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Different Types of Process Maps

There are different varieties of process maps, which are intended for different purposes. If you have used process mapping software before, you may have seen the option to create certain types of process maps or flowcharts. At some point, you may encounter instances where it becomes handy having some knowledge about the varieties of process maps.

Document map

As the name implies, this process map is intended for documents. It generally lays out the movement and processing of documents. It guides clerks or personnel on which documents to prepare and what details to enter. A document map may also be prepared to plan documentary inputs and outputs for automation.

Activity process map

Obviously, this process map is used for planning the processes of an organization or business. The activities here refer to all processes including value-added and non-value-added activities. It is mostly an “if this, then that” type of mapping, wherein activities are arranged according to trigger signals and sequences.

Rendered process map

In this type of process mapping, the current and future states of processes are being represented. This is done to make it easier to examine areas that can use process improvement. It is used to visually represent strategies and come up with something attractive or positive. Rendered process maps help create scenarios customers, investors, or stakeholders would likely want to buy into.

Value-added chain diagram

This process map features unconnected boxes that are meant to represent simplified versions of processes. It is employed in the structuring of business processes from level 1 to level 4 so it does not include logical connectors that are used to model explicit decisions. As such, it provides an abstract perspective of the flow and structure of processes.

Value stream map

A process map specially used in lean management techniques, a value stream map is generally created to facilitate the analysis and improvement of processes. It is used to compile and display a broader spectrum of information as compared to a standard process map. It is particularly applicable when making presentations that should provide a broader view of things. It can be used to identify the focus for future projects.

Workflow diagram

This is a simple flowchart designed to show the flow of tasks or actions usually with an emphasis on who gets to do these tasks. A workflow diagram does not have to conform to the symbols used in Unified Modeling Language (UML). It can be something created only for internal users with symbols, labels, and conventions exclusive to a certain organization.

What’s great about process mapping nowadays is that there are already many convenient tools you can use. You can find software that provides highly advanced features. Engage, for example, offers something that is way beyond what popular software like Visio can offer. It enables process mapping with costing details. It also provides rich analysis tools that include the ability to test for bottlenecks and pinpoint areas that can use improvements.

Modern process mapping is mostly associated with the use of software. Still, it helps getting acquainted with the basics. After all, you won’t be able to generate useful process maps or flowcharts if you don’t know the basic concepts underlying them.

Image source: Pixabay.com

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