In Skore’s guide to Process Mapping you’ll learn:

What is a Process Map?

What do we use Process Maps for?

The Benefits of Process Mapping.

Troubleshooting Process Mapping

Common Approaches to Process Mapping

How to Map a Process

Continuously Improving your Processes

If you need help understanding process mapping or would like to learn a little more in any of these areas then please read more in our comprehensive guide to process mapping.

What is a Process Map?

What is a process?

A process is a set of activities or tasks that are carried out to deliver an outcome. For a business, that outcome is usually tied to revenue.

The number of activities described or the outcome achieved can be completely individual to any organisation or person. While some processes are pretty similar it is always worth talking through them to make sure that they are accurate. 

The Basics

The basic concept of Process Mapping or Business Process Mapping is actually very simple.

Process Mapping or Business Process Mapping is the practice of looking at all the actions that your organisation does and visualising them in the form of a map. These may be actions that occur daily, monthly, or annually. The maps exist to help you and your organisation understand how you are accomplishing your goals, who is in charge of what action, and how those actions play out. 

If an organisation wants to be successful, they need to understand their processes to find places to improve or where there may be issues. The process of capturing how things work is often also referred to as process capture or process discovery.  This guide will examine process mapping using all of these terms.

A process diagram or map is how we record that process. We’ll talk about this in a lot more detail later. As we said earlier, it is a visualisation of your process. This is often presented on one single page to make it easy to read and understand, with arrows demonstrating the following steps to achieve an outcome:

    Get our 5 Steps to the Perfect Process Guide Here

    Skore Process Map

    What Do We Use Process Maps For?

    We use process maps for a variety of reasons, but mostly for: 

    • Systems Implementation and Automation
    • Continuous Improvement
    • Standards and Compliance
    • Organisation Design
    • Change and Transformation 

    Systems Implementation and Automation 

    Many organisations are turning to technology to help streamline their businesses. Before any investment is made in computer systems, an organisation must understand exactly how they do certain tasks. By mapping a process first the organisation can understand what are the steps and who does what. A process map will identify repetitive work and then allow the organisation to design and build systems that can do the work instead. It is much better to plan this out in this way than to purchase technology and then add it into a process willy-nilly. This will always end up costing more if not thought out properly. Mapping out your process allows you to truly understand and set realistic expectations of how automating certain steps will help you thrive. Conversely, if you do not obtain the results you want, you also know when something is not working, allowing you to cut costs as needed.

    Continuous Improvement

    If you capture or map a process as part of your continuous improvement practice then you can really help your organisation. Capturing a process allows you to find inefficiencies, bottlenecks, or unnecessary costs that perhaps you weren’t aware of before. It also helps you identify potential risks and find a way to reduce them. Because using process maps as a baseline allows you to ensure that your organisation is using a common language when describing processes, you will often run into repeated steps across multiple teams, which help align them correctly. By taking the time to map the process you make sure your company is consistent and rigorous in its approach to improve, allowing you to grow and scale successfully and correctly over time. If you’re not making the choice to practice continuous improvement, you will never be able to grow correctly. A process map is your vehicle to stable company and revenue growth. We delve into the subject of Continuous Improvement in more detail later in this guide if you read on. 

    Standards and Compliance

    Using process discovery means that your organisation is making sure that your procedures are consistent and of high quality. Mapping a process out means you can be certain that you are following the rules and regulations required. All organisations need to conform to official standards of some sort within their industry. Process mapping makes sure that your standards are always up to scratch. Alternatively, your organisation may decide to apply for certification (e.g. ISO 9001) or need to ensure business practices fit in with new legal requirements (Sarbanes-Oxley is a good historical example).

    Organisational Design

    As we’ve established, if you are looking at your organisation and the future then taking the time to map your processes gives you a distinct advantage. When defining all the important actions you will also identify who is responsible for what. This also helps you make sure that the person doing the job is the right person. If you are reorganising then this is really key! Process discovery will ensure that you are able to put the right person in the right part of the organisation to deliver the best results. It will also help you determine if there are any steps missing or a role that needs to be created to cover certain responsibilities. And it is instrumental in learning why sign-off bottlenecks may be occurring, slowing down your entire business. Without a map, you might never find out how much time you are actually wasting.

    Change and Transformation

    This may also sometimes be referred to as ‘as is vs to be’. Here, there may be two stages to your process mapping. Essentially you need to understand the difference between how things work today and how you want them to work in the future. By capturing your processes you will understand where the gaps are, and find spots that could use some improvement. You can then map out what the future will really look like by making changes to your process and seeing how you expect them to impact your numbers and improve the overall process, either by clearly assigning responsibilities or changing a sourcing location or any other change you may make to improve it. 

    Benefits of Process Mapping

    Mapping out your processes comes with so many benefits and advantages – even in a process mapping guide it is difficult to mention them all! But to help you understand its importance, here are the key reasons why your organisation should be investing in process mapping to ensure they continue to lead the way.

    Gives You the ‘Big Picture’

    By taking the time to process capture you are producing a snapshot of how your organisation works. Different departments don’t always talk to each other, and company leaders are not always aware of the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day of their processes. By taking the time to work it out in a process mapping workshop, everyone will be able to share what they’re doing and account for a doubling of tasks or gaps in the tasks that are causing unexpected issues. A lot of the time, you will discover that a singular issue has plagued multiple departments in your organisation and can be fixed quite easily. It’s just a question of getting everyone to communicate and being aware of what each other is doing, and this is only obtained by having the ‘big picture’ before you.

    Gather Information

    Process Discovery allows you to collect information about your organisation that can be vital. Anything from costs, risks, time taken to achieve a task, time lost, bottlenecks, requirements, systems used – the list is endless. You can have all this information centralised in one location, such as a process library when mapping out processes on software, which means you or your employees can revisit this information constantly to check in. Having it all gathered in one place makes it a lot easier to train new employees, conduct improvements, and find missing or problem-causing spots.

    Company Alignment

    Mapping a process means that everyone gets to learn how something is done and should be done. You should involve everyone in your team to participate in the process, allowing them to see how their day-to-day actions directly impact company goals. The organisation then becomes aligned in its way of thinking and doing, as employees can see how they are making a difference. It fosters teamwork and welcomes ideas for improvement from all parts of the company so that everyone feels included regardless of their position. 

    Starting Point for Strategic Knowledge

    Capturing your processes on a consistent basis means that your organisation is always ready to launch a project, course-correct strategy, or change programme. Process mapping allows change to happen, and happen successfully. Often effective process mapping will shape how an organisation makes decisions and changes objectives or procedures for its benefit. Trying to make change without having a clear idea of how your business is run is a high risk and will often not be rewarded. If you truly want to make impactful change, you need to understand why you are making that change, and how it is likely to make a difference. While this is predictive and may not always be accurate, it is a much better way of beginning to enact change than simply deciding to switch any aspect of a process without having it mapped out. You may only be creating more delay if you don’t accurately know the problem spot. With your processes mapped out, you can make data-driven decisions instead. Skore’s Quantify is a tool that helps you take a map one step further to make such decisions. Easily providing you with the data you need, all you have to do is plug in the existing information into your process map for Quantify to find spots you can improve upon. And once you find those spots, you can use Quantify to try out different solutions. See what’s costing you most and remove or replace it, add or eliminate a step, and see an estimate of how making any changes will have an effect on your organisation in a week, month, or year’s time. And to top it all off, a report will be ready for you to review with your stakeholders.

    Improved Performance & Tangible Benefits

    Taking the time to map processes also means that teams have the chance to look at the way they do things and challenge if those steps are correct. They may also discover there is a quicker or cheaper way to do things, find spots where tasks are repeated, and think of new ways to improve customer experience. Process capture allows everyone to assess their processes and think of the best ways to do something. This will mean higher levels of service for all, and a more efficient and optimised organisation, which also helps you reduce unnecessary costs and save more to invest in the correct verticals.

    Employee Engagement

    Mapping a process should never be a short-term goal. Process mapping is something that should be continuous and constantly worked on as things change. Once an organisation has mapped a process they should be able to share it with everyone. A process should always be constantly reviewed and updated. If it is it can be an excellent training and induction tool for any employee to use. Process maps can be stored online or in the cloud easily and in an easy-to-read format making it effortless for employees. And because you are constantly checking in with employees about how things are working and if they believe anything can be improved, you ensure that they are always aware of the overall impact they have on the organisation, fostering loyalty and support.

    Troubleshooting Process Mapping 

    There are so many clear benefits to process mapping – it’s difficult to really see any disadvantages to taking the time to capture your processes. But, as is true with all things, if it’s not done correctly, mapping processes can be a wasted exercise. Follow our process mapping guide on how not to process map:


    Doing process discovery the right way first requires investment in the form of time and revenue that won’t be coming in as high or quickly, as well as investment in software and sometimes experts. That can be hard for any company to understand. This is especially true if they haven’t really taken the time to understand the benefits. Such an investment is wasted if the process isn’t captured properly, and that also typically requires a lot of additional time from employees that takes them away from their daily tasks. Everything will have to slow down for a bit when companies begin to consider and map out their processes, which will impact their revenue and be a costly exercise for a bit. If done correctly, however, organisations should know that they will be making that money back quickly and efficiently.  

    Not Getting the Anticipated Results

    A lot of success and problem-solving can be hung on process mapping. Making sure the organisation understands what you can and cannot do is really important from the very beginning, otherwise, you will only be frustrated with your results. You need to map out your processes and then realistically understand how making changes will impact your business over time. Expecting to make tons of revenue simply because you fixed on problem spot is not how process mapping will best help you. You need to be constantly troubleshooting the process and have goals you aim for to truly practice continuous process improvement correctly and get the results you are after.

    Difficult to Read

    Business processes can be really complicated to depict. If they aren’t displayed in a simple way they can be overwhelming and difficult to read, leading to many to not bother. If they are on paper it’s easy to lose or forget what was said, or not properly understand the handwriting. Fortunately, quality, process-map-focused software exists that helps keep things simple and streamlined so that everyone can read and follow along with any process map. They will no longer be a mess of arrows and bubbles.

    Out-of-Date Easily

    You can spend a lot of time mapping a process. You feel great after a workshop, you create a beautiful process map… and then you forget about it for a year or two. Once you finally dust it off it’s way out of date. What a waste of time! It’s vital to ensure that you continue to use your process map after the workshop, not just leave it in a filing cabinet to check in on every few months. Using software that is easy to update and share with your colleagues will make that ten times easier. And if the software has a built-in process review that helps to remind you to constantly check up on your process maps and compare them to how it’s working on the ground, even better! The more accurate your process maps are, the better you are at making the changes that will truly impact your goals. 

    Takes Too Much Time

    Sometimes, the time it takes to map out a process can be blamed for stopping the whole project or initiative. It’s really important to make sure that the method of capturing your process is effective. Can you do it in the workshop or do you have to waste valuable hours later entering all the information? Are people getting frustrated by trying to access information that isn’t accessible to all? Make sure that you have the correct tools in place beforehand and your process discovery will go smoothly. While you do need to take your time to get it done, it should not be negatively impacting you to do so. Process mapping should be clearly explained and have demonstrable goals that everyone can follow along to help understand why the time is being taken to do it.

    More Connected

    Common Approaches to Process Mapping

    Like many business activities, there are many different ways and theories to approach process mapping. Different notation types and diagrams showcase how your business is run. In this section, we will go through some of the main process mapping notations and types, but this list is not exhaustive. We will focus on:

    • BPMN
    • UML
    • EPC
    • Flowcharting
    • UPN


    BPMN stands for Business Process Model and Notation. It is a model used to represent a process flow. The idea is to present a complex process in a more visual way which allows you to understand and see how a process works in an organisation. To put it very simply, BPMN is similar to a flow chart, but with more detail – it contains ‘pools’ and ‘swimlanes’ which allow it to detail complex processes. There will be different swimlanes within a single pool which allows different roles and responsibilities to be detailed. Once you understand the terminology and shapes you are able to appreciate the organisational process. BPMN uses the same shapes (objects on a map), concepts, and terminology whether the project is a small simple process or a complex organisation. When you understand the model and have memorised the meaning of all of the associated notation, you can then understand any process map using BPMN. Understanding and learning to use BPMN will take time and training, and you can get certified in it to truly make an impact in any organisation. 


    Universal Modelling Language (UML) is another way to produce a visual diagram of a process by using a series of different diagrams to present the process. UML prides itself on its flexibility and diverse ‘process language’. But, like BPMN, this can make it pretty complicated. The best thing is to try and keep your process maps really simple and UML is used for many types of diagrams including more static organisational charts. For process-related diagrams, you can use the swimlane diagram or cross-functional flowchart which describes the activities you need to complete an action. This is the simplest diagram you can use in UML and probably the best. It allows you to create swimlanes and you can show different conditions, roles, and steps in a process, though not without it becoming a bit overcrowded. 


    EPC or Event-driven Process Chain is a different type of process diagram. Every process is defined by ‘events’, and these are the beginning and end of the process. These events essentially define the process and guide the steps. Different ‘elements’ are then used to fill in the information and stages of the process. These consist of Function, Event, Control Flow, Logical Connector, and Process Interface.  The combination of these elements allows a practiced analyst to put together a complex process diagram. EPC is detailed and complex and anyone new to process mapping may struggle to understand it straight away. 


    Flowcharting, or a Process Flowchart, is a more generic diagram tool that can be used to show a process flow. You can use a flowchart to show the different steps in a process and the good news is it can be adapted to any type of process easily. You can use any simple box to describe your process yet there are up to nearly 30 standard shapes you can use for example a decision box, document box, arrow, and a start-end box are just a few examples. They are easy to use but limited in detail and analysis after the process map is drawn, which is why it is good to consider alternatives to flowcharts when it comes to more complicated business process mapping.


    Universal Process Notation works on basic yet clear questions – what, who, when, why, and how. Therefore the objective is to avoid over-complication and confusion. UPN aims to be a simpler alternative to process languages use as EPC and BPMN due to its simplicity. The advantage of UPN is that it can generally be understood by every employee and not just business analysts or process mapping experts. UPN is an easy way to start process mapping and this is the process language that Skore is based on: a simple yet powerful way to model activities, workflows, and responsibilities. Although extremely easy to read, it can describe complex scenarios: you can add data, drill down into a sub-process, and distill every part of a process into an easy-to-read map. Skore’s version concentrates on Inputs and Outputs and focuses on answering essential process questions: what happens, who does it, and what the next step is. Designed to be used in a live workshop there is no need to spend hours after writing up your notes or checking the maps are accurate. It’s a great way for beginners to start process mapping without having to learn a new language first. And, UPN is the best way to keep on top of your processes for improvement because it is so easy to follow along.

    How to Map a Process

    Mapping the actual process in a lot of ways is the easiest bit. However, what you may find more of a challenge is getting the information out of the right people to build the process as it actually plays out. This facilitation is a skill to learn all by itself and you can find out more about how to run a process workshop the right way here.

    Let’s go over some of the traditional ways to build a process map. 

    • Workshops
    • Interviews
    • Document translations


    Most process mapping will start with workshops. This is the best way to get everyone together who is involved in the workshop and get them talking about how the process works. However, it can be difficult to get everyone in the same room, especially if they work in different departments. When you manage it, it’s really important to get it right. If you don’t it’s going to be difficult to convince people to come to your workshop again.

    Most importantly make sure that you have invited the right people to your process mapping workshop. You want to ensure that you have the subject matter experts in the room. If the process crosses departments do you have everyone involved? There will be no point mapping out the process if half of the important actors are missing. 

      Get the Process Workshop Agenda Template Here

      Traditional Process Mapping

      Traditionally, it’s important to make sure that you order lots of sticky notes in all colours and have a big supply of brown paper. Process Workshops historically have been held in large rooms where the paper is put on the wall and the sticky notes act as shapes. The diagram is created in front of your eyes. This works well visually of course and should bring the team together as they discuss processes. 

      However, you can’t keep a process map like this on the wall forever and it will have to come down and be documented digitally. This is where mistakes happen as sticky notes fall off the paper or you forget which bit came first. It also means that whoever is running the workshop then has to spend time documenting the workshop so make sure that you allocated time for this afterward. It’s important to inform those involved that they may not be able to see the end result for a week or two and manage their expectations. 

      Modern Process Mapping

      The other way to do it is to enter the information into a laptop while you are in the workshop. By using the projector you can show the process map to everyone and it’s easy to make changes and record information. However you may find that some process mapping languages are just too complicated to do in front of everyone. 

      Skore’s simple method means that you can capture the steps of a process as people are talking so it’s easy to add, update and delete information as needed. The information is then ready to use as soon as the workshop is finished and can be shared with everyone. 

      Process mapping workshops can be engaging, collaborative and healing spaces if well-prepared and organised. Using tools that can aid you and your attendees to map out a process will really help in this so make sure you have done your research and are fully prepared to run the workshop. 


      But the reality is, it’s not always possible or suitable to run a process workshop. 

      Another way to discover your processes is to hold one-on-one interviews. An interview will be more focused and can be done quickly as you save a lot of time when not having to manage different discussions. Plus, the other advantage is that people can be more open when no one else is listening. You may find that in workshops people are afraid to be honest about how a process works especially if they are in front of management. 

      The disadvantage of an interview is that you get a very one-sided view of the process. This means you need to make sure you interview as many people as possible to get different views and approaches. One-to-one interviews may be a safe space but it may also mean that issues aren’t addressed and teams are not aligned. An interview could also be a good way to start off your process capture before a workshop. It allows you to review the process and then it can be discussed by the group. With Skore, individuals can always contribute without feeling singled out as it can be done asynchronously.

      Document Translations

      In addition, you can always examine existing documents to start putting your process mapping together. It is possible to take existing documents such as policies and procedures and translate them into processes. It’s unlikely that document translation would ever be enough to complete your process map. However it would raise questions and discussion points which can then be reviewed by the team later as part of the process capture. 

      Although mapping a process is often seen as time-consuming and frustrating, we would argue that if you feel that way you are doing it wrong! 

      Processes are an essential part of any organisation and for your organisation to be successful you need to understand them. In our experience, mapping a process is a sharing, collaborative, and engaging experience. 

      It’s an opportunity for your team to get together and check if they are doing things the right way and see if they can do anything better. Even more than that, it is a chance for the team to check they are aligned, that they understand each other’s roles and they work together to make change happen – it’s a way to inspire loyalty and pride for your business. 

      Use this process mapping guide to make sure that you are getting the most out of this activity every time.

      Although mapping a process is often seen as time consuming and frustrating, we would argue that if you feel that way you are doing it wrong! Processes are an essential part of any organisation and for your organisation to be successful they need to understand them. In Skore’s experience, mapping a process is a sharing, collaborative and engaging experience. It’s an opportunity for any team to get together and check  they are doing things the right way and see if they can do anything better. However more than that, its a chance for the team to check they are aligned, that they understand each other’s roles and they work together to make change happen. Use this process mapping guide to make sure that you are getting the most out of this activity every time.


      If you found this guide useful you can gain access to even more resources here 

      Continuously Improving Your Processes

      To truly improve and get the most out of your process maps long term, you must practice continuous improvement.

      What Is Continuous Improvement?

      Continuous improvement is a philosophy that preaches continuously studying and engaging with your existing processes to improve them. This helps your business run more effectively, manage costs, improve customer satisfaction, and will overall optimise your business for success.

      By practicing continuous improvement, you always know how your company is doing. You can recognise changes and emerging trends in positive or negative directions, and adjust your organisation’s processes and goals accordingly. 

      And always remember to involve all parties int this, as it helps keep everyone aligned with company goals. The more your employees understand the direct impact they have on your organisation’s success, the more you foster loyalty and can inspire everyone to find ways and places to improve.

      How Continuous Improvement Works

      Continuous improvement works by consistently checking in on the effect your current processes are having on your success.

      You can typically figure it out with numerical data, such as sales numbers, costs, and how well they are doing. The lower your sales and higher your costs, you can easily put together that something is going wrong. 

      In the past, it could be easy to forget to check this if you don’t have someone assigned expressly to do so. This meant even though sometimes processes changed on the ground, only those directly involved found out and owners or stakeholders did not, as there was no good record of these changes.

      And when those employees moved on, the new process was lost. Organisations constantly find it easy to do the groundwork to capture process information, but incredibly difficult to maintain that progress. 

      Not anymore. 

      Knowledge Management

      Continuous improvement is directly linked to knowledge management. By knowledge management, we refer to maintaining information instrumental for your processes to run correctly stored and saved within your organisation.

      In the past, your processes (maps and any associated documentation) could not be consolidated in one singular place to function as a centralised source of truth for how your business is run.

      But technology has made it possible.


      Simply by creating a process library.

      Process Library

      A process library is a location for all of your processes and their documentation to be stored. It allows you to easily use them for training purposes, for workshops purposes, and to retain the knowledge you have of how your organisation is currently being run.

      Process libraries are instrumental in continuous improvement.

      Without them, you do not know enough about how your processes are being run for continuous improvement to be practiced. Or you have to re-map your processes every time you remember you want to improve on them, making it an incredibly time-consuming activity you simply keep procrastinating on.

      With the right software, you can create and document all your processes and save them in a shareable, collaborative space for everyone to check. And it can even remind you when you should be studying them to see what can be improved on based on the numerical data you input as well – that’s what we’ve done with Skore.

      Remember, you are never truly done improving your processes, as something can always be improved, but you won’t know if you don’t have your knowledge stored in one place, easily accessible and shareable. 

      If you found this guide useful you can gain access to even more resources here 


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