Knowledge base

Mapping current process

Understanding Mapping Your Current Process: Key Steps and Tools

In the domain of process improvement, the first essential step one should undertake upon setting goals is exploring how the current process is done. This step, known as value flow mapping, is the basis for finding the areas to improve. The following paper provides a humanized language perspective of the essentials of the process, uncovering its importance and practical use.

Unveiling the Current Process:

Unveiling the current process before delving into the world of process improvement, you should start with understanding your current one. To do so, pay closer details to the following points:

Customer Needs: What do they really want? Their needs and expectations will be your procedure’s core.

Step-by-Step Analysis: Break down your process into individual steps. This involves a detailed examination of each action taken from start to finish.

Identifying Waste: Is there something that takes time, effort, or resources without bringing any value? It could be due to an unnecessary or mismanaged step.

Elements of a Comprehensive Process Description:

An accurate process description acts as a blueprint for improvement. The following components, at the very least, must be mentioned in it:

  • Sequence of activities: This is precisely the order in which the activities in your process are performed.
  • Tools and resources: Identify what tools and resources are used at each stage. These can be computer systems and physical equipment.
  • Process owner: These individuals shall be responsible for the implementation of the process. It is often very convenient to work with a contact person.
  • Key performance indicators: These are the metrics that the process measure its efficiencies through.
  • Stakeholder roles: Specify the roles of various stakeholders, from the decision-maker to the informant and consultant.
  • Information sources: Be sure to note the information sources used during the process and the type of systems involved. It could be digital and physical documents.
  • Document management: Detail the documents used in each activity. When they should be stored and archived.
  • Inter-process relationships: Research the relationships and interface of the process with other organizational or interprocess workflows.

Models for Process Description and Visualization:

Various models make it possible to describe and visualize the process.

  • Value Stream Map: Offers a view of the value stream as a whole and allows marking value-adding/non-value-adding activity.
  • Swim Lane Diagram: Organizes the process step into the final lanes, which address different departments or individuals.
  • Spaghetti Diagram: focuses on identifying and mapping the movement of people or materials within a process.
  • Flow Chart: Indicates topics and the sequence of decisions being made in the process.


In Conclusion, the ability to appreciate a current process is the key to introducing meaningful improvement projects. Whichever ways are used to thoroughly study my own process, combined with suitable visualization equipment, I can discover potential areas of improvement and increase workability.

Online Lean courses
100% Lean, at your own pace

Most popular article