How to create a Process Map for your company

Are you looking for a structured visual representation of your business processes as well as a clear overview of the operations and interdependencies of your processes? The process map gives you a transparent insight into the process architecture of your company and, as an information element, facilitates the understanding of the process sequence and the corporate strategy. At the same time, the process map ensures better workflows within your company.

The process map as a guide through your business processes

Tracking all business activities can be a huge undertaking. The larger your company and the number of departments, the larger the process network in your company. To ensure that you do not lose your bearings despite this multitude of processes, it is essential to create a digital process map with all relevant processes. This allows all participants a transparent view of the business processes and the defined interfaces as well as the assigned responsibilities. Is the process under consideration a management, core or support process? How can the processes be visualized in the best possible way? Who are the process owners?

guide through the business processes

What is a process map?

A process map serves as a navigation surface in the management system, with which users can quickly and easily get from the individual business processes to the smallest level of the work steps. The process map enables the identification of correlations between the processes (information and transparency) and cross-process optimization potentials (optimization). As a supporting element, the organizational chart supplements your process map with the possibility of determining the persons responsible for the respective processes (control). The interaction of information and transparency, optimization and control creates a manageable and holistic process management system with defined metrics and key figures.

The structure of a process map

The process map consists of management, core and support processes. Together they form the business processes/main processes at the top level of the process model. Differentiating between these three types of processes is important because you both determine the overall goal of the respective process and link the internal and external stakeholders to the said process.

process map

Management processes describe the strategic corporate orientation and control. They serve to plan, organize, coordinate, instruct and control core or support processes. Within management processes, employees take on the role of internal customers. The management of occupational health and safety, for example, is a management process with the aim of minimizing risks to the safety and health of employees as far as possible. Management processes thus serve internal customers.
Core processes are characterized by a high share of added value and represent the processes for meeting customer requirements. They represent the day-to-day business of the organization and are directly related to customer orders. These value-added processes usually make up the competitiveness of your company, as they offer your customers an added value. Order preparation and product development are usually among the core processes.
Support processes contribute indirectly to value creation because these cross-sectional processes are least perceived by external customers. Although support processes contribute to value creation to a small extent, they are indispensable for the execution of the value creation processes in the core processes. Supporting processes could be, for example: maintenance of machines, personnel development and the recording and maintenance of documents.

Good to know!

When classifying processes into management, core and support processes, the answer to the following question can help you: Is the process under consideration in direct communication with the external customer or does the process deliver added value to your customers through the core service provided? If you can answer this question with "yes", it is a core process.

How do I create a process map for my company?

The process map represents a superior view of your company’s processes, which should be comprehensible to all employees in the structure and content. By creating a process map, you gain the following strategic advantages:

  • The process map serves as an orientation within the organization and represents the main focus of the company's own services and activities.
  • The internal processes are visualized and the interfaces of the different task areas are shown.
  • At the same time, the process map serves to define and delineate management, core and support processes.
  • The process map communicates the corporate strategy transparently and internally and is intended to help employees understand and classify process branches and interactions along the value chain.
how to create a process map
identify processes

Step 1: Identify the processes in your company

First, you decide on one of the two approaches (top-down or bottom-up) and clarify who should discuss and ultimately determine these proposals (quorum).
In the top-down approach, the essential business and sub-processes are first identified. The experts from the upper management levels are responsible for this and work together to create the process map. The processes are considered beyond the boundaries of the individual departments with a focus on value creation and customers. The elaborated results from the expert panel are coordinated with the management or the board of directors. In this way, you ensure that the strategic goals are also taken into account in the process map. The level of detail of the process map is then continuously deepened.
The bottom-up approach, in contrast, starts at the lowest process level. These processes are summarized in the further course up to the top level of the business processes. Employees such as experts from lower management levels who are directly involved in the processes are part of the survey procedure. This survey method should also be coordinated with management in order to integrate strategic objectives into the process capture at an early stage.

Step 2: Assign your processes to the three process types

In the next step, you divide your recorded processes into management, core and support processes. In addition, you should make sure to always name your process chains (end-to-end processes) with a verb and subject. For example, "Create product page" instead of "Marketing." In this way, you not only define the overall process objective, but also determine the totality of the departments involved. For example, announcing a new product on the website often requires interaction between marketing and product management.

process mapping
sub processes

Step 3: Create important sub-processes

The process map unfolds its full potential when you work with multiple levels by breaking down your business processes/main processes into (sub)processes. Once the processes and sub-processes have been identified, the sub-processes are broken down into individual work steps/activities at the next lower level of the process model. This creates a multi-layered and clear process map with a high level of detail.

Step 4: Prepare your individual process map graphically

The next step is to make initial considerations about the graphical preparation of the process map. This is best achieved with a process modeling tool such as BIC Process Design, which allows you to create a process map intuitively and without prior knowledge. In addition to the pure modeling of workflows, you also have the option of providing your processes with all important documents that are relevant for the execution of the process. You can also store forms and checklists that make process execution much easier and ensure even more transparency in your workflows.

graphical preparation of the processes
adaption of processes

Step 5: Adapt your process map to changing conditions

Companies and thus also business processes are subject to constant change, triggered by both internal and external factors. Therefore, it may be necessary to revise and update your process map from time to time. Your process map should always depict the current as-is state.

And now it's your turn:
Create your process map with BIC Process Design!

To create your process map, BIC Process Design provides you with several model types and notations, such as the value chain diagram (VCD), the event-driven process chain (EPC) and BPMN 2.0. In addition, the powerful BIC Process Design offers you a wide range of objects. With the help of the intuitive and easy-to-use modeling tool, you design your process map with little effort and involve all process participants via the integrated collaboration function, so that you can continuously improve your processes through mutual exchange.

Get to know BIC Process Design

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