Process maps and their application
Did you know it is advisable to create a process map for each procedure or systems of procedures that are performed? And, did you know that this will create more communication and better understanding within your organizations just as the index page in a book? You must use a process map as your communication tool.
A process map is a flow chart diagram of the main processes within the organization. Through these flow charts we can see those processes or tasks that often times are invisible and yet they have such a positive or negative in the end result. The main objective is to utilize this map as a communication tool to show the sequence of the interactions of the elements that take place in a process, wether they are in parallel or in sequence.
Process maps are utilized by organizations to attain several beneftis:
– Gain better understanding of processes.
– Clarify limits of the processes and efficiency measures.
– Identify the sequences in the process.
– Isolate basic processes, bottle necks or opportunity for improvement.
– Clarify the interaction among customers, suppliers, administration and operations.
– Provide a tool for molding and creating debate.
In other words, a process map shows in detail using diagrams what must happen first, second and third in a process. It shows what happens in each step of the way and it is drawn graphically to facilitate communication and understanding.
The following chart is an example of a simple flow chart in the process of approving credit, you can click on the image to enlarge it:
The benefits that can be obtained by the organizations that put together these tools within their Credit and Collection departments are palpable in the short and mid range terms. It is advisable to include in your manuals and trainings the process maps detailing your current credit and collection policies.
If this is the first time you will use these flow charts in your organization or department, I suggest you elaborate a rough draft to share it with your team and invite them to participate in the creation of final versions of these process maps.