Business process mapping helps an organisation create visual representations of specific processes within the company. It’s a useful tool in order to gain a better perspective and understanding of where improvements can be made. When there is a visual representation, every individual involved in the process can be on the same page all the time. There will be no disparity of ideas on how things are supposed to be done.
Conducting a process mapping session does not require complicated or specialised tools. You can begin with a pen and paper or post-it approach. The most important aspect of business mapping is the purpose and end goal of the activity. To enhance the value of a process map, visualisation tools can help. One tool that is readily available is Microsoft Visio
What is Microsoft Visio and what does it do?
Microsoft Visio is designed to create diagrams. It can create simple flowcharts, block diagrams, data flow charts, and organisational charts. It comes with built-in shapes, objects, and stencils you can choose from to create your diagram. If you want to do the extra work, you can even create your own shapes and import them. The idea behind Microsoft Visio is to make diagramming easier and less complicated for the user. The primary clientele of Microsoft Visio is corporate users and enterprises. Come to think of it, home users will not have much use for a diagramming program like Visio. Overall, Visio is primarily a program used for diagramming and it doesn’t come for free. When it comes to business process mapping, Visio can come in handy, but you may want to consider investing in Visio alternatives offering additional features.
Benefits of Business Process Mapping Software
If your company is serious about business process mapping, there are added benefits in using a business process mapping software over Microsoft Visio. Here are some specific benefits:
- With Microsoft Visio, what you create are basic diagrams only. If you invest in a process mapping software, you will be able to create process models. Process models are more detailed since they will include cost, timeframe, and efficiency of each process.
- With process mapping software, you will get a powerful tool for analysis. You can identify bottlenecks, view processes through the perspective of different stakeholders within the organisation, identify processes that deliver value, and which processes cause waste.
- You can rapidly redesign and compare metrics.
- You build a live workshop where stakeholders can digitally share feedback on processes.
- Some providers like weareleanandagile.com offer a built-in app where you can engage your stakeholders by having digital post-it sessions where users submit ideas via smartphone or browser applications.
Think about these benefits when considering the option to invest in business process mapping software. Neither option comes free, but the added benefits of a software specifically designed for process mapping does offer more value for your money.