Top 10 Process Mapping Sins

  1. Not being clear on the scope: how will you know when to stop?
  2. Not gaining buy in: whose back yard are you digging in?
  3. Not explaining what you are doing: at best staff will be suspicious, at worst they will turn nasty. (Positioning your work as a cost saving initiative is not going to help you, not even slightly.)
  4. Relying on the manager: if he knew what was going on you wouldn’t be mapping it.
  5. Not talking to the workers: it is only the people who work on the process who really understand how the process works.
  6. Only looking at one department:  people in other departments may well be too busy to get involved because it doesn’t involve them.  Well it does.
  7. Forgetting the time: time is integral to the process, it is the expensive bit.
  8. Using lots of complicated technically correct symbols: nobody understands them, and if they do they probably need to get a girl friend.
  9. Drawing up your own conclusions: it is all too easy to jump to conclusions.
  10. Not doing anything with the output: process maps are no use in folders.


  1. Michael Thompson says:

    I think you are right about managers, workers and conclusions.

    Knave sat in numerous process mapping sessions where the manager has sat and argued violently with the people who run the process. There is a massive difference between what should happen and what does happen.

    The truth gets warped even more violently if there is an auditor in the room

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