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What is process mapping?

Processes underpin everything people do at work, and influence the outcomes delivered by every department or organization.

If business processes are broken or non-existent, the business suffers or fails. If processes are strong and well-documented, it affords you the opportunity for continuous process improvement.

If you’re wondering how to make process improvements, engage workflows, document generation, or robotic process automation, this is where you begin.

First let’s define process mapping

Process mapping identifies each individual step in a business process and is the first action to identify opportunities for process improvement.

Process mapping software is a powerful business tool that makes it easy to view your organization’s processes step-by-step so you can better understand them and ensure continuous improvement, quality assurance, and risk management.

Using process mapping software, employees can document procedures, forms and attachments, images/videos, links to policies, and reference to content across departments and job types.

“Visually mapping your processes helps you fully understand how your organization operates and identify inefficiencies and opportunities for automation to reduce costs and boost productivity.”

What it is process excellence?

The secret ingredient to optimization, even more so than process mapping, is developing a process center of excellence.

Businesses create a process center of excellence when they develop one or more process maps in a single, centralized repository.

“A process center of excellence is a cross-functional entity with a defined organizational structure, tasks, roles and responsibilities and processes – all supporting and promoting methodical business process improvements across the organization. It develops and maintains a library of standards, methodologies and techniques that the company can use and reuse to deliver ongoing results.”

A process center of excellence provides a single source of truth to help your organization standardize procedures, enhance productivity, improve customer satisfaction, save money, remove inconsistencies, and eliminate waste.

The advantages are nearly endless.

What it is process excellence, as a culture?

Process excellence is also a work culture built around key business processes and the collective efforts for continuous improvement.

“Organizations that embrace process excellence view every business process as an asset—one that can be owned, managed, maintained, and governed. These organizations build improvement into everything they do, such as identifying, codifying, mapping, reviewing, and updating the way things are done across the organization.”

Process mapping establishes a culture where everyone has a say in the processes that involve them. Constant feedback, suggestions, and star-ratings encourage employees to relay their thoughts on how to optimize their tasks.

Simultaneously increasing collaboration and standardization, process experts offer peer-level governance in their fields of expertise rather than a top-down approach.

How to use process mapping for process excellence

Set yourself up for success. Secure leadership buy-in. Empower the organization across departments to set similar initiatives.

Take inventory of processes and prioritize. Identify processes ripe for improvement. (Or automation!)

Start small and share wins. Target processes that require just a few steps, can have a big impact on your organization or have a measurable upside.

Use the right tech for the job. Look for powerful, yet easy-to-use tools that provide a central repository, metrics-based dashboard and data visualization tools, like the Nintex Process Platform.

Track value and share best practices. Keep the momentum by sharing progress and documenting key performance indicators (KPIs). Share your results with the broader organization!

Optimize. Process improvement is a continuous effort – replicate what works and adjust what is not delivering results.

Process mapping resources

Making processes visible, auditable, and easy to monitor provides real benefit for organizations of any size. Only when you can visualize the individual tasks that make up your business processes can you begin to reduce bottlenecks, streamline your operations, and optimize your resources.



Find more resources to implement process mapping here. Once you’ve mapped out your processes and identified opportunities for improvement, take the next step to digital transformation by rapidly automating tasks with the entire Nintex Process Platform.



Annie McIntosh

As a member of the Nintex Corporate Marketing team, Annie McIntosh spends her time creating content and delivering great experiences for Nintex customers and partners.

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