29. Sep. 2016

Process Mapping - A GPS for your organisation

by Kaizen Institute UK

When preparing for a trip, before you hit the road – do you use your GPS to find out the best, shortest, fastest and cheapest ways to your destination? Why not adopt this strategy within your own company? Use “Process Mapping” to optimise processes with the least waste possible.

 

In each process there is added value and waste, wherein a customer is only willing to pay for the value adding activities. In this context, "Process Mapping" is viewed as a simple and effective way to represent and analyse processes, by exposing every stage, as well as who performs each of the stages and the relationships established between them.

 

Using principles such as information flow, task standardisation, value creation, this tool can be applied to various administrative procedures and services, such as call centres, insurance, financial, public sector support areas (human resources, accounting) and tourism, among others.

 

In most situations, the mapping process is used to improve an existing process although it may also be applied to designing new processes or standardising current ones. This simple tool can be used to achieve different goals, such as quality improvement (helps detect errors / variability); cost reduction (contributing to the detection and elimination of unnecessary costs) and time reduction (helps to detect which process steps are more time-consuming, and those which are redundant and result in delays).

 

To improve a process, the first step is to characterise the current situation by mapping the initial situation and identifying opportunities for improvement. Then draw up a future vision, to further define the implementation plan. Increased productivity by about 50 percent, reduction in Lead Time by 30 percent and quality improvement by 40 percent are some benefits that may be achieved while mapping processes.

Learn how to do it in 12 steps:

 

1. Select the process

Choose a process which impacts customers and the business and has opportunity for QCD (Quality, Cost and Delivery (Delivery Time)) improvement.

 

2. Define the process

Guide the process (where it starts and ends).

 

3. Collect process information

Talking with data allows for an objective description of the process (starting indicators).

 

4. Define the objective

Define the improvement goals to guide the work of the team.

 

5. Process Mapping - status

Mapping the current situation of a process makes it transparent and puts the whole team on the same knowledge level.

 

6. Determine processing times and Lead Time

The indicators of various process activities allow for focus on more critical activities.

 

7. Identify improvement opportunities

With the help of visual mapping, the team identifies improvement opportunities in the process.

 

8. Determine improvement potential

Determine the potential for improvement to understand where you can have more gains.

 

9. Select ideas for improvement

In the process of releasing improvement suggestions, the model of waste and KAIZEN™ principles should be kept in mind: Where can we integrate activities? Where can we reduce or normalise variables? Where is there information transport? Where are the distributions on paper? Where are frequent conflicts, confusion, surprises, mistakes?

 

10. Map the process - Future situation

Designing the future solution.

 

11. Develop the action plan

The action plan allows you to allocate the actions and monitor their development in a structured way.

 

12. Check the implementation of the solution

Verification is what allows us to validate that the goals were achieved, as well as to ensure standardisation of the process and the training of employees in the new standards.

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