Process – Capture Transactions. L3 – Activity – Record and Edit Standard Journal Entries. L4 – Tasks – Enter Journal via Spreadsheet.

What are Level 1 Level 2 and Level 3 processes? ›

Level One: is the standard high level and lists the operational levels of an organization. Level Two: depicts the end-to-end processes across the operational areas. Level Three: shows the roles and associated steps required to complete a specific process within an operational area.

What are the 5 core business processes? ›

At the core, every business is fundamentally a collection of five Interdependent processes, each of which flows into the next:
  • Value-Creation. Discovering what people need, want, or could be encouraged to want, then creating it.
  • Marketing. ...
  • Sales. ...
  • Value-Delivery. ...
  • Finance.

What are the 4 types of processes? ›

The main manufacturing process types are project, jobbing, batch, line and continuous. Project processes produce products of high variety and low volume.

What is Level 2 process mapping? ›

Level 2-Process Map

This is the worker bee process map, where the people who have specific knowledge of the process come in. This is the map that is used to identify all the major steps a worker takes to complete a process.

What is an L1 process map? ›

A Process Map provides us with a holistic representation of the dependencies between different processes. For example, a Staff Induction process would have a dependency upon a Recruitment Process.

Who is responsible for process mapping? ›

Question #6: Who should do the Mapping? The mapping of business processes is usually undertaken by a centralised team, responsible for the entirety of describing all processes. They work with the subject matter experts from around the business and capture their knowledge of the process and document it as a process map.

Can you do process mapping in Excel? ›

If you want to show a process in your workplace then this can be designed using Excel´s Smart Art. There are heaps of Process Maps in Excel that shows progress from left to right, top to bottom, one way and circular.

What is process mapping techniques? ›

Business process mapping is a visual representation of work processes resulting from business process design, defining precisely what a company does, how it is done, and who is responsible for each task in the process. Maps define quality metrics, and they articulate measures of success.

What is process chart? ›

: a chart on which are graphically shown in sequence the separate details that make up a complete process (as of a particular job operation)

What is business process diagram? ›

A business process diagram is a diagram that depicts a directed flow of activities that are specified by using a subset of Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). Tip: You can create business process diagrams using the new diagram editor, which is now the preferred tool for creating graphical artifacts.

How do you draw a process flow? ›

The 6 steps to making a business process flow diagram
  1. Determine the main components of the process. ...
  2. Order the activities. ...
  3. Choose the correct symbols for each activity. ...
  4. Make the connection between the activities. ...
  5. Indicate the beginning and end of the process. ...
  6. Review your business process diagram.
11 Apr 2016

How do you complete a flow chart? ›

How to plan and draw a basic flowchart
  1. Define your purpose and scope. ...
  2. Identify the tasks in chronological order. ...
  3. Organize them by type and corresponding shape, such as process, decision, data, inputs or outputs.
  4. Draw your chart, either sketching by hand or using a program such as Lucidchart.

How do I create a flow chart in Excel? ›

How to Make a Flowchart in Excel
  1. Open the Excel worksheet where you want to add a flowchart.
  2. Go to the Insert tab.
  3. In the Illustrations group, select SmartArt to open the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.
  4. Choose Process in the left pane.
  5. Select the flowchart template you want to use.
  6. Select OK.
15 Dec 2020

How can I make diagram? ›

To create a diagram or flowchart, you can add and combine different shapes.
  1. Click the slide where you want to add the diagram or flowchart.
  2. Add any combination of these shapes: To add a shape, click Shape. and choose a shape or arrow. To add connecting lines or arrows, click Line. and choose a line or arrow.

Which Office program is best for flowcharts? ›

Of the standard Microsoft Office applications - Excel Word, PowerPoint - Excel is the most powerful and user friendly for creating flowcharts (disclosure: we make a flowchart automation add-in for Excel), but in some cases creating flowcharts in Word is handy.

What are the steps in a process? ›

A process consists four major elements:
  1. Steps and decisions — the flowchart. ...
  2. Variability of processing time and flow — the pattern of processing times.
  3. Timing and interdependence — when the arrivals happen, when people work, etc.
  4. Assignment of resources — how many and where are they assigned.

What is a l4 process? ›

Level four: is the documentation of systems, instructions and procedures required to complete steps in the level three processes and shows inputs, outputs, associated steps and decision points. For example, specific steps necessary to cut a PO in the enterprise application would require a level four process map.

What is process mapping in healthcare? ›

Process mapping enables you to create a visual picture of how the pathway currently works, capturing the reality of the process, exposing areas of duplication, waste, unhelpful variation and unnecessary steps.

What is process mapping in Six Sigma? ›

Process mapping is a technique utilized in a Six Sigma project to visualize the steps involved in a certain activity or process. In its basic form, Six Sigma process mapping is a flowchart that illustrates all of the inputs and outputs of an event, process, or activity in an easy-to-read, step-by-step format.

What are the 5 core business processes? ›

At the core, every business is fundamentally a collection of five Interdependent processes, each of which flows into the next:
  • Value-Creation. Discovering what people need, want, or could be encouraged to want, then creating it.
  • Marketing. ...
  • Sales. ...
  • Value-Delivery. ...
  • Finance.

What is business process give an example? ›

They are the processes that directly create revenue. Examples include: product manufacturing, order to cash process, and delivering products to customers.

What is L1 L2 L3 L4 process? ›

L1 – Business process area – Financial Control and Reporting. L2 – Business Process – Capture Transactions. L3 – Activity – Record and Edit Standard Journal Entries. L4 – Tasks – Enter Journal via Spreadsheet.

What is a Level 3 business process? ›

Level 3 describes the detail of the task as a set of actions or if required as a process model. As a task can only be done by one person, in one place at one time, this is the lowest level of detail and cannot be broken down further. Rules, decisions and control points should be documented.

What is Level 3 process map? ›

The Level 3 process maps are those maps, which have detailed info of the process, it is the micro level process maps. It gives the whole process steps at once if a new processor can understand how to do the task at once.

What is a process mapping tool? ›

Process mapping is a management tool used to visually depict the flow of work and the steps and people involved in a business process. These maps are also commonly referred to as flowcharts or workflow diagrams. Organizations use this tool to gain a better understanding of a process and to improve its efficiency.

What are the disadvantages of business process mapping? ›

Process Map Details

To create an accurate process map requires an attention to detail. If you do not have the patience or skill to create a process map the task can become overwhelming. This can lead to errors in interpreting data or positioning data on the map.

What are the 5 Whys in Six Sigma? ›

The 5 Whys is a basic root cause analysis technique used in the Analyze phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control). To solve a problem, we need to identify the root cause and then eliminating it.


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