What is Business Process Mapping
Business process mapping generally refers to activities involved in defining what a business does, what processes are utilized, who is responsible for which parts, and how all that ties together to enable the business to succeed. This usually involves a visual display or flow chart of the steps, decision points, and options required to complete tasks from start to finish.
When to use Business Process Mapping
Most business processes can be put into three types of buckets: transaction-related; decision-making; and transformation-related. Only two of those three lend themselves to process mapping.
Transaction related processes
These center on interactions between two or more entities where a very specific outcome is expected. A simple example would be a transaction between a consumer and a retail store. The consumer wants to buy certain goods, and the retailer needs to collect the appropriate amount of money for the sale of those goods. That is a clear business transaction.
Transformation related processes
These types of interactions refer to when specific inputs are somehow changed into different outputs in a physical or virtual form. Manufacturing is a prime example of this in the physical sense. Raw goods go through a series of processes, sometimes being combined with other materials, with the end result being a totally different thing. The transformational process of building a car is just one example of this. Think about all the inputs, changes, decision points, etc. that are involved with that. It boggles the mind! In the virtual form, think about all the effort needed to create software. There is requirements gathering, system design, user experience testing and so much more.
When to Avoid Business Process Mapping
Business process mapping is really made for identifying opportunities that lead to streamlined processes and increased efficiency. This is accomplished in part by removing steps in a process where automation can be put into place to route the process to the desired outcomes. Business process mapping should be avoided where decision-making is at a higher level, and involves more open-ended and subjective or intangible measures. These types of decisions generally are impacted by dynamic, and somewhat unpredictable factors, which means the decision process itself is more “human”.
Business Process Mapping in an important tool in the CRM Administrator arsenal. Knowing how and when to appropriately use it, is of the utmost importance.