The process journey helps you to draw your workflow or business processes as a series of activities. Each process has a start and an end. There is something that triggers the process and there is some result. Between the start and the end there are connected activities. With the process journey you get a clear picture of your process which enables you to analyse and improve the process.
Download the example of the Process Journey for Pizzeria Toscana. This example shows you how a Process Journey is used to map all the activities in a process or workflow.
You can make your own Process Journeys. It requires some skill and especially good knowledge of the process to be described. Make sure to involve people that are familiar with the process.
A process has a start and an end. The start is an event that triggers the process, also known as input. For example, a question of a customer or the signal of an order coming in. The end of a process is the result of all the steps in that process, the output. Think of a customer receiving a product or getting an answer. Between the start and the end of the process there are activities. These are the things done by the people or machines in your business. In the case of an incoming order, gathering the ordered products can be an activity. Activities can be placed in a chronological order; one activity follows another activity. Some activities may run simultaneously.
It is important to keep in mind that you need to consider how far you want to go into depth with your process description. For example, you have the activity write down the order. Of course you could say that getting a pen as well as getting paper are also activities. Getting into those details will make a very long process while it is not really relevant.
So how can you describe your own process? Follow the two steps described below.
Step 1: determine the start and the end of your process
Start with determining the start and the end of your process. Then make a list of all the activities in your process, thus all the things done by you, an employee or a machine. Try to keep the right level of detail, do not go too far into the details, or too high over.
Step 2: draw your process
Get a pen, paper, and some post-its, and draw your process. You can draw your process by using four graphical elements.
- Use a circle to represent the start or end of the process.
- Use rounded rectangles, like post-its, to represent an activity.
- Use arrows to represent the flow between activities. The flow shows which activities follow each other.
- Use a junction to indicate that an alternative flow may exist in certain situations. For example, when ordering a pizza, a customer may select take out or select home delivery, resulting in a different process.
Write each activity on a post-it and then place all activities in the right order on a whiteboard or on a sheet of paper. Use arrows to indicate the flow between activities, you could also use PowerPoint to draw your process on your computer; just use the shapes of PowerPoint.