What is Lean Process Mapping?
Business process mapping, as a Lean Tool, refers to activities
involved in defining what a business entity does, who is
responsible, to what standard a business process should be
completed, and how the success of a business process can be
determined. As a part of Total Service Management Pillar in Lean
Transformation Model, a clear and detailed business process map
or diagram allows outside firms to come in and look at whether
or not improvements can be made to the current process.
Lean process mapping, also known as process charting, has
become much more prevalent and understood in the business world
in recent years. Process maps can be used in every section of
life or business. Lean Consultants can contribute significantly
in mapping business processes in detail to find wastes in the
process flow. Redesigning business processes shall be then aimed
at reducing cost and NVA.
The Major Steps of Process Improvement using
- Process identification - identify objectives, scope,
players and work areas.
- Information gathering - gather process facts (what, who,
where, when) from the people who do the work.
- Process Mapping - convert facts into a process map.
- Analysis - work through the map, challenging each step
(what-why?, who-why?, where-why?, when-why?, how-why?)
- Develop/Install New Methods – through Breakthrough
Thinking, eliminate unnecessary work, combine steps, rearrange
steps, add new steps where necessary
- Manage process - maintain process map in library, review
routinely, and monitor process for changes
Basic Components of Lean Process Mapping:
- Activities – all the activities that
collectively makes up the whole business process
- Transactions / Flow – the sequence and
manner of flow of activities across the functions, documents
- Timeline – depicts at what pace
transactions occur across different functions. It denotes the
lead time for each activity to start before completion of the
- People/Function – the different
functions/departments/people who are involved to complete the
whole business process.
- Documents – across all the activities
that make up the whole process, many different documents are
recorded so as to keep the information flow recorded, maintain
traceability and avoid bypassing of any function or activity.
Benefits of Lean Process Mapping:
- Becomes visual representation of business end-to-end
- Tracks changes in the processes
- Helps in identifying and deciding activities and owners
- Supports induction process of new recruits
- Helps in identifying non value adding activities and
optimize the process flow to shorten the overall time consumed
- Can work as base for continuous improvement
- Identifying risks in processes