Image for  "What does a photo have in common with process mapping?"

What does a photo have in common with process mapping?

In last week’s newsletter I talked a bit about the importance of mapping your current activities. This is to provide a good basis for future design of a greatly improved mode.

Complexity of the process

Many of my clients raise their eyebrows once they understand what their process really looks like and that they now understand the complexity of the process.

Complexity is the enemy of ensuring an efficient flow that delivers high quality. The more handovers you have in the process between different people and departments, the more complex the process becomes.

The same is true with a number of business systems you have in the process. The more you use and the less integrated they are, the more complexity there is.

Some processes are so complex that it is not possible to deliver value to the customer in a simple way. This means that there needs to be a variety of interactions with the customer throughout the process. Many times these interactions give the customer nothing at all, but from their point of view, it just drags things out before you get what you wanted in the first place.

Many interactions with the customer

Maria, who participated in the Certified Improvement Leader training more than ten years ago, a few years later did a mapping of the process of transition from health care to elderly care. It turned out that the client in the process, which is called a patient by the health care system and a user by the municipalities, had no less than 43 different interactions in the process. 43 of them! Amazing.

It also turned out that many times the elderly person did not understand what was happening either, as he was in a mental state that made it difficult to grasp the situation. It is safe to say that this process was unnecessarily complex and bureaucratic.

Using the tools included in the Shaper of Business Excellence methodology, you can calculate a figure for the complexity of the process. It is useful to do this so that when you redesign the process you can recalculate according to the same formula and thus evaluate the reduction in complexity that the process has.

Click! Click! Click!

An important part of going in and doing your mapping is comparing it to going in with a camera and taking pictures. Click, click, click, and so has a series of pictures showing what it looks like.

One trap I see over and over again that businesses fall into is mapping “ad infinitum”, month after month. Time passes and nothing gets better, as you don’t get ahead.

Met a consultant several years ago who happily said they were “celebrating four years with social services by mapping their processes”. I was amazed at his lack of understanding of the importance of moving forward. I knew from elsewhere that said business never really progressed to really get better. But mapping, it could, and there they stood.

So make sure you quickly get an understanding of the current situation, and then quickly move on to the next phase. Time should be spent to gain an understanding, but not a minute more than necessary.

SoBE, phase 2: Mapping and understanding

The next round of the Certified Improvement Leader training will start in the autumn and is now upgraded with the latest version of the Shaper of Business Excellence improvement methodology.

The first phase of five is to plan and organise your improvement work. The second is to map and understand the current state of the business for each priority process.

In the new version, this phase consists of nine steps, some of which I have described in this and last week’s newsletter.


Are you interested in learning more about how you could lead and drive your improvement efforts? Then I think you should sign up for the entry list. This means that you will receive more information before it is released to all “others”. I will also be able to answer your specific questions about your improvement work.

Click here to sign up for the entry list. Of course, it is completely unconditional and you have not committed yourself to anything, but only said that you want more information.