104: Mapping Workflows for Greater Clarity

Process can be a loaded word. For some, it elicits bureaucracy and micromanagement. For others it implies structure and organization. Regardless of how you feel about process, getting clear about what happens, by whom and in what order, can create clarity that instantly reduces friction and minimizes the need to re-do work.

In this episode, I walk through my simplified version of process mapping. My approach is designed to generate the right conversations that enable clarity and alignment, resulting in a highly usable visual map.

The full episode guide includes both a written overview of my version of process mapping along with a video tutorial. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at themodernmanager.com/shop.

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Read the related blog article: Streamline Your Teamwork with Simple Process Mapping

Key Takeaways:

  • Process mapping is a simple and effective way to clarify any repeated workflow.
  • Don’t worry about all the technical components of process mapping. Focus on producing a document that is usable by you and the team.
  • When mapping, consider the following elements: (1) what actions, tasks or steps need to happen in what order, (2) what decisions need to be made, (3) what tools, resources, templates, checklists, etc are needed for each step.
  • Consider who (person or role) will take each action and who will be involved in which decisions. Use a RAPIDS or other decision model to further clarify how a decision will be made.
  • Brainstorm and create a draft map as a starting point. Invite others involved in the process to enhance the map.
  • Start by mapping a process or workflow that isn’t working well. Map one process at a time.
  • It’s normal to spend 1-10 hours to complete a process map. Consider this an investment up front which will save you many hours and frustrations in the future.
  • Decide how to best use your map – post it on a wall, store it in a digital document, print and put in a binder. Revisit the map as often as is needed to help you stay on track.
  • Update the map with new learnings as you discover how to better streamline the work, need additional steps, etc.

Additional Resources:


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