In product design and software development, mapping the organization's processes or looking at the user's routine activities makes it possible to identify improvement, automation, and refinement areas.
Thanks to Process Mapping, we can find an idea for an innovation, which will then become a digital product or an application created for the Customer's internal needs.
We do not have to look far to find an example of a digital product that facilitates everyday work and was created through a better understanding of a process.
For example, the creation of a banking application, Revolut, would not have been possible without a thorough understanding of the currency conversion processes between banks and finding a loophole that avoids charging bank fees, the so-called currency spread.
The developers of Revolut literally hacked the currency spread, but that is a topic for a separate article.
Applications that were created as a result of Process Mapping
- Marketing automation: Brand24 (monitors the Internet and notifies about new mentions), Mailchimp (independently sends mailings, greets the customer, sends out reports to them, and will even notify them about a new discount that you set in your store),
- Optimization of routine work: Otter.ai (in the work of a researcher and journalist, it will turn a recorded interview into text), Grammarly (in office work, it will check the correctness of spelling in the dictionary and suggest corrections), Nacoidamojepieniadze.pl (in the work of a municipal treasurer, it will help with making an analysis of the municipal budget and preparing presentations for decision-makers and residents),
- Optimization of the organization's processes: Basecamp (facilitates project management and organizes internal project communications), Jira (facilitates software development process management).
When do we use Process Mapping in product design?
- when we want to discover a need, a gap in the market, an untapped potential
- when we want to understand how a process works to improve or automate it
- when we want to design process management software, the so-called Workflow system
Process Mapping in business management
- usually, Process Mapping is where the standardization of procedures in a company begins
- an organization implements a process monitoring system
- an organization looks for areas to improve
- an organization looks for discrepancies occurring in processes
How to map an organization's processes
- from general to specific. First, we visualize an overall picture of the process that will provide an idea of its components. Then we proceed to map individual processes going deeper and deeper, making them more and more detailed.
- we map the current state, not the desired state.
- for Process Mapping, we use Visual Paradigm or Visio from Microsoft, as well as many other programs
Process Mapping for software development
Process Mapping is also part of the software development process, which is the business analyst's responsibility.
The basis of an analyst's work is an understanding of the problem domain and the overall process, which often requires a business analyst to have an industry-specific background.
The analyst's job is to collect software development requirements using the Process Mapping method. A business analyst uses diagrams to visualize processes and the way software works. UML and BPMN diagrams are used for this purpose.
Both UML and BPMN are modeling languages. As in any language, they have their syntax (elements), rules (standards), and names (a common convention adopted for names).
Thanks to this, a process diagram made by an analyst in Japan, for example, will be understandable to an engineer in Poland.
The next step in discovering customer needs and niches in the market and designing a digital product is competitor analysis.