13 September 2013
The holidays are over and it’s back to school with process mapping. Oneflow will be kicking off several new client projects involving process mapping as the autumn approaches. Any improvement project should start by gaining a full understanding of the current state and the best way to do that is to create a process map. Process maps create a visual representation of the whole process, show interactions between processes and information flows and identify where waste occurs in the process.
Here are Oneflow’s top 7 tips to creating a good current state process map.
- Take time and do it properly to get full understanding.
- Use a team to get everybody’s buy in and input.
- Physically walk the process and document what you see not what you think the process is or what the procedures manual says it should be.
- Stop and observe the process. Ask questions of the people doing the job to get a real understanding of what is happening.
- Map the process as you go using paper and pencil, post it notes, flip charts. Do not create it in an office on a computer!
- Log issues and observations but resist the urge to fix the process there and then. Park the issue for review when the map is complete.
- Collect information about the process as you go; performance measures, process data, photos and sample documents and pin them to the map.
To complete the map, review it with the team and ensure the process steps are correct. Establish more data for process such as what is the demand on the process, how long do steps take or what amount of failures or rejects are seen. Review the issues observed and collate them into categories perhaps using the 7 wastes to help see where the majority of issues lie.
With the map in place and understanding gained it's time for the easy part, identifying and carrying out the improvements!
If you need any help with process mapping or your Continuous Improvement activities then please do not hesitate to contact us.
In the meantime happy mapping!